Bite-sized lessons in building an online business that feels good.
The Digital Product Kickstart Kit: Your guide to creating and launching a digital product that sells.
I help online entrepreneurs (like YOU!) launch and relaunch digital products and podcasts to reach more people, grow their audience and become the go-to geniuses in their industry
I have managed to get my business down to under 20 hours per week of actual running things. That's the amount of time that I would need to just keep the lights on in my business. And obviously, I work a little bit more than 20 hours a week. Generally, I work around 30 to 40 hours a week, but the rest of the time is spent working on the business, not in the business. I'm spending that time creating new products, writing a book, testing things, creating content over and above just the podcast episodes and the standard usual Instagram content and the EDMs that I send out to my email list.
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So here are five little things that you can do to start to streamline that business and save a little bit of time for yourself.
This sounds so basic. It sounds so basic, but I can't tell you how many times I will go to book in as a guest on someone's podcast, or speak for their event or something like that and I still have to do the back and forth of are you free this time on Monday? No, I'm not. Or what time zone are you in? Rather than them just having set up a calendar link where I can go in, choose a time that works for me and book in.
Using an app like Calendly or Acuity, you can set up your availability, you can set up different appointment types and then people can book in automatically. You can automate the emails that they get afterwards. So if they need to fill out a client questionnaire, if they need a Zoom link, anything like that can all just be done automated. And then you're saving yourself the back and forth. You're saving yourself having to convert time zones, manually setting up and sending Zoom links. All of those things.
Now you might have heard of Parkinson's Law, which is the concept that your tasks expand to take the amount of time that you give them. And I think this is true. When you know you've got two hours to do something, you're going to be a lot slower than if you know you've only got 30 minutes to do something. So what I will do is every morning, I'll time block my calendar with the tasks that I want to get done for the day. And it's great because I can work on something and I know I've got until 2:00 PM to get this done. I'd better work faster.
But it also shows me if I'm being really unrealistic with my to-do list. And I think most of us business owners are quite guilty of this, where we think we can do 20 things in a day and we write them all down on the piece of paper and we can only maybe get four things done. And then we guilt trip ourselves as a result. So time blocking helps with both of those things. And all I do is I just set up a new calendar. It's not an external calendar. It's just a new calendar with my to-do list. And I can drag that out, to see where the tasks go and fit it in with appointments and everything like that.
So for example, every time I upload a new podcast recording into Google Drive, there's an automation setup that sends the recordings straight to Auphonic, which is the app that we use to level out the audio. It adds the intro, the outro, and then it sends it off to my podcast host to publish. So all I have to do is show up, record the episode and export it, and then that's all done.
And you can use Zapier for other things. You can set it up so that every time you post something to Instagram, it automatically posts it to LinkedIn for you. You can set it up so that every time you post a Facebook video, it posts it to LinkedIn. I don't know. All of the different apps that you use can be connected together with Zapier. And I don't even know half the Zaps that we have because they're things that I set up years ago that just run along in the background and save me a heck of a lot of time.
You save a lot of time setting up things. So for example, when I'm recording my podcast, I save time by setting up and recording multiple podcasts at once, rather than just recording one at a time. And you also get into the zone a little bit more because you're not context switching. So context switching is when you are doing one task and then switching over to another, and then another. It kind of gives you that feeling of I've got all these tabs open in my brain and you're not focused on one thing. You're feeling scattered. You're not giving anything a hundred percent.
So being focused on that one thing when you're batching helps you to get into the zone big time. It helps you to get into the flow and it really helps with consistency, especially if you are an entrepreneur who likes to say that they're not very are consistent. And most of us aren't actually because we like to have ideas, and we like to chase fun, shiny things. But by batch recording things, we know that we can afford to be a little bit more inconsistent because the content is already there and created.
You don't need to be super, super busy or have a massive budget to start delegating to other people. Even if you're only working 30 hours a week and you have the extra capacity for another 10 hours, it's still a good time to start getting some of those things off your plate. And if you are afraid to start outsourcing things in your business and delegating things in your business, start by outsourcing tasks in your home life.
Maybe get somebody to come and mow the lawn, get somebody to come and clean your house, whatever it is that you don't enjoy doing. Because an hour that you save there is an hour that you get to work on your business or an hour that you get to spend doing something else that you want to do. So for example, can you maybe hire a virtual assistant for three hours a week to do some of the admin that you don't want to do? Anything that can help to remove that mental load, even if it's not saving you a huge amount of time. But if it's saving you from having to think about something and remember something, if they know that they're doing those same tasks each week, you don't have to think about it. And that saves you mental load, which saves you brain space, where you can then start to be creative and step into that real CEO kind of role, that visionary role.
Same with home tasks, right? I know my cleaner arrives every second Monday at 2:00 PM. I know that this is happening and I don't have to waste any mental load on remembering to book him. It frees up my brain to be more creative, knowing that he's going to turn up and at the end of the two hours, my house is going to be spotless. It's great. So there you have it. Five little hacks to save time in your business in 2022.
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I help online entrepreneurs (like you!) to build a profitable online business that keeps growing even when they're offline.