On episode 62 of the Systemize Your Life podcast, I share a behind the scenes look at a productivity coaching session with Jennifer. Jennifer is a podcaster from Australia with a big event coming up. This was her seventh one-on-one session with me and it was such fun. Be sure to listen to the conversation we had and catch the story she shared at the end of the episode about her fear of insects. It was the best.
In today’s post, I want to share three of the key takeaways from the session that I believe can help you in your business. The first thing we talk about is what it is like to onboard a virtual assistant and what you can learn from that experience. Then we will cover how to handle overproduction and knowing when you can take a break, plus what is behind wanting to disengage from your work. Finally we talk about fine tuning your workflow. Grab your notebook and let’s go, momma!
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
Previous Productivity Coaching Session Notes
As I mentioned above, this was Jennifer’s seventh one-on-one productivity session. In previous sessions we broke down her goals and fine tuned her workflow. She came into this session with a solid foundation and noted how pleasantly surprised she was about feeling calm even with her big event coming up.
Jennifer and I share a background in event planning and that field has a lot of chaos. When I started Systemize Your Life, I knew I needed systems in place from day one. Because of this prep work, my launches have run much more smoothly. This is why I teach what I teach. You can reduce the chaos in your life with systems, too.
Onboarding a Virtual Assistant
Jennifer noted that it was taking longer than she thought to get everything in place for onboarding a virtual assistant, but that she was learning a lot from the process. A lot of women feel ill-equipped or that they don’t have enough time to onboard a virtual assistant. But I promise that the process is worth it.
When you start to look at your process, you realize through the art of learning to teach what you do to someone else, how differently you can be doing things. That is the beauty of all the steps. Maybe you don’t actually need a virtual assistant to do it. Maybe you could use automation. For example, Jennifer noted that she learned that she could schedule her Facebook posts and that simple hack saved her hours each week.
Learning your processes well enough to teach them to a VA takes time. But doing so helps you understand your business in a deeper way. It can also help you prepare for taking a holiday or a break.
Sometimes You Just Need a Break…or Not
Jennifer was concerned with falling into bad habits again now that things had settled and she wasn’t feeling so stressed to get things done. We had a great conversation about that. My advice was to explore the feeling and not ignore it. I encouraged Jennifer to journal about it.
When you are feeling the need to disengage, take a minute to think about why. You may need or deserve rest, but you also need to be aware of losing the momentum you have build with your systems and cycle back into overwhelm. Sometimes we need a break from all the development and that is ok, too. Journal it out to see why you feel the need for a break. There are many reasons and your intuition will tell you.
You may be dealing with fear or you may actually be overworking yourself. For those of us that are overachievers, we feel the momentum carry us and when that feeling picks up, we like that sensation so much that don’t want to listen when we do need to slow down. Learn to listen to your intuition.
I find that turning to my Bible and prayer helps. You can also turn to a business mentor or teacher that has been there and can help you through their story.
“For those of us that are overachievers, we feel the momentum and when that picks up, we like the sensation so much that we don’t want to listen when we do need to slow down. Learn to listen to your intuition.”
Can I Change My Workflow?
As we closed out the productivity coaching session, Jennifer wanted to talk about workflows. She noticed there were some tasks in her MeisterTask workflow that she was consistently skipping each week. She wondered what she should do about that.
We all have tasks we just don’t like to do, both in work and in our personal life. For my personal life, it is folding laundry. I just hate it. For my work life, it’s finances. We become better leaders and business owners when we can look inside our workflow and see that we are not doing a specific task that we decided we wanted to do. It gives us the chance to grow.
No Magic Answer
While this is a completely normal occurrence, there is no magic answer. We simply need to understand that if we don’t do it, it won’t get done. So when you find yourself faced with one of these tasks, ask yourself why? For me personally, I am addressing it this way:
Learn to do it more efficiently. Become more equipped to do the task with ease. We do not like sitting down to do a task that we don’t know how to do because it takes so much time. We can fix this by learning how to do the job better.
My long-term plan is to hire it out. But until I build my business and my team to be able to support that, I just have to take the responsibility and get it done.
Simple Productivity Hack
You may have heard of this already, but I find it to be helpful so I want to share it here. There is something called the Two Minute Rule. It’s simple. Set a timer for two minutes and just start the task you are putting off. Chances are good that when the timer is up, you will continue on and complete the task. It’s the starting that hangs us up.
Prune Your Workflow
Finally, to answer the main question Jennifer had, yes. You can and should prune your workflow every so often. Not everything that you are told that you “must” do in your business has to be done in your business. You choose how your business runs. There is no absolute correct way to do it.
Again, look at the why. Does it need to be done and you aren’t doing it? Figure out what is stopping you so you can get it done. If you decide it doesn’t need to be done, it’s ok to remove it. If it comes back up, you can always add it back.
One-on-One Productivity Sessions
I currently offer one-on-one sessions to members of the Academy. The Academy is a wonderful support to moms in many different circumstances, I’d love to have you join us there. I love getting to know my community and hope to see you there soon!
Frequently Asked Questions
What if my workflow isn't working like I thought it would?
That’s ok! Sometimes we find that life doesn’t go the way we thought it would. What is important is you are being intentional! The main thing to figure out is why. Why is your workflow not working? You need to get specific. When you know why, then you can make targeted tweaks and take steps towards a system that works for you.
If you are stuck with how to fix something, ask questions in the Facebook group! The group is full of supportive mommas all working towards a life free from overwhelm and we love helping each other.