How to be more productive in your coaching business
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I often have people say I look really busy, or ask me how I manage to get so much done which I definitely see as a complement!
However, the truth behind what they see, is that I only work about 25-30 hours a week, often much much less (when I have maternity appointments, are seeing friends during the week etc). I still manage to get lots done because over the years I’ve found ways to really maximise my productivity.
This is important to me because over the lifetime of my business I’ve either been working around a full time job, being a new mum, working around my sons childcare, and now I work around his school hours but with another baby on the way I’ll be working a lot less again!
I think the flexibility of working is what attracts many of us to become coaches (alongside helping others of course), so thinking about what you can do to be productive in the time you have can be really helpful.
This is definitely not about hustle culture or comparing yourself to others. I always like to approach things in a wholehearted way, and that means working with what feels good and natural to you, rather than trying to ‘copy’ off what seems to be working for others.
So here’s a few tips which have helped me, but which you can also hopefully apply to your own situation and your own best and natural way of doing things.
Let go of what isn’t working
Over the last year or so I’ve dropped a number of business projects. These were all hard decisions to make, but I knew we were trying for a baby and something had to give, especially for the future. By letting go of things that aren’t working or that don’t contribute to your overall vision for success you’re able to focus more on the tasks that are going to get you the results you want.
Know where to focus your energy
One of my best tips is to have a focus. I cover this in my Superstar Strategy inside the Wholehearted Planning Framework, but in a nutshell it’s about firstly focusing on having one key platform in terms of your marketing. So instead of trying to master Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest all at once, you might decide to put 90% of your effort into Instagram and get that working for you before you add in another platform. I’m present on a few different platforms, but I know where my focus is. For my wellbeing business my focus is Blogging and Pinterest, for my business mentoring work my focus is showing up consistently in my new Facebook group, with Instagram just for fun!
Go with the flow
I’ve tried to stick to rigid schedules in the past, but what I’ve discovered is that I get so much more done when I go with the flow of where my energy is at – so if I really feel like writing a blog post but I have an email to write on my list, if I can, I’ll do what I’m in the mood to do! I do like to have themed days (see below) but they are generally quite flexible.
Sometimes of course I need to do tasks that I don’t feel that in the flow with because they need doing or I have a deadline, but I try and spend at least 50% of my time on tasks that I feel in flow with.
Have themed days
In my business Mondays are marketing and admin days, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are client work days (where I see clients, run group calls and work on client projects like websites), Thursdays are business development days so I might work on a new programme or some kind of creation etc. Fridays I try to keep very flexible – sometimes if I’m behind on client work I’ll do that, sometimes I’ll take a day off, or I’ll do some planning.
You can also extend this concept by batching tasks – so doing the same or similar tasks all at once. For example you could batch all of your Instagram content for the whole month or write several blog posts in one go. This is usually thought to help with productivity because the more you get your mind to ‘switch tasks’ the more energy and focus is lost. Personally I struggle with batching in that way, but having themed days helps. I find it especially useful to only have client sessions on two days a week as I really love having whole days to get stuck into tasks rather than have them broken up by meetings.
Know where your zone of genius is
To be honest I’m not the biggest fan of the term ‘zone of genius’ because I probably wouldn’t consider myself to be a real ‘genius’ at anything! But I do know there are some business tasks I am better at than others. By focusing on those and outsourcing, automating or eliminating the others I’m able to get much more done. My fave business tasks are engaging with people in 1-2-1 or group coaching sessions, creating things – new opt ins, courses and programmes, blog posts etc and doing live video. I’m not the biggest fan of finances or having to answer lots of emails, two things I outsource to a certain degree!
Use automation to your advantage
In the online world we’re lucky to have access to a bunch of tools that can make our work so much easier and more streamlined! From scheduling tools for social media (I love Planoly), being able to create and schedule automatic email sequences (I love Convertkit), scheduling and managing your Pinterest account (I love Tailwind) to Zapier which can do all sorts of awesome tasks – think about your business processes and see what can be automated!
Have a plan
I’m a big fan of being organised and having a plan for my business. I cover all of my business planning and productivity tips in my Wholehearted Planning Framework. Having a plan means you’re more likely to work in a focused way as supposed to wasting time on tasks that aren’t going to move your business forward. I would literally be lost if I didn’t have my plan!
Have processes for repeated tasks
For certain tasks it can be super helpful to have processes in place so whenever you have to repeat that task you have a ‘template’ you can use to save you time.
This can be applied in lots of different ways, for example:
- I have a template for creating my Pinnable image graphic for blog posts
- I have a process for creating and promoting new blog posts (a checklist)
- I have a template for my quarterly plan
- I have a process for working with clients in my Kickstarter programme
- I have a process for creating, launching and funnelling a new programme
- I have a process for writing and designing sales pages
- I have a process for using Facebook ads
Some of these are written down as checklists etc, others I’ve just done that many times I know the process inside out and back to front, but either way, having a process saves me a tonne of time!
Know what you need to work at your best
I work from home, but it’s not always the most productive place for me! Usually I can get a lot done at home but every so often I’ll go a little stir crazy and need to mix it up! Sometimes I change where in the house I’m working (desk / sofa / dining table) or I’ll just go to a coffee shop.
Another thing to be aware of is when you might just need to have a break – this might be having a lunchtime walk, or just stopping for half an hour to read your book.
Another important part of this is to give yourself longer breaks too! I used to be rubbish at taking proper holidays from my business, but then I started looking at taking breaks and the wider impact on my productivity and creativity. Sometimes you just need a break so you can return more inspired and motivated than before!
I hope these tips have been helpful and inspired you to find ways of working that are more productive so you can get more done in less time!
How productive do you feel in your business? Which tip will you try?
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