I woke up today 7:45 and after a quick shower and make up I put on a nice top, earrings and yup, yoga pants (it makes sense, I promise). I went downstairs to make myself raspberry tea and cleaned the area immediately visible behind me for a video call at 8 am. I gave hugs to kids before their dad took them to nursery and school and I started the call.

After an almost 2 hour call (see? no one knew until now about yoga pants) I had a break and a breakfast. I worked for another 2 hours and I had delicious lunch after which I checked social media accounts for my clients to make sure everything scheduled went out as planned.

I picked up my kids from school at 3pm and we leisurely walked back enjoyed rare sunny day here in UK.

Sounds nice, right? Yes, it was a nice change from my usual frantic days. Last couple months I was involved in 3 big launches for my clients, launching 2 new websites and on top of it I lost my voice so I couldn’t do any of my planned webinars or podcasts.

Thing is, if you have your own business you chose your own hours and your own rhythms. I was reminded today once again by a good friend that I shouldn’t try to manage time (with my to do list it’s never enough time) but I should manage my energy instead.

Why? Because I have to grudgingly admit that despite my usual working patterns (late, late nights people) waking up early means that I do my best work when I have still the most of my energy.  Multiple studies proved that making hundreds of small decisions wears out our ability to ficus and to think creatively. And I mean small decisions as what to pack for kids school snack, what they should wear, what I should wear, what they will eat for lunch – never mind the multiple work related issues. It kills your productivity.

We all have the same amount of time so why some people manage to achieve so much?

They manage their energy, instead of time.

They chose wisely between tasks that steal the energy and those that replenish it.

For instance I love calls with my clients – but I am wiped out afterwards. I give away so much during calls, I need to plan my day to alternate tasks that take away my energy and I need to make sure that I plan my most important tasks for the day during times I know I have plenty of energy. I talked with many coaches and creatives and they experience the same issue – even if you could schedule 5 hours of calls back to back…it drains you so much emotionally that’s it’s rarely good idea. I work some of my evenings but I usually just leave fun tasks – like being active in groups or responding to comments on my Instagram and Facebook posts.

Miracle morning routine

My morning routine doesn’t take long, because my longer ones only led to frustration when interrupted by kids. They do have an uncanny knack for waking up when I am up. So I swapped things over and my usual days start with tea – than the morning madness ensues with filling up last minute forms and packing snacks for them and I do my real routine after they left the house. The quiet feels lovely;)

This month special section on my printable Success Habits Planner helps you define your own morning routine. Chose 3 things that would make your mornings special. Not super productive mind you – but special. We work so hard, always so busy –  you need to bring that morning magic back into your life.

Weekly routine

I also suggest you batch your tasks and create a weekly routine – I do finance and admin tasks on Tuesdays, because it’s a short work day for me as my little girls is home with me that day. So I usually do 3 x 45 min blocks and don’t stress over it until next Tuesday. On Thursdays and Fridays I have meetings with clients and Wednesdays are taken over by all social media and PR prep tasks.

When you work for yourself there is no one who can tell you how to structure your days, and sometimes it feels like freedom and sometimes it makes you feel like you work all the time. Creating a routine like that helps you in creating self imposed boundaries, so you can avoid burn out. It is also very efficient.

I hope you’ll enjoy this month planner (yes, in case you are wondering, I love tracking my social media stats;)

What are your productivity hacks? Do you have a set routine or do you just work whenever you feel like it?

ps. There was no webinar this month but I still have a treat for you!

Marta Krasnodebska New Media Europe Podcast NMEUI had a great pleasure and huge honour to be interviewed by Izabela Russell for the excellent New Media Europe Podcast.
In this episode we chat about the freedom that entrepreneurship can buy you. The fact that you can work from anywhere and it doesn’t impact you or your clients – and why you should design your business to work around your lifestyle, not the opposite. 

I would love to hear your thoughts, feedback – good and bad! (Twitter is best for it, you can find me here: @movaboltd )

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