We all have those things that are on our to-do list that get carried over week to week to week, or into the month, or even into the next year.
In today’s episode, I’m sharing all about how to finally stop procrastinating on those things and how to GET STUFF DONE!
You know the saying, “if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it?” Well, I think you could also say “if you want something done, ask a pregnant woman to do it!”
I’m just a couple weeks out from my due date with baby #3 (not to mention I’ve been anticipating an early labor for a couple weeks now), add to that spring cleaning season… and these nesting vibes are out of this world!
I’m going to share this kind of funny example for you but obviously, I don’t recommend getting pregnant in order to be productive – while effective, it’s not exactly the easiest way to get things done.
So tune in and I’ll share my 3 tips (technically 4 tips) to finally stop putting things off and instead, getting things done.
I’ve always found being an entrepreneur makes things like vacations and maternity leaves a little trickier- it’s not a standard “X weeks off” – I try to set healthy boundaries, but a founder always has eyes on her business.
With my first two children, I dove back into emails and client meetings a bit sooner than I probably should have (I didn’t know better and wanted to juggle all the things!). I didn’t have the fulltime team or support like I do now.
There is a perk to having more time and experience – both in motherhood and business. This time around, I’m feeling so good about being able to really relax and enjoy the fourth trimester.
But interestingly, I felt so much freedom that I manufactured some constraint for myself. That’s right- I couldn’t just sit and relax for weeks leading up to this looming due date. I just had to create some more work for myself.
And that’s when I decided to take on two really big projects that I’ve been putting off for more than a year – and decided to start & finish them within just a few weeks!
The first thing was re-vamping & re-launching my online PR program, AMPLIFY.
It is something clients and people ask me for all the time, but since it’s not my main service (my agency and done for you services are my focus), I just haven’t prioritized doing it. Even though I know it’s something I need to do!
And this is no small undertaking. Here’s a quick look at all the things I had to do:
- Redesign all the landing and sales pages
- Reformat the whole program structure- Modules, lessons, slides, case studies/trainings, etc.
- Record all new lessons
- Create new bonus lessons
- Design new graphics
- Redesign the entire backend member’s area
- Restart the FB group
- Create a course workbook (approximately 100 pages)
- Email people & actually sell the thing
And not only did I do all of that… but when I started this process, it made me realize how much I really needed to redesign my website too.
In the middle of a huge project, with very limited time to do it in and a huge deadline ahead, I also thought I should take on ONE MORE major project that has been on my to-do list for over a year.
So then, add to my list:
- Research new web platforms (because I decided I wanted to do this myself)
- Buy a template and customize it
- Learn the new software/platform
- Plug-in team members where needed
- Figure out how to migrate all our podcasts + blogs
- Integrate all my software into the new site, like email marketing, lead magnets, etc.
- Oh, notice that lead magnets could use updating- so let’s just do that while we’re at it
- Oh, this email sequence could also use a revamp…
Are you feeling crazy yet just reading this train of thought? 😀
Not to mention, my normal pregnancy nesting stuff, like:
- Shopping and organizing the pantry a dozen times
- Cleaning our cars
- Researching, shopping, decorating, and washing all the baby stuff
- Finding the perfect fit school for my daughter who has been homeschooling all year and getting her transitioned
- Take two sea salt baths a day (maybe not an absolute necessity but it sure has felt like it lately!)
And you know the crazy part?
If I had not had such an impactful deadline (hello, birthing a child and being very distracted on nothing else but newborn feedings and snuggles for a couple months after)…
I would have probably spent the entire year trying to do what I just accomplished in about 2.5 weeks. IF I did it at all.
Now, it’s true that there is something magical about the focus and motivation of a pregnant entrepreneur. She will get things done!
But, since having a baby isn’t the most effective way to get productive, I’ll share a few other tactics that I realize I have used frequently when tackling big projects.
1. Make a bold commitment
When I know I want to do something but I don’t have strong motivation to really get started, I will often make a big commitment that will ensure I get the thing done.
For example, this time around, I pitched myself to presenting a webinar to a group of hundreds of women entrepreneurs. This naturally meant I had to not only create the training, but I had to have an updated offer and a way they could work with me too.
Since my agency services are more specialized, I knew AMPLIFY was the program these business owners would need – and it was now my job to have it ready for them.
Another example is the time I knew I wanted to do more speaking opportunities but I didn’t really want to put myself out there and come up with the entire presentation, etc. So I pitched myself to be a keynote for a national conference… and landed it.
A national, paid speaking gig.
So you can bet I then had the fire to get the presentation done and make it happen!
Ask: What is a bold commitment you can make that will motivate you to take action?
2. Make your to-do list work for you
Most to-do lists will list the big thing or outcome.
And this is rarely effective because we know there are probably dozens of tiny tasks that need to happen to accomplish that big thing. So, instead of writing the “one big thing” – think of the very first little roadblock that is preventing you from getting started.
So instead of “Redesign Website” as the “to-do” or even the 50 smaller tasks it will take to accomplish it, you would instead write the very first thing that needs to happen that is holding you back.
Then actually make the time for doing that one thing and put it on the calendar.
For me, it was deciding on the platform I would use to host the new website. Once I did that, I was in momentum to keep moving forward.
Ask: What is the very first roadblock that is preventing me from getting started?
2.5 Limit your time
I added this tip as I was recording and I think it’s worth noting – having more constraint on your time can be your friend, not your enemy.
When I used to work 30-40 hours a week in my office with my team, I was less productive than I am now with only 5-10 hours to work.
Having limited time forces you to get clarity about what needs to get done, focused on scheduling each task out, and then making it happen.
Give yourself less time (for real- not pretend less time… like actually cut back your childcare or force yourself to work fewer hours) and watch your productivity skyrocket.
Ask: How would I accomplish this if I only had half the amount of time to get it done?
3. Proclaim what you’ll do – and what you won’t
Last, tell your team, your family, or whoever holds you accountable about the project and your timeline. Make it real. Don’t be wishy-washy.
Then, also make it known what you will not do instead. Chances are, you’re not going to magically find new time in your schedule to do this thing you’ve been putting off.
So, look at what you’re currently doing and decide what projects can be put on hold or postponed.
Don’t forget to look at time-wasters like TV, social media, and mindless errands or online shopping. You’ll be amazed at how much time you really do have.
It never fails – once you set your mind to doing something big, the universe will send you some distractions in the form of ‘hard to pass up invitations’ in your inbox or requests of your time.
I have a handy little script on how to say no that might come in handy if you’d like to watch below.
So there you have it!
- Make a bold commitment that will fire you up to get moving.
- Make your to-do list work for you by focusing on the very first roadblock action item
- Constrain your time
- Proclaim it and say no to the rest
Or…. just have a baby.
Thanks for tuning in – if this was helpful, please share it with someone else who could use this advice and tag me @emilyrichett so I can cheer you on! I really appreciate the support and wish you the best in tackling those big projects.
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