In order to maximise productivity in our business, we need structure. And by structure I mean a vision, a plan that allows us to bring that vision to life, and systems in place that support us in our creative endeavours.
For a long time I resisted implementing structure in my business. I saw myself as being a free spirit who only wanted to create when inspiration hit. Lemme just say - that didn't get me very far. In fact, this 'fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-and-trust-that-the-universe-will-provide' mentality is one of the key reasons why my attempts at running businesses failed in the past. You can read the rest of the reasons here.
What I'm beginning to understand more and more though, through my own work and through the work of other successful babes in biz who I admire, is that structure is absolutely necessary.
Structure gives us direction.
It ensures our actions are aligned with our larger vision.
It saves us a tonne of time.
It creates a lot of free space in our mind.
It increases our productivity.
Now, if you're someone who cringes at the thought of implementing structure in your business, never fear honey. Unfortunately, in our masculine dominated work culture, structure is often associated with words and feelings like, 'rigid', 'lacking creative freedom and expression', 'suffocating' and 'stifling'. But it doesn't have to be. It all comes down to knowing yourself and what conditions you and your business need to thrive. It's an individual journey and what structure looks like in your business will differ greatly from what it looks like in mine.
Here's how I implement structure in my business:
I prepare content creation plans for the proceeding three months. These plans are basic and 'loose' and gift me a visible representation of what I have coming up and how I can utilise my weekly content creation activities to funnel into my paid offerings. My simple excel spreadsheet outlines:
The topic of my blog post for that week
The topic of my newsletter for that week
The topic of my YouTube and Instagram TV video for that week (this is a brand new addition!)
What offerings I have coming up (such as events, workshops and the freebies I offer to my VIP's. You can become a VIP here)
I batch my social media copy. This has revolutionised my business and made my sharing intentional and relevant to my ideal clients
I put time aside in my calendar to create. On Mondays I write blog posts. On Wednesdays I send newsletters. On Thursdays I record my IG TV video. On Friday's I batch my social media content for the coming week
I allocate days of the week to different biz building activities like connecting on social media, offering support in Facebook groups, reaching out to like minded biz babes, planning for the week ahead, etc. I find that when I don't allocate time to doing these things, they simply don't happen and if they do, it's sporadic and ineffective. It's amazing what 10 minutes of intentionally spent time every day can do for the growth of your business!
I create a realistic and flexible daily to-do list. As much as I love working in my business, I'm not someone who can work and work and work for hours on end. Ideally, I only like to work 6 to 7 hours per day and I'm far more productive when I have set tasks. I use Google Calendar as a rough guide (so I know what the heck needs to be done - haha) but also invite in a lot of flexibility. Mid morning yoga classes are my new favourite thing to do and although this isn't something I lock into my calendar, I allow enough space for it to happen should I feel called to.
Remember honey - creating structure in your business doesn't have to feel rigid of suffocating.
In fact, structure gifts me:
More time - because I waste less time thinking about what I want to write about and share on my blog, in my newsletters and on social media
More space in my mind - because I'm not wasting my precious brain space switching between left and right brain activities (creating a plan vs creating)
More productivity - because my days have a rough outline, I have direction and my activities are purposeful and intentional ..
.. and for me, these things feel spacious and freeing!
Creating a structure that works for you is imperative. Maybe you need more structure than me. Maybe you need less. Only you will know. The beauty of running your own business is that you get to choose where you focus your energies, how often you share, which platforms you use and how often you want to create. Running a business is meant to be enjoyable so make your business work for you, not against you honey! Creating structure in your business will help you do just this!