Business

  • How to have a CEO Day in your business

    Do you have a CEO day in your business? Having a CEO day plays a huge role in growing your business to new levels.

    Have you heard of CEO days, or do you have CEO days in your business? If you haven’t heard of CEO days, maybe you’ve been having back-to-back client calls, 12-hour days filled with busy work as you manage the day-to-day operations of your business. All this is normal.

    Obviously, there are ways to streamline your business so that you are not always in the hustle mode. But it is also important to have time for thinking and time for white space. White space happens when you take a step back to; strategize, think, reflect and plan, and not just always being in hustle mode. 

    Having a CEO day would be an amazing idea for you if you seldom have the time to slow down. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase that sometimes we just need to slow down in our businesses to speed up. Because, when we are always busy and on the go, it’s difficult to take a step back and see whether the work we are putting in is aligned with our long-term vision and strategy for your business.

    What exactly is a CEO day?

    A CEO day is a really amazing way of keeping yourself in check with that strategy. Basically, a CEO day time that you set aside in your calendar to work on your business, as opposed to in your business which is what we typically do most of the time. It is the self-care version for your business that you would typically have for yourself as a person.

    This is not about catching up with client work, batching your content, or catching up with your team and to make sure that everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing. This is “You” time for your business. 

    How to structure your CEO days

    Step 1: Pick your preferred day of the week

    You have to be intentional! CEO Days will not happen for your business if you don’t make time for it. In the same way that self-care doesn’t just happen for ourselves if we don’t make time for it. I like to block out a day in my calendar every single week, and it doesn’t have to be a full day. Especially, if you are running your business with a 9-5, it could just be one or two hours as a start. 

    So, block out some time in your calendar and make sure it is very clear what that time is for i.e., CEO Day. The other things I avoid doing my CEO days are meetings, team follow-ups or collaborations. I really just want to dial in and focus on my business on that day. And for me, my CEO day happens on Mondays!

    Step 2: Plan in advance

    Don’t wake up on your CEO day and just ‘wing’ it. Take some time the day before your CEO day, or after your CEO day and come up with 1-3 things you want to focus on the next CEO day.

    And if you want to elevate it and add some fun to it, you can even go somewhere quiet outside of your usual working space. You could go to a co-working space or make it a weekend solocation. Anything that will get you excited about your CEO day is a big plus!

    Step 3: Protect your CEO time

    The most important thing is to make sure that you are being very protective of this time. Because we don’t have the time to do that on a day-to-day basis. 

    Try not to postpone or procrastinate about it because this is really your business’s version of self-care. And if you’re not making that time for self-care, you are going to be in this constant spiral of being busy all the time. Remember, if you can’t take that time to take the step back and really have that overview of your business and where it’s going, no one else is going to be able to do that.

    11 ideas for your CEO Day

    Here are a few ideas on activities that you can do on your CEO Day. 

    1. Follow up with leads that you know you’ve had in your business, but you haven’t had the time to follow up with them.
    2. Develop with new product ideas. 
    3. Develop business growth ideas.
    4. Reflect on your strategy, performance & anything else that has been on your mind of late
    5. Plan out your next quarter. Especially if you only plan out your quarter when the quarter starts, which is not the most optimal way of planning. Learn more about quarterly planning here.
    6. You could also do some digital organization, maybe your digital workspace hasn’t had some self-care in a while. And your downloads folder is not looking good. This is a good time to do that. 
    7. Clean up your backend: Check that your systems are working properly. Maybe there’s a system or a tool that you’ve been wanting to incorporate in your business and you know it’s going to help you save some time. This is a good time to look into that. 
    8. You could even do some mindset work which is so key as a business owner. Take time to journal and take stock of how you’re feeling about your business.
    9. Anything you don’t like about your business that you want to change? This is the time to do that reflection.
    10. This is the time to check in with your overall long-term vision and see where you are at right now, in comparison to what you had planned for your vision at the start of the year or at the start of the quarter.
    11. Lastly, you could just take the time to rest. It has been proven psychologically that rest is an important part of being productive and being the best version of yourself. 

    I hope this inspires you to start having your CEO Days or hours. And I would love to know how it goes. You can share your experience with me on Instagram. Listen to the full podcast episode here.

    Do you have a CEO day in your business? Having a CEO day plays a huge role in growing your business to new levels.

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  • How to declutter your digital workspace

    Nobody likes a cluttered workspace. The same applies to our digital workspace. Here's a step by step guide on how to declutter your digital workspace.

    Today I want to give a few tips on something that I know we could all do better and it’s something we all need to do as well. That is how to declutter and keep a clean digital workspace. If you are a business owner, you probably spend 80% of your time working on your business.

    Most of which is within your digital workspace in one form or another. Whether it is on your laptop or on your Google Chrome, where you are toggling in between different tabs, you definitely spend a majority of your time in your digital workspace. 

    How does it feel to have a cluttered workspace?

    Now, how does it feel when you know that there is a cupboard or a room in your house, which hasn’t been organized or cleared from things you don’t need? It brings some sense of anxiety or unease, right? That’s how I feel as well when it comes to my digital workspace when I know that I haven’t cleaned it up.

    Or when I know that I have 1,001 files in my downloads folder that are disorganized and I probably won’t use or open half of those ever again. It kind of gives me this feeling of unease like there’s something that I know needs to be done, but I just keep procrastinating on it. And I know one day I will have to open that download folder and look for a really important file or folder. And I kind of dread when that time comes.

    So, it is totally okay to feel that sense of unease or overwhelm or not even wanting to think about that cupboard that is just going to come tumbling down when it comes to your digital workspace. Whether that’s your downloads folder or your camera roll on your phone, or even the 1,001 tabs that are open on your phone or Google Chrome on your laptop.

    The effects of ignoring your digital clutter

    However, ignoring the digital clutter that is clouding your mind and keeping you feeling unease in your business, is just going to make the problem worse. Because at some point you are going to have to deal with it. At some point, it is going to stop you in your tracks from making progress. It could even result in habits that we do not want you to pick up. 

    Some of these habits include multitasking and having the multi-tabs syndrome. For me, that happens a lot! Because I am trying to look for things and then I have so many tabs open and then it’s so easy to get distracted. And then after half an hour, I’m like, okay, where did the half an hour ago and what have I done? So, we do not want that to be happening as a result of digital clutter. 

    Another thing that it could be causing, which you may not be aware of is the time that you are spending toggling between those tabs trying to find a file. And sometimes it could sound like it’s such a small amount of time. I mean, it’s just one minute, right? It really won’t make a big difference. However, when you start to add up the time, you’re spending toggling between those tabs, trying to find that file that you worked on three days ago, those minutes add up.

    I did a bit of math to just see how much time we spend trying to find files or toggling between taskbars. And how much time is wasted from doing these type of activities? And we really shouldn’t be wasting that time as the CEO in our business. Because we could be using that time on revenue-generating activities. 

    Let’s say you take two minutes every single day to find files or toggle between taskbars to find that one specific file that you need. Or to scroll on your camera, looking for that one specific graphic you want to post on your social media page. Two minutes doesn’t sound a lot.

    However, when you add it up, on an annual basis that comes to 32 hours. That is a whole work week that is spent every year just trying to look for files or trying to toggle between taskbars. And I’m not even counting the time that is wasted because of the habits that kick in. Such as, multi-tab syndrome or multitasking, which really wastes even much more time and really reduces your productivity.

    I hope you are now convinced that you need to declutter your digital workspace every so often. And I know it’s not the easiest of things to do. Just like decluttering your house isn’t the easiest of things to do. I know I have one or two cupboards out there that I have been procrastinating on for the longest time. But hopefully, I will get it done soon and this is a pep talk to me as well.

    Here are a few tips I would like to give before I even go into the process of how to actually detox and declutter your digital workspace.

    1. Don’t try to do it all at once.

    Even if you give yourself a day to do a digital cleanup exercise, you will not have finished everything by the end of that day. So, tackle it one step at a time. You could even declutter one area of your digital workspace at a time instead of trying to do it all at once. Give yourself some grace, because digital decluttering is something that we all have to do.

    There is no one who has this all under wraps and perfect. Every one of us has some form of digital clutter that needs to be dealt with. So do not beat yourself up because you have to do this. What I would say you should do is get into the habit of doing it often. So even if it’s just once a month, get into the habit of doing it. 

    Then you can even just commit to one hour a month for starts to do a digital cleanup. And there are people who are actually organizers of digital workspaces. So, if you want to just hand this over to someone else by all means do so. But if you do not have that ability, or want to get into the habit of cleaning up often, then commit yourself to just one hour a month to do a digital cleanup and organization.

    2. Compartmentalize the process

    Next, compartmentalize the process. In the same way, you don’t want to say, I am going to do a cleanup of my house and a decluttering exercise this weekend. And then what happens on Saturday morning? You just go back into bed and you’re like, maybe it will happen next weekend. But today I really don’t feel like doing it. Versus if you just thought of it in terms of one room at a time. So just think of it as I’m going to deal with the master bedroom today. And it is going to be a big, big win if I can actually do it. That sounds and feels so much less overwhelming and so much more doable than if you try to do the entire house at once. The same thing goes for your digital workspace. 

    The process of decluttering your digital workspace

    1. Cleaning up your offline workspace aka folders

    The first thing you want to do to declutter your digital workspace is cleaning up. When I am decluttering, I remove things that I don’t need from my downloads folder and cloud drives. I also delete duplicate photos and uninstall apps that I do not use. Well, that is clutter that can be easily cleaned up.

    This can take a long time if you haven’t done it in a while or you haven’t done this at all since you started working on your business. However, you want to do the cleanup first, before you start organizing things. Because if you start organizing amazing things that you don’t even need, I mean, that doesn’t make sense, right?

    Have you watched home decluttering and cleaning TV shows? The first thing they do removing things and cleaning up the mess. Removing things that haven’t been used in the last probably six months and getting rid of things that they know won’t be used again.

    2. Cleaning up your online workspace

    Then you want to do a cleanup of your online workspace. So, the folders are more of your offline workspace. Your online workspace includes; Google Chrome or Safari or any other browser you use. Do a cleanup of that.

    The first thing you can do is clear your browsing history, clear the cache, and then remove any passwords that you do not use. Remove any bookmarks and shortcuts that you do not use. Just clean it up completely. And if you haven’t used it in the last three to six months, chances are you are not going to use it again. 

    The same goes for your email inbox. If you have 1,923 unread emails mark them all as read. This will help you organize your inbox easily. Should you want to go back to those emails later, they’ll still be there. But chances are, you are not going to go back to them. That way, you don’t have that number staring at you and making you feel a sense of anxiety.

    3. Organizing your files

    The next step to declutter your digital workspace is to organize your files. Have a consistent hierarchy across all your different folders or all your different workspaces where you save and store files.

    I have a hierarchy on my Google drive that I replicate on my laptop in terms of the main folders. Have the same folder structure across your business so that you don’t have to think twice when you have to try and locate specific files.

    How I do it is I use the four core areas of the business to organize and create that hierarchy. In my case, the four core areas of business that I have replicated onto my folder structure is; Operations, client management, marketing and product & service delivery.

    I have a main folder for each of these core areas of business. And then within those folders, I do have some subfolders. But the main aim is to make sure that your files all have a home to stay in. You do not want any files that are just hanging and lurking around. That could cause you unnecessary overwhelm or anxiety.

    Nobody likes a cluttered workspace. The same applies to our digital workspace. Here's a step by step guide on how to declutter your digital workspace.

    How to ensure you stick to the organization hierarchy

    1. Changing your browser download settings

    The next thing is to ensure that you actually stick to the organization hierarchy. One of the things I noticed last week, is to make sure that every time I try and download something from Google Chrome, it asks me where I want to save it.

    Instead of just clicking download and it goes straight to the downloads folder. Otherwise, that just clogs up your downloads folder and creates even more anxiety, especially when you’re trying to find something. 

    Change your Google Chrome settings so that every time you try and download a file, it asks you where you’d want to save it, and immediately save it to its rightful home. 

    2. Email Inbox Management

    Managing your inbox is vital when it comes to decluttering your digital workspace. At this point ensure that you have marked all your old unread emails as read, and you have tried to delete the emails that you know, you’re not going to look at.

    The next thing you want to do is to, unsubscribe from any newsletters that you have not opened in the last two to three months, even one to two months. If you haven’t opened it, chances are you won’t open it. Or it is just not useful for you at this point in time.

    And you can always resubscribe to people’s newsletters. Unsubscribing from someone’s newsletter now does not mean you are divorcing them forever. It just means that it’s not the right time for you to be consuming their content. So why do you want to clog up your inbox with their content when you are not even consuming it?

    3. Creating filters  

    Then you want to make sure you create filters for emails you receive often for them to go to a specific folder. If you know that you do not need to read that email, but you know, you need to receive it create a filter. For example, invoices that are coming through, create a filter and have a folder for those invoices. And then at the end of the month, you can deal with them or your accountant can deal with them if you have one.

    PRO TIP:

    You can actually create an automation such that for every email that comes from a specific person, the files that are in those emails are saved onto a folder in Google drive. So, you never have to even open those emails. 

    4. Reduce the number of times you check your email

    Then as a general rule of thumb, reduce the number of times you check your emails on a daily basis. Try and start with two times a day and then gradually reduce that to once a day. Because you do not need to be in your inbox all the time. I know it kind of feels like fear of missing out but there is nothing that is so urgent that requires you to be in your inbox more than twice. 

    Set auto-responder if you want to keep people at ease when it comes to your response time. Set an autoresponder in your email that lets people know that you only read your emails once a day. You could also include some frequently asked questions in the autoresponder.

    This could instantly save time because maybe someone is sending an inquiry and your FAQs section on your autoresponder could actually give them the information they need. At the same time, people will know and expect that okay, she’s not going to look at my email immediately. But if she hasn’t responded within the next 48 hours, then I can send a follow-up. That way, it’s a win on them because you’ve managed the expectations. It’s a win on you because you’ve minimized the time you are in your inbox and you are spending that time on more productive activities.

    5. Set a specific time to act on your emails

    Lastly, try and have a specific time when you act on your emails. You could be looking at your emails once a day. But the fact that you are reading your email does not mean you need to do that action immediately. Instead, you could create a task in your task management tool to act on that email at a specific time in the future. When you know it is going to be the time to be working on those specific tasks. So never ever feel that you need to act on emails immediately. This is especially if you’ve already managed the expectations of the people who are sending you emails by setting that auto-response.

    In conclusion,

    I hope you have found this helpful. Remember, take it one step at a time. Just commit to one hour a month, or even better one hour a week to declutter your digital workspace. Also, try and do it as often as possible so that you don’t get into that phase of overwhelm and you don’t adopt unneeded habits. Because being in your inbox all the time all is not a CEO activity. Multitasking across different tabs is not something that CEOs who are scaling their businesses do.

    If you have any questions specifically on decluttering and detoxing your digital workspace, drop them here.

    Listen to the podcast here.

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  • How to maximize your productivity with cycle syncing

    I’m so, so excited about today’s interview, because I have the amazing Sarah Blake as my guest. I’ve always been curious to understand and learn what working in flow has to do with your hormonal cycle. This is why I invited Sarah as she’s able to share with us about what cycle syncing has to do with productivity in our business. Sarah Blake is a cyclical living guide and she teaches female entrepreneurs how to harness their hormonal cycle and the cycles of nature. So, they can create lives and businesses with less force and more flow. 

    Hi Sarah, so excited to interview you today. Tell us about yourself and your business 

    I am a cyclical living guide. What this means is that I help women to connect to their menstrual cycle and also the cycles of nature to understand how their energetic ebbs and flows work. For them use that to plan their lives and businesses with more flow. 

    It takes a lot of energy to start or even run a business on a full-time basis or as a side hustle. And it can get to a point where you really resent your business, if you are not being smart about the way you use your energy. This is why it’s vital to understand how your energy works in a cycle. I think this is just such important and powerful information and it’s really what I teach, share and guide people through.

    What exactly is cycle syncing in relation to productivity?

    Cycle syncing with your productivity and business is all about, first of all, understanding how you personally feel in each phase of the cycle. Then adjusting your activities around that. Overall, the cycle that we experience; we have a low energy phase, a rising energy phase, a peak energy phase, and then a decreasing energy phase. Of course, the low energy phase is when we’re menstruating. 

    The ovulation phase is our highest energy phase. And so, what we can do when we understand that roadmap is that we can plan our highest energy activities. Activities such as interviews, running launches and doing promotions. We can do all of that when we know we have our highest energy. 

    Then we can plan ahead so that in our lower energy time, we’re doing more inner work. We’re doing more big picture visioning and everything that comes in between. 

    It all starts with the awareness of the phases. Then it goes to understanding how you personally feel, because I can’t tell you exactly how you’re going to feel and what your energetic capacity is going to be. I can only give you an overall picture of it. 

    But what I’ve found is really powerful with my clients, students and my programs is that they make it personalized. Because we all have different businesses. Some of us have these really big, energetic launches maybe like a few times a year. While others are selling things regularly, because let’s say we have more of an evergreen model. And so it’s all about figuring out what works best for you, but with the foundation of knowledge about our bodies. 

    How exactly does the level of our different hormones impact our creativity and productivity? 

    Let’s start with the menstrual phase, cause we’re all familiar with that.

    Menstrual phase

    We all know what it feels like to get our periods. And for some of us we have a better or worse relationship depending on our health history and things like that. But most of us are familiar with being a little bit more tired, being a little bit less interested in doing the heavier work. What’s actually happening in this phase is we have our lowest concentration of hormones. And that actually is why we experience these energetic lows. 

    And so what that means is when we have really low hormone levels which is natural in that phase. We’re more tired, so we’re not drawn to productivity. We’re drawn to rest. What’s so interesting is that in our brains, we have this unique connection between both hemispheres of our brains. Which are the thinking side and the feeling side and that allows us to be really intuitive at that time. 

    What’s so beautiful about this phase is that we have the ability to really go inwards.

    Create visions and think about what we really want and not necessarily take action. But just do an evaluation because we have these low hormones supporting us.

    Follicular phase

    And then in the next phase, as estrogen rises, estrogen is really that like creative juice that we run on. A couple of days after our period, you’ve probably experienced this where you feel your energy returning, right? YES YES! And, and you suddenly are like, okay, I’m ready to start things. A lot of people characterize this as feeling like spring. It’s like springtime, energy coming to life again. 

    What’s so wonderful about estrogen is it allows us to be really good at starting and taking action and putting that energetic output out there. It’s also really good for some of the more spatial activities such as design and planning things. It’s really good for us to kind of see the whole picture and figure out how the pieces go together. So that’s really useful because it’s like we have this beginning, low energy phase. We’ve had our evaluation and now we’re ready to start projects.

    Ovulation phase

    During the ovulation phase, we have testosterone come in at this time. Testosterone is what we usually see as a more masculine hormone. But it allows us to be a bit more of a go-getter. And this is a great time to sell. Because we are very good at communicating. We have these high communication powers and we’re also a little bit more assertive. 

    We feel good about it! Because we feel like we have the hormonal support to talk to people, to communicate, to sell our offers and promote ourselves. 

    Luteal phase

    Next, we have progesterone come at the end. After we ovulate, progesterone is the hormone that comes in. This is also known as our luteal phase. This is that fall energy. Because it’s about shutting things down as we prepare for another menstrual phase and our energy decreases. Well, progesterone is really wonderful at helping us to be focused and detail oriented.

    What’s great about that is all the projects we started in our follicular phase, in that springtime energy, now we have hormonal support to help us finish things. And we finish them right before we go back to our resting phase, which is the menstrual phase. It’s so beautiful. We have this entire roadmap of resting, starting, communicating, and selling and promoting, and then completing. And that’s built into our bodies! 

    What’s the best way to balance our masculine ways of working with structure and femininity, where we work more in flow and with less force?

    Here, the key is that your structures are supporting you. Not that your structures are just another way to tick off a bunch of boxes. Sometimes we feel very beholden to our structures. Like if I don’t do these five things today, then I’m a failure. And the reality is. The reason we have systems and structures and processes is to make things easier! Actually, the structures are there to support the flow.

    Whether your structure is a certain way that you organize your day or whether it’s an automation set up, or you have a way that you plan out your launches, all of those things are there to help you. 

    I really believe that we’re not there to support our structures. Our structures are there to support us. When thinking about creating plans and containers for the way you approach your day and business, you always want to be thinking of it from an angle of, is this going to help me to be in my flow? It’s not about just doing a thing to do a thing. There are those of us who haven’t heard about this and are used to hearing about the masculine hustle kind of way of approaching things. 

    We may just be used to achieving to achieve. Just to show ourselves that we’re doing things. I know you talk about this in your content too. Just because you’re doing something doesn’t mean you’re actually being productive. You have to figure out which activities are really helping move the needle and with the highest leverage for you. And I think that’s where we align really well. It’s about, is the structure making things easier for me or is it making things more stressful? 

    How do you balance the traditional ways of working and doing business around your menstrual phase? Most of the times, the ways of working are structured around the male ‘cycle’ where you are expected to be at peak productivity and performance all day, every day?

    This is a really good question because it’s so grounded in reality. 

    I think sometimes when people “just bring more flow into your life”. 

    They think “How is that possible?”

    It can feel like it’s so out of reach. What I’d like to say about the corporate culture and the corporate aspect is; Some of us have this expectation to perform at the same level every day. What I think is really important and something I teach is at least structuring your self-care around your cycle. Meaning that you’re sleeping more. Or you’re having more restful, nurturing self-care in your lower energy phases. 

    And then in your higher energy phases, you’re allowing yourself to be more social. Maybe to get on sales calls. Because you might find that in your ovulation phase even at the end of the day, you still have some energy left in the tank. Maybe you could go live on Instagram. Or write a blog post or whatever it is that’s helpful. It’s really important first to just make sure that you’re aware of your phases, and that your self-care and expectations are around your cycle. 

    Something else to note is having support from your partner and family are really important too. If you have your partner or husband let them know you are at a lower energy phase. Meaning you’re going to need more help because, you have to prioritize your time and energy. A lot of men don’t really know about these phases they don’t experience them. They’re not really clued in unless we communicate it. I think that the support is really important.

    Finally, you can structure your business, like we were talking about earlier. Where you allow yourself to do more inward and sort of relaxed, low energy work in those low energy phases. Then do most of your high energy work in your higher energy phases. What can happen is that, you naturally go along with your body and you just show up at the level of energy you have that day. Some days you’re not going to have high energy. That doesn’t mean you don’t show up for your business. You just show up for your business at 50%.

    I have also been a piano teacher for several years. This is something I do in addition to my work with cyclical living. I teach piano in the same schedule every single week, no matter what phase I’m in. And sometimes my students get the highest, most enthusiastic version of me. And sometimes they get me at my lower energy phase. 

    The reality about that is I think it’s actually beautiful. Because it sets up an expectation for my students and for your communities and everybody that we serve that we don’t have to be so on fire all the time. Sometimes we can still show up and we can still be in our lower energy state and allow that to be enough. It’s all about just feeling like what we’re doing is enough.

    How can we start putting all this great information about cycle syncing and our productivity, into practice?

    It’s so important, to get started by really understanding your cycle and tracking it. There are different apps that people use. Some people still like to use some sort of calendar system. Whatever system you use, I often find that what women do is. They use it to know when their period is coming up or when they’re ovulating. But they don’t use it to check in about how they feel. What I really encourage women to do at the beginning is; to not only track what phase you’re in, what day of your cycle you’re in, but also make a note at the end of the day of how you felt that day. And specifically which tasks felt really good and felt like, yes, I can handle this. And which tasks, maybe you had some resistance towards. 

    But you need to figure out for yourself. I highly suggest spending one cycle, taking note of how you felt that day. That way, you can at least start to see the pattern. Then with this information what’s really helpful is that we plan to do our launches and release important projects into the world in those high energy phases. What I really like to encourage my students and clients is that they take the rest during their menstrual phase. And then they get into promotion mode right after.

    Often people do launches for one to two weeks. So, what you can do is that you do all of your pre-launch activity is in the high energy phase beforehand. For instance, let’s say we have a six-week plan; So, you’re putting all the content out and you’re promoting in your high energy phase currently. And then you take a little bit of a break. 

    Maybe you still have content going up, but it’s already been created and automated, take a little break. Then when you open the cart, try to have that open cart time or open doors time during your high energy phase. 

    Essentially, you have one high energy phase for warming people up and pre promoting things and just getting people aware. Then allow yourself a little break in between where, you just have automated posts.  Or maybe you have your team helping you or a virtual assistant. And then have the doors open again during that follicular and ovulation phase and then close the doors at the end! What’s so beautiful is that you’ll be in your luteal phase. Which is the time that’s all about finishing things. In that time, you’re just welcoming people into the program, closing things down, you’re slowing down a little bit.

    I think planning the peaks of our energy in our launches around those high energy phases. Then take time to evaluate what went well, what didn’t go well. A lot of us miss the evaluation. A lot of us kind of jumped to the next thing without evaluating, and sometimes we have really important information there. Take the time to evaluate. 

    During the next cycle again, you can choose what kind of promotion high energy activity or creation you’re going to do.  If you’re creating a course, think about the course during your menstrual phase. Then start planning it out during your follicular phase and then maybe fill in the content during your ovulation phase. This is also a great time to show up on video, doing Instagram lives or anything that requires us to be visible. Since we also have a beautiful glow that often happens during ovulation because our skin has higher collagen. Then in your luteal phase, you can finish things up. Maybe put them all into your course platform and then you’re done!

    We can use this whole process to plan anything. So it’s just about, knowing when is that going to happen for you? When are those different phases and what project are you working on and what different activities are required to execute that project? How are they going to fit in with your energy at that time?

    I think it’s so beautiful because it’s such a clear framework. Yes, it does require at least one cycle of just getting used to tracking and noticing and paying attention to how you feel. And, and then it allows you to anticipate for the future. 

    I love the way I launched because I’m pretty much always launching during my ovulation phase. It makes it so much easier. I’ve had like the most easy and fun launches. Because I plan them at a time when my energy is high. So, I don’t feel stressed or burnt out. And that’s been so supportive. And I think a lot of the time we may have the strategy and the mindset of what we need, but if we don’t have the physical energy…That’s something missing. That’s why the energetic support and what I teach is, is really one of the missing pieces. It’s like the final thing we put into place to really feel aligned with our business. 

    Thank you! Where can our audience learn more about you?

    Instagram: The best place to connect with me is on Instagram. I am there at Sarah0blake

    Website & Program: I also have a link to my website there, and there’s a button to the waitlist for my program; Flow create. It’s a program where I really walk women through this whole process of understanding their cycle. Also understanding things like nutrition and exercise. And how that goes along with sync cycle support. 

    Then I actually help them to plan their next project or launch in a very interactive way. I love this program because I do run it live, which I think is so important because a lot of the time this can be confusing if you’ve never done it before. Getting someone’s support and helping someone to walk through it with you is, has been really beneficial. If it’s not open when you read this, you can get on the waitlist and you can get more information there. 

    Listen to the podcast interview here

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  • How I use Asana to manage my coaching business

    Do you have a task management system to help manage your business? I use Asana to manage my business and it's been a game changer. Here's how I use it.

    Here’s one thing I can say for sure since I started using Asana: I have spent way less time toggling between tabs trying to multitask and remember what I need to do next. Managing my business with Asana has made it so much easier to stay focused on the things that actually matter while keeping everything in one place. 

    Basically, Asana has become the control tower in my business. And the best thing? It’s free! While Asana does have a paid version, the free version has a number of powerful features and functionalities that will see your productivity go up significantly while saving time that we all need more of.

    If you want to start setting up your Asana workspace, check out this blog post where I give all the steps to getting started with Asana within a day.

    Here are just a few ways I manage my coaching business with Asana:

    Client Management

    I manage all my client projects and interactions within  Asana. For each client, I create a new project within my Asana workspace and then invite the client as a collaborator. This enables them to view, edit and complete tasks that I assign to them.

    It’s also easy for me to share resources with them through the Google Drive integration that comes with Asana. This way, we only stay in one digital workspace. And my clients know that all communication with them should go through Asana.

    I use Asana to create reminders for our client calls and assign homework to them ahead of time. They get to ask questions for clarification through the tool and can share their completed homework on Asana. As a result, we stay out of email exchanges and increase our productivity overall. It’s a win-win for me and my clients!

    Other benefits of managing your client’s on Asana:

    • Create template projects that can be re-used for each client
    • Saves time in the onboarding process
    • Keeps communication in one place
    • Easy to automate accountability & follow-ups with client

    Content Creation & Repurposing

    Content creation is a big component of every online business. However, it can be extremely time-consuming without a proper system in place.

    This is why I manage this aspect of my business in Asana. I have created a content creation team and a number of projects within it on my  Asana workspace, including:

    • Content creation workflows
    • Content bank
    • A Content calendar

    I have workflows for each type of content so that I don’t have to create the process from scratch every single time. This helps save mental space and speeds up the process of creating content. 

    I can also assign steps within the content creation process that don’t require me to do, to my virtual assistant. With Asana I can easily track the tasks that I have assigned to someone else. 

    There is also a messaging functionality within each task that makes it easier to communicate about specific tasks with my team members.

    The calendar view option in Asana allows you to view your tasks in a calendar format. Making it a great tool to plan and schedule all content in one place. I have a single project that I use to schedule all my content, including my podcast, blog & Instagram content.

    This also allows me to easily repurpose content across my platforms, saving me even more time without having to create content from scratch for each platform.

    Live launches

    Launching can be extremely stressful without a clear plan and a way of keeping organized and tracking what’s going on.

    I manage all my launches within Asana. Whether it’s a new website, project, a Facebook challenge, my podcast, it all goes in Asana.

    I use Asana to assign tasks to people on my team. And any contractors I outsource work to before the launch. I can easily see what’s happening on a calendar, and drag and drop tasks while in Calendar view, to manage my workload on a daily basis. Dragging and dropping the tasks in the Calendar view automatically updates the due date to the date on which the task has been dropped.

    Team Management

    Say Goodbye to back-and-forth emails. Asana is the only app you need to communicate with your team members. I still use Slack, but 80% of our communication is within Asana, which makes it easy to track and follow up.

    It’s important to give your team members an orientation of how your business works, how you manage your team members and any other important information they need to know. You can create a workspace with general information about your business within Asana, making it easier for everyone to access one source of information.

    You can also create a hub for your Standard Operating Procedures and Operating framework within Asana. This way, your team members don’t have to waste time trying to find out how specific tasks are done, they can easily find the relevant SOP within Asana.

    If you need help setting up your SOPs and becoming a more organized business for your team to thrive in, let’s hop on a call and see how we can help you.

    Additional Team Management Perks

    Asana also makes it easy to manage your team members by;

    • Assigning them tasks & easily following up on them
    • Viewing and tracking all messages sent to you in a separate ‘inbox’
    • Ease of tagging team members in tasks
    • Use of the message feature functionality to communicate with everyone in a specific project, without having to mention them individually

    Pro tip: You can connect Slack with Asana, and use Slack as a primary messaging tool with your clients. Once you connect Slack and Asana, you can refer to tasks in Asana through Slack or vice versa. Making it easier to track communication and tasks related to the communication.

    Want help setting up your task management tool? Check out my VIP day where we map out your processes and create a systems setup plan to get your Asana workspace set up in 30 days.

    Do you have a task management system to help manage your business? I use Asana to manage my business and it's been a game changer. Here's how I use it.

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  • How to set up Asana for your online business

    Do you have a task management system for your business? It's not too late to get started! Here's a guide on how to set up Asana for your small business.

    If you aren’t using a task management system such as asana to manage your small business, you are missing out on a lot of time saved and productivity lost from using papers & emails to do so.

    Asana has become a central hub in my business, and since I started using it, I have eliminated:

    • To-do lists: Even though I plan my week ahead using my priority planner, my priorities eventually go onto Asana. And I use Asana to track them going forward
    • Notebooks & sticky notes: While I love good colour coded sticky notes, you’ll eventually outgrow them in managing the different moving parts of your business
    • Emails: I hardly ever send an email to a contractor or team member in my business. We communicate primarily through Asana and occasionally on Slack
    • Reminder apps: I have a personal project within my Asana workspace where I add all my errands and personal things that need to get done. I assign myself to each task and a date. That way, nothing falls through the cracks.

    As you can see, Asana is a powerful tool that you can use to replace at least 4-5 other apps/tools you may be using in your business. The problem with having so many different apps is that it gets confusing. And most times the apps don’t talk to each other. It also becomes overwhelming to have to open three different apps to figure out what you need to do everyday in your business.

    Asana eliminates the overwhelm, creating one central hub for everyone in your business to access and keep up with their tasks.

    The best thing? It’s free! There is a paid version, but you definitely do not need it to start streamlining your business today. 

    If you want to feel more organized and less scattered, here are the steps to get started with Asana in an hour:

    Step #1: Sign up for Asana

    You can either use your personal email or an email with a business domain to sign up for Asana. If you use an email with a business domain, you automatically get free access to adding 15 additional members to each of your projects for free. 

    Step #2: Decide on your organizational hierarchy

    Now it’s important to have a good idea of how you want to organize your Asana workspace. Asana is structured in 4 hierarchies:

    1. Teams: A team is a group of projects that belong to a similar area in your business. Think of teams as the main departments in your business, e.g. marketing, operations, clients, products
    2. Projects: A project belongs to a specific team in Asana. You could have more than one project in each team, depending on how similar or different the tasks in those projects are. For example, you may want to have a project for each product you have developed in your business. You may want to have a project for each social media platform you create content. 
    3. Lists: A list is a group of related tasks. Lists help you organize the tasks within your project. Making it easier to track, drag-and-drop and view your tasks based on the list in which the task belongs
    4. Tasks: A task is the actual activity that is tracked in Asana. You can assign people, dates, priorities, subtasks within tasks and many more options.

    The important thing to note is that there is no one size that fits all when it comes to your organizational hierarchy. Start simple, and build as you go along. You could also align your hierarchy to how you have organized your folders in your digital workspace. 

    Just make sure that you can easily track everything. Here’s an example of an organizational hierarchy for a small business in Asana:

    Do you have a task management system for your business? It's not too late to get started! Here's a guide on how to set up Asana for your small business.

    Step #3: Create your teams

    Once you have signed up and you have an outline of your hierarchy, you can start creating your teams. Click ‘Add Team’ to add a team.

    Step #4: Create your projects

    You can only create your projects once you have created your teams. Every project must belong to a team in Asana.

    Click on any team and click ‘Add Project’. You can either create a new project by;

    • using a template from the Asana library,
    • Creating a project from scratch (I use this option the most)
    • Creating a new project from a spreadsheet template (use this option if you have purchased done-for-you or downloaded our free team onboarding Asana template)

    Step #5: Add team members to your projects

    If you already have an existing team or contracts you have outsourced work to, it’s a good idea to get them set up in Asana. This way, you have one central place to manage your team and have a view of what everyone is working on.

    You can start by adding your team members to your workspace, and then adding them to specific projects or teams. This makes it more efficient for your team, especially contractors, as they only see projects and teams of which they are members. 

    You can also make projects private (no one in your organization will have access to a private project unless you invite them).

    PRO Tip: Once you have gotten comfortable with Asana, you can integrate a time tracking app like Toggl, so that your team members can track time spent on each of their tasks, to boost productivity, increase accountability and analyse whether you are getting more efficiencies from using Asana to manage tasks.

    Step #6: Create tasks

    This is where you will spend the most time. If you have a task list somewhere, now is a good time to copy and paste those tasks into the relevant projects in your Asana workspace. Once you have created your projects, you will need to create lists within those projects. You will then click ‘Add Task’ under each list to start creating a task.

    If you have Standard Operating Procedures already in place, you can also start to create the tasks that are relevant to your SOPs, and create the steps/workflows in your task card.

    Setting up recurring tasks is also a good place to start, as these are the tasks that are typically the most time-consuming. You can automate recurring tasks by setting the frequency at which the task needs to be completed.

    Once the task is completed, Asana will automatically create the same task with its new due date.

    Good practices when it comes to setting up tasks:

    1. Always assign a due date to a task that requires action
    2. Always assign a person to a task that requires action
    3. Mark tasks as complete once you complete them, and get your team members to follow suit.

    Step #7: Colour code and tag your tasks

    You can colour code each project so that you can track your project tasks when viewing all of your tasks in one view. This is called the ‘My Tasks’ view in Asana.

    I like to colour code my projects in the same team with the same colour. That way, I don’t have many different colours to deal with in my workspace, and it’s easy for me to remember which colour relates to which type of task. For instance, pink relates to content creation and yellow relates to client management tasks in my business.

    Hint: You can use the same colour codes for your task types as the ones you use in your Google Calendar. That way,

    everything is consistent and easy to remember.

    Do you have a task management system for your business? It's not too late to get started! Here's a guide on how to set up asana for your small business.

    A few other amazing features in Asana

    1. Phone app: Download the phone app to view everything that’s going on in your business while you’re on the go
    2. Messaging tab: You can send messages to your team within Asana
    3. Mentions using @: You can mention people using the ‘@’ sign in the comments section of each task
    4. Attachments: You can attach documents straight from Google Drive, or file uploads into each specific task
    5. Zapier integrations: You can integrate Asana with so many other applications in your business, and further reduce the amount of manual work done in your business
    6. Multiple project view: You can view your projects in board, list, calendar view formats. There are a few other view formats on the paid version, but the free version gives you enough formats to use as a start.

    In conclusion

    Asana is a powerful way to organize your small business and set up the right foundation for scalable growth. Not only does it eliminate the need for 10 other apps to manage your to-do’s and team members, but also gives you the ability to manage pretty much every other core area of your business efficiently.

    You can use Asana for;

    • Onboarding & managing client projects
    • Tracking leads & sales
    • Tracking key performance indicators
    • Setting & tracking goals and progress
    • Prioritizing tasks
    • Weekly planning 
    • Managing your teams
    • Managing launches
    • Creating a database of important business information
    • Bringing your SOPs to life
    • Creating and using templates for consistency and quality control

    Want to know what else you can do with Asana? Check out this blog and my community here to find out about other powerful ways to boost your productivity and scale your small business with Asana.

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