Goal: Semi-Retirement. The Free At 50 Blog Shares Tips from A-Z to Boost Productivity in Entrepreneurship so you can Ditch the 9-5.
What is productivity in entrepreneurship?
What works for me, may not work for you. Productivity is personal in every aspect. From how we become our most productive to how we define it. But it is such a hot topic - just search Google or answerthepublic.com and see what comes up! We have to discuss it on this blog meant to share resources to ditch the 9-5 and succeed in a life of entrepreneurship – which is the ticket to semi-retirement.
I decided to go from A-Z with tips, ideas, links, and prompts in an easy to read (and digest so you can execute) style. It’s all about ditching productivity killers when you’re ditching the 9-5 and finding your rhythm for being productive.
Note: As a blogger, I use affiliate links sometimes! I may receive commission from purchases on links I share, but it does not change your price.
Productivity tips A to G: the need for passion, digging deep and knowing your why.
A is for Action
Knowing that you are not in a place you want to be literally (like I was in Michigan) or figuratively (like so many of us that are/were done with corporate life), taking an action, any action, will move you forward and lead to other actions! Without action, you cannot ditch the 9-5 and attain semi-retirement. Take action, even an imperfect action.
RELATED: Skye Sauchelli’s guest post about taking action.
B is for Bravery
When you find your why and it doesn’t align with your current situation, it is a brave thing to take action. It’s easy to wish for something, but being brave, and embracing your need for change will propel you into being productive! Be brave.
C is for Creativity
Let it loose! One thing that happens when we are working for others, or even out on our own as entrepreneurs at times, is that feeling of being stifled. Yes, there are tasks that need to be done. Not all of them are “fun,” so allow yourself to let your creative juices flow. Creativity breeds the excitement and motivation for productivity. Allow time for creativity.
Photo by nina pupina on Unsplash
D is for Diligence
Believe in yourself and in your why. Be diligent about doing the tasks that need doing. From time-blocking to creating habits, you can boost your productivity daily, weekly, and monthly. Habits include setting up a morning routine, answering emails at specific times of day or even planning your day the evening before. What habits will you create and be diligent about?
E is for Excitement
Do things that excite you. Or more specifically, in a way that excites you. For me, creating a way of life doing something I love pushes the productivity button. Writing is work, yes. However it doesn’t feel like work to me. While there are tasks that are necessary, the knowledge that I am doing something I love long-term, is true motivation to accomplish the less appealing responsibilities that come with owning a business. Stay excited.
Photo by Hans Ott on Unsplash
F is for Freedom
In terms of productivity, having the freedom to organize my day is unbelievable. If I feel drawn towards creating, I can do it. If I feel focused and ready to learn something new, I can do it. You aren’t tied to someone else’s priorities or schedule. Ditching the 9-5 (and the clock-in/clock-out life) for working in the flow is the ultimate example of productivity in entrepreneurship. What does freedom mean to you?
G is for Goals
How do I operate in a way that I choose how my day will go and still be productive, even when I live “day by day?” Setting goals. For me, I have my long-term goals but also create quarterly and monthly goals. For you, setting daily or weekly goals may work. Whatever approach you take, the bottom line is setting goals.
Suggestions: work with a business coach, buy a goals journal, or use a business planner. If you have a goal in front of you, writing down the tasks necessary and having the accountability factor (like a coach or mentor) will be a game-changer.
RELATED: Get a goal planner!
Photo by Covene on Unsplash
Productivity tips H to M: Inspiration is everywhere, grab it.
H is for Help
I’m keeping this one short. If you need it, ask for help. Do not stay “stuck” – procrastination and fear are productivity-killers. Reach out to someone who is an expert, jump online, take a course, hire a coach. Ask for help.
I is for Ideas
Where do you get your “best ideas?” And what do you do when you have them?
Write them down. My suggestions: brain dump, cross things off, circle things, draw arrows and then put the ideas into action.
And if the ideas don’t fit your immediate goals, save them for later! Use a tool like Evernote or a planner. Discuss them with a coach or mentor. Ideas are essential for productivity in entrepreneurship. Keep your ideas flowing.
RELATED: Get a planner!
Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay
J is for Join
Join Facebook groups, power hours, masterminds… whatever works for you. If you’re like me and work better solo, joining a Facebook group is a great option because you can jump on when you have a question, want to engage with others or need to simply be inspired.
Even creating relationships with people in the group[s] can keep you moving forward. If you thrive in a co-working environment or with groups, power hours or masterminds may be the best fit. Join something… don’t go it alone!
K is for Keep
When you find inspiration, keep it nearby. Whether it’s this post, a quotation, or a link to a video or article, have it:
- on your desk
- on a sticky note
- or up on a whiteboard
Keeping inspiration close is a driving force behind being productive! Keep inspiration close by.
L is for Laughter
Take a break if you need it, especially if it’s to laugh! Comedy is based on real life and watching some stand-up, your favorite rom-com, binging old Seinfeld episodes, or even calling an old friend and sharing stories can inspire you.
Laughing can relax you- which can bring clarity and help you be more productive! Laugh often.
RELATED: There’s a science to the impact of laughter. Read more here on licensed therapist Carissa Weber’s blog.
M is for Money
How does money relate to being productive? You need to invest in order to get to the next level. Don’t waste time: a lot of time can be spent Googling and Macgyvering (GenX shoutout!) your business.
My suggestion: get a coach. Whether it’s a business coach like mine, who keeps me focused on the right projects and goals, or a coach specific to a need like branding or mindset, investing can give you the return you’re looking for and keep you concentrated and productive as opposed to scattered. Spend money wisely.
RELATED: Get started with the technology I recommend for everything from websites to video storage!
Photo by Andre Taissin on Unsplash
Productivity tips N to T: Stay in control and give yourself grace.
N is for No
Over-committing, interrupting yourself, and creating stress by adding something to your plate you are uncomfortable with: all unacceptable if you want to truly be productive. People will understand. Ensure you only say “yes” to your priorities in life and in business. Just say no.
O is for Open-mindedness
How often have you heard this in corporate life: “it’s the way we’ve always done it” ---and it got you triggered? Don’t do this to yourself in your quest for professional freedom. Be open to learning new ways for achieving results as well as new systems or technology. Anything that can increase your productivity is worth checking out. Be open-minded.
P is for Permission
Give yourself permission to:
- Take the breaks you need.
- Invest financially or with time into learning something new.
By giving yourself permission a weight will be lifted, and you can effectively move forward with your project. Give yourself permission.
Photo by komal G on Unsplash
Q is for Questions
OK- so this is a repeat of “H” – asking for help, but slightly modified. If you are stuck and don’t know how to do something or where to find something, there are people for that. Get the best answers by creating a clear and concise question with an end-goal in mind. You can do this in Facebook groups, or directly contact coaches, mentors, or peers. Then I’ll say this again: invest in the resource, tool, or guidance you need. Ask the right questions.
R is for Reality
Seeing how you can “make 6 figures fast” all over the internet can be demoralizing. It’s why I keep The Essential Habits of 6-Figure Bloggers on my nightstand. The comments online, along with promises of grandeur, aren’t grounded in reality, but you need to be. Continue on your path and you will find success, unlikely “fast,” but in time. Remember “D” for diligence. Reality is that you can succeed.
S is for Skills
Your skills are your superpowers (that was actually “S” times 2!). Use your skills to effectively tackle tasks and even to shift your mindset!
- If you are a graphic designer who struggles with creating sales copy for your website, offer a collaboration with someone who is an expert in writing sales copy. Offer to design a logo or graphics for their website.
- If you are someone who can find the best deal, use that skill in organizing purchases for your business.
- If you are someone… you get the drift.
Know your skills and use them.
T is for Timing
The right person, thing, or tool may come along but you may not need it NOW. That’s ok.
Entrepreneur and blog coach Margaret Bourne and I actually talked about it in this 24-minute video. Save those valuable resources for when you need them. Do not be distracted by shiny objects. Stay focused on “G” – your goals.
If you have a monthly goal to create a Pinterest account for your business and grow it, don’t spend time learning Instagram because you found a cool course. Save the link, then focus on Pinterest, hitting that goal, and when you’ve achieved it, analyze the value of spending time and money on Instagram. This applies to all aspects of your business. A collaboration or product may be great, but not right now.
Distraction is another productivity-killer! Timing is everything for productivity in entrepreneurship.
Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash
Productivity tips U to Z: Keeping it fresh!
U is for Understanding
Why are you struggling to be productive?
When are you most productive?
Being clear and understanding how you thrive will lead you to the core of succeeding in being productive. Take note, plan accordingly.
- If you are most creative with a journal in hand and your devices off, unplug and go somewhere you can be creative.
- If you are most focused and energized after a trip to the gym or a morning coffee, block out time for a difficult project after you’ve hit the gym or gotten the caffeine in.
And if there’s something holding you back, resolve it. Set aside time to make it happen. Remember: distraction is a productivity-killer. Understand your relationship with productivity.
RELATED: From environment to systems, check out Margaret Bourne’s article about tips when working from home as well as mine about productivity tips you can use when starting a business-both on her blog!
V is for Variety
Shake it up!
For your work: When you plan your day, week, or month, avoid feeling stuck. Schedule your time sensibly, focused on being productive. For example, as a blogger, I have “creative” time which includes writing, time I spend on projects I don’t love (IE website tech and maintenance), time to be social online etcetera. Blocking time to be 100% focused on a single aspect of blogging keeps me productive.
For your clients/customers/readers: Ensure you do not get in a rut with your products, services, and even your brand message. Revisit it all, consistently. You can even do market research to improve your offerings.
Productivity for entrepreneurs has this built-in: there are multiple things you need to do, all vastly different and what you sell, share, and offer is limitless. Use variety to your advantage.
Photo credit: Pixabay
W is for Week
Plan your week. Even for me, someone who lives “day by day,” in my new semi-retired blogging-for-income life, I have a sense of what I plan to do each week. If a random pool day happens on a Tuesday because the weather is perfect, I still know what should be done by Friday, so I set aside time to make it happen. Keeping a calendar (or for me a blog planner) nearby and batching work each week (or month) ensures I’m productive. Know how you want your week to look.
RELATED: The Epic Blog Planner I use is great for planning and seeing everything at a glance! Click below or check out these others on Amazon!
X is for X-ray
Going back to what is Step 1 on my checklist and mentioned in “A” for action: revisit your why. Tear away the layers of distraction if you are stuck and look inside at the bare bones: what is your why?
When I was stuck, I talked to my business coach and realized my overwhelm was born out of the fact I had lost sight of my why. I took a breath and went back to focusing on just writing for a while. And along the way, I was able to tackle other aspects of my business that needed attention. Look at your business with X-ray vision.
RELATED: My cornerstone post sharing how my Covid layoff was a blessing!
Y is for Yes
Do not be afraid to say YES when it makes sense!
- Even if you’ve never been on a podcast, say YES if you’re invited to be featured on one whose listeners will gain from your insight.
- Even if you’ve never designed a website, say YES to having one to showcase your business. I did it! I created this blog on Groove. And even found people in the Groove Facebook group to help me (because let’s be real: in corporate we had an IT team!).
No matter what it is, say yes if the timing is right, if you need something, or if it exposes you and your business to the right people. Say yes when you should.
Image by Luiza from Pixabay
Z is for Zoom
It’s post-pandemic times y’all so Zoom is a real thing. It’s like a verb, not just a platform, right?
People are not only used to it but have been creative in using it. For example, my friend Sydney has created a “Power Hour” to bring people together on Zoom for purposes of connecting, accountability, sharing their needs or their business. I was on one- talk about productivity! It was happening as everyone on the Power Hour was focused on a project and were able to ask questions of others.
Zooming could also help with productivity one-on-one. If you have people to connect with who live across the globe, jumping on a Zoom is the answer! Zoom away.
Conclusion about productivity to attain the goal of being out of the 9-5 for good.
Productivity may be personal but the resources out there on the internet and in this blog can get you on track quickly.
- Grab the 6-Step Checklist to Escape the 9-5
- Use the links in this blog to boost your productivity.
- Share your productivity tips in the comments!