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Society has conditioned us to believe that working eight hours a day is normal.
That it runs from 9-5 (if you’re lucky), or if you’re an entrepreneur, until you’re the only one up at midnight, still tinkering away on your keyboard with the bright light hitting your face while your partner innocently snores away in the other room.
Raise your hand if you’ve been there too.
Well let me tell you this
When I first started my business, I was dedicated to working that nine to five. Let’s be honest, it was probably more like eight to eight because I was really focused on rapid business growth, and I was okay with that. I wouldn’t change what I did in the first six months of my business because it was fundamental for building that necessary momentum that kick-started my business.
However, there was a period of time where I should have started shifting the way that I was spending my time and viewing my workday so that I wasn’t still working 12 hour days back to back to back. I should have shifted things around so that I could have been more intentional with how I spent my time, my money, and my resources.
But I’ll say this freely, it took longer than it should have for me to realize I could serve my clients better when I was well rested + happy.
So even if it feels too early, let’s talk about how to start that transition to a healthier workday.
This starts with what productivity means to you.
If we always equate productivity with time spent working, we will catch ourselves in an existence that revolves around working 24/7, which is the state that I found myself in for too many years of my business.
AND it’s a state I see a lot of my clients coming through my doors feeling – The idea that if they’re not working constantly, they’re not doing enough.
And that’s a really dangerous state to exist in.
Because what it means in reality is that you’re going to continue working 24/7, or have a huge amount of entrepreneurial guilt that follows you around like a little cloud saying, “Hey, excuse me, you should be working right now. Hey, excuse me, you didn’t do enough. Hey. Hey!”
It’s not healthy.
Nor is it necessary to have a thriving, productive, efficient business.
So if that’s your current existence, the first step you need to take is to rewire your relationship with work.
→ Both what we want our workdays to look like AND what productivity means to us.
Whether you’re a solopreneur or you have a team, sit down and have a meeting (with yourself or with your team) and answer this question:
What does a successful day look like to me?
This is a question I actually threw at my team in a meeting recently, and it was so fascinating for us to sit down and write out what we think success means in a day. What we would be proud of.
And you know what we found? → All of our desires around our work days came back to getting more freedom.
We all said we wanted more time and space to create, to explore, to be flexible with our schedule, to take a long lunch, to incorporate exercise, to deliver to our clients.
Doing this exercise will really help you get an idea of what steps you need to take moving forward to achieve your actual definition of productivity, not the version you’ve been conditioned to live by.
And if you’ve got a team, it’ll make you a better leader.
Warning here: Be realistic. Don’t set goals that you know are gonna keep you up working 24/7.
And if you absolutely need those things done and you can’t do it without working 24/7, then that means it’s definitely time to outsource. Which leads me to the next key piece…
This is where we start to look at our internal operations:
Are you the catch-all? The bottleneck in the business? And a lot of times, especially with service-based businesses, you tend to be the bottleneck. (Don’t fret – This is a common theme with service-based businesses early on as we try to maintain the highest quality of our work.)
But the answer isn’t to just work more – It’s to invest in your team. While yes, there are new responsibilities from having a team (outsourced or internal), with proper training they’ll be able to alleviate your workload and give you more opportunities for that CEO time you’re missing . And disclaimer here, this is not to say that the next step you need to do is go out and hire somebody. It certainly might be, but unless you’re perfectly happy with your current business state, it’s something that you will need to plan for at some point.
Don’t feel like you have the finance to outsource?
Then get really familiar with tracking your numbers.
This is something I preach over and over, but when we don’t know our cashflow, profits + expenses, we default to operating out of a fear-based mindset, often preventing people from getting the support they desperately need and CAN afford if they looked closely.
→ Thus, in turn, putting yourself in the position of working 24/7 when you don’t have to.
You need to consider when your time could be better used elsewhere in the business, and when outsourcing could allow you to bring in more ROI, more energy, and obviously, more time in the long-run.
Because remember, those are currencies as well.
What is the logistical structure of your day-to-day? Your week to week? Your month to month?
You can’t say exactly? Then I recommend you take a time-audit of your business.
Don’t worry, it’s very simple.
Just grab a notebook and a pen, keep it on your desk, and literally start to jot down where you’re spending your time and what’s happening within the business.
When I first did this in my own business, you know what I found? I was spending the majority of my time on over-scope projects for clients who were driving me bonkers and taking the time away that I could have been using to scale my own business.
That’s when I introduced Day Rates. And this magical little thing not only allowed me to still deliver excellent, white glove service to my clients, but to have so. Much. More. Time.
Time to actually focus on growing a team, refining my funnels and offers, expanding my product suite, and ultimately, scaling my business at NORMAL hours of the day. Wild, I know.
So if you are finding yourself working to the point of exhaustion without seeing the results you want, the answer isn’t working more. Reassess your mindset around productivity, delegate what you can, and structure your days with smarter work, not harder.
And if learning more about all the ways incorporating Day Rates into your business can help you achieve that, check out my free Day Rate Training, where I’ll show you how to create a Day Rate framework that’ll lessen your workload and increase your revenue.
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