By Krista Goncalves, RNC, Registered Nutritionist, Health Writer and Wellness Business Consultant
Always feeling “behind the eight ball” in your wellness business? Here are some solutions to be a more productive holistic entrepreneur.
As a holistic health entrepreneur, you are your own brand and business…with big plans too! That’s a fact.
But, as a health and wellness business owner, a healthpreneur – you’re also a bit of a different bird. You’re a dedicated go-giver by nature, and it can be easy to get caught up in continuously helping others, that you completely lose what it means to look after yourself – and your business!
That often translates into your day-to-day productivity getting sidelined amidst the overwhelm of your sometimes draining and challenging work.
No, you can’t clone yourself or petition to have the 24-hour clocked changed, but you can be more effective and efficient with your time!
Trust me, with these tips, you’re going to feel like you just found an extra couple of hours in your day, and you’ll be happier and healthier for it too!
Productivity Hacks for Holistic Entrepreneurs – Get in the Zones
You’ve got to set distinct boundaries as an entrepreneur, especially if a large amount of your work is done from home.
Maximize overall productivity in your health or wellness business by identifying these 3 main “time zones”:
Your ME Time – fitness, nutrition, self-care
Believe it or not, this is the part that may be the most impactful to your productivity as a business owner. It may even feel counterintuitive to say that in order to gain more time, you’ve got to spend more time – on YOU.
Self-nourishment is key.
When you feel valued, supported and your needs are taken care of, your productivity increases and creative juices flow more freely, ultimately leading to more clients and greater financial benefits.
Me Time Productivity Hacks
Think of “me time” as your gas stop on your daily road trip – aka, your work day. You don’t just stop for gas whenever you feel like it, otherwise you’d wind up with your hazard lights flashing by the side of the road!
You’ve got to schedule that piece, just like any other task.
All it takes is 20-30 minutes of quality self-care each day. However, you may prefer to block it off as an hour or two during the week, like taking your favorite class at the gym or even a little DIY spa action on the weekend.
Think of it this way – switching your mind over to something non-work related can also help you re-frame problems, identify solutions and come up with new ideas and opportunities.
I also include in this time zone – your fitness & nutrition. Those too, need to be scheduled in!
We all know that healthy eating and working out regularly can be a challenge, especially for entrepreneurs, even though we are in the wellness biz!
We’re human after all, and face the same challenges outside of our businesses just like everyone else.
Schedule exercise every day – this can double up as your 20-30 minutes of “me time” if you have to, although having an additional bit of self-care would be optimal.
Nutrition too, has to be planned out ahead of time, or else you know exactly what ends up happening – all the best intentions in the world won’t help you when it comes to dinner time.
Take one hour per week and plan at least a few of your meals for the week. Time to get reacquainted with your crockpot!
Your TECH Time – Social Media & Email
It was probably only a decade ago that email was our main ‘productivity killer’, then came ‘chatting’ online, and then….the attack of the social networks!
I think we can all agree that social media is one of the biggest time sucks that we regularly and willingly engage in – which we do in reaction to being bored or when feeling overwhelmed by a task that we find especially tedious.
Cruising around on our various social media platforms (Facebook, I’m looking at you!) has become an easily accessed ‘distraction button’ and hitting it, sometimes repeatedly, is a form of productivity self-sabotage.
Social Time Productivity Hacks
Today we have literally hundreds of possible distractions at our fingertips and prioritization has become a moving target!
It will be important to set aside specific hours of the day to engage with your community on social media.
The experts at Social Media Week suggest this:
“ ‘Batching’ is a productivity hack helping you to work efficiently by doing similar tasks in one batch of time instead of switching from one task to another in the same period. You can tackle things like editorial planning, creating images and scheduling social media promotion in batches.”
Email Time Productivity Hack
When you log into your email, you’re having to deal with what everyone else needs from you, and you become reactive. In essence, you’re shifting from your own agenda, to someone else’s.
For this reason, it may be best to avoid checking emails in the morning. Unless you need to respond to something that’s urgent, email can wait!
You can always respond to an email with a quick note saying that you will get back to them at a later time when you can give a more detailed response.
Manage your email – don’t let it manage you.
You want to start off your day with planned-out, purposeful activities (your defined marketing activities, servicing and scheduling clients, blog & content writing, guest posting, etc), and then finish up your day with “tech time” last.
It’s also critical to identify what time of day you are most productive, and then optimize that time. For me it’s early in the morning, as soon as my clan (husband and two kids) go out the door. Then I fly into action!
“It can be easy to waste time doing things that aren’t needle movers. It’s so easy to get lost if you have a blank slate for the day. I have the most energy in the morning so I try to get important tasks done then.
Lately I am using a journal called Speed Dial the Universe which is both practical and sets your intentions, which positively sets the tone for the whole day.”
~ Bridgit Danner, LAc Founder of The Women’s Wellness Collaborative
Which leads me to…
Your PLANNING Time
It’s not enough to plan HOW you’ll use your time, but you’ve got to plan WHEN you’re going to plan. Umm, ok.
Wasting precious time in the morning making decisions means a chaotic start to the day, and that chaos will only just follow you for the rest of the day. Things like who’s taking the kids to their activities after school? What’s for breakfast? Which workout are you doing today?
Planning Time Productivity Hack
This is the most underrated productivity tip ever: plan your perfect day the night before.
Don’t let the simplicity of it fool you either!
Planning the morning of the day in question is already too late. You’ll want to plan and review your day’s schedule the night before, so that when you get up and start your work day, you’re not already behind the eight ball.
Physically making lists – on post-its, a notebook or on a whiteboard, and checking off items creates a rewarding sense of accomplishment.
Derek Gehl of EntrepreneurIgnited.com says,
“The fact is most people spend too much time working on stuff that doesn’t really matter. They never get into the ‘productive zone’ because they are constantly distracted every few minutes. And they never give themselves the direction and focus needed to really create success.
Then when they don’t make progress, they typically blame it on the ‘idea’ or the ‘market’ or some external force when in reality, they never gave it a fair crack.”
Extra Tips for the Work-at-Homer
The kitchen calls for you, then the couch calls soon after – I get it! This is why working from home can be quite challenging and requires ample discipline, effort and focus.
Here are some quick extras for the healthpreneur who also works from home – which many of us do!
- Create a standard workstation.
Do not allow your home work space to simply become an extension of your home, which is invariably your comfort zone. When you are in your defined work space, you should feel inspired and productive, not lazy and unmotivated.
- Make a schedule and adhere to it strictly.
Entrepreneurs are notorious for over-working! It can be easy to have work spill over outside of “normal” work hours and into the evening. However, the reality is that the final work we do of the day is not at its highest capacity. Those are the times when we have typos or act on impulse. Create a specific block of hours that makes up your work day. Give yourself a day-by-day, or even week or month-long schedule and do your best to stick to it.
- Fight shiny object syndrome! Minimize distractions, like social media interruptions, and just say NO!
- Take frequent breaks – additional bits of “me time”.
- Mono-tasking is the new multi-tasking – can you remember the last time you gave a single task your complete attention?
- Seek support and feel supported – set boundaries with family and friends who think it’s ok to interrupt you, ask for favors during your work day because you just work from home – like “Mo-o-o-m, can you do this, that and the other thing for me?!”
So, there you go – distinct zones to put you into a new productivity mindset. Once you’ve blocked these specific times off for yourself, be sure to devote yourself 100% to each. For example, don’t let ‘planning time’ get in the way of ‘me time’.
Be present, be productive.
However, if you’re like most entrepreneurs, with several balls in the air at the same time, ideas and ah-ha moments pop up with reckless abandon!
Trust me, I understand the compulsion to act on each and every one of them too. However, keep a pen & paper handy or quickly open up your Evernote, jot down your fabulous idea, then get back to the task you were already doing.
Stay in the zones healthpreneur!
About the Author
Krista Goncalves, RNC is a Registered Nutritionist, Health Writer and Wellness Business Consultant with Making Lemonade (www.KristaGoncalves.com).
When she’s not writing her little hemp heart out about online health & wellness business strategies, she loves traveling to tropical destinations with her Pharmacist husband, outdoor workouts and blending up the finest whole food smoothies. She’s also the proud Momma of two way-cool kids!