Lately, I’m very overwhelmed. I don’t consider it a bad thing – but it’s definitely a feeling I’m adjusting to.
Back in Dallas, I had a lot more free time. Flash-forward to now, I’m back in New England and I’ve never felt more burnt out.
Since moving back to Connecticut, my time management skills have been challenged. I bought a house and took on the role of general contractor for the renovation; I expanded my TCC crew while staying dedicated to travel obligations and my social calendar. With all of my time booked, I’ve spent less time on my blog.
I believe staying busy is a choice. But, when my blog content started falling to the wayside, I knew I needed to make a change.
First, I identified where my work focus may or may not be lacking. As I looked at ways to reprioritize my goals, I found I was behind in the following: publishing blog content, maintaining a social media presence, and organizing my managerial duties. My inbox was neglected, my best SEO wasn’t being put forward, and my personal growth was stifled.
After identifying where I needed to refocus: I researched, tried-out, and curated tools to increase my efficiency during limited office time. Here’s 7 tools that helped me move forward in business while easing the anxious feeling of constantly falling behind:
- Managerial Duties: Chances are if you’re running a business, you are balancing managerial duties. My responsibilities used to be much more simple. But, as my business has grown so has my team. As a big fan of to-do lists, I often created a list for my freelances and TCC Crew members, but would forget to send them out on time or follow-up as tasks piled up. With too many schedules to manage and deadlines to reach, my disorganization led to disfunction. Until one life-changing day, my business manager, Robbin, suggested Trello. With the Trello tool, I’m able to manage everything. Our creative associate copywriter, Lauren, has her own Trello board focused on each step of the blog publishing process. From creative concepts, to SEO checks, Lauren’s board helps us clearly keep track of current and future tasks to stay on deadline. If you guys would be interested in a full breakdown of Trello boards, let me know and I’ll put it on the blog!
2.. Yoast Plugin: As a supporter of what search engine optimization (SEO) can do for a site, I’ve found Yoast Plugin to be a helpful resource. If your site runs off WordPress, you too can try the Yoast app! The optimization tool helps keep track of your SEO performance by tracking individual posts and the overall site. SEO is key to running a successful business and the Yoast Plugin will help guide your site towards a higher rank with each push of the publish button.
3. Streak: When I first started my business, getting a new email notification was so exciting. As I continue to connect with readers, brands, and crew members – managing my inbox is essential. Streak to the rescue! The Google Chrome plugin reminds users to respond to emails and gives an option to schedule when emails are sent out – whether it be a day or weeks in advance, To my fellow night owls: schedule your email delivery with Streak and your subscribers will no longer be hit with an email from you at 1:00 AM!
4. Planoly: I’ve talked about the Planoly app and site in a previous post where I shared 5 apps for running a blog that I can’t live without. Planoly is a visual social media planner site I use to track analytics and post-performance when I’m in-office. But, since I’m often working out-of-office, I use the app to plan and schedule Instagram posts for the week. I plug everything in from the photo to the caption, so when the time comes to hit publish I’m ready!
5. Skillshare: Working a remote creative career, I often work alone. At times, I get lonely and bored. You underestimate the stimulation from being inside of a workplace and the confidence you earn from socializing. This year I decided to dedicate my afternoons to Skillshare. Usually I find myself in a rut around 2:00 PM, so I grab a coffee, head to the couch, and take a course from Skillshare. I love this online learning community because it teaches me new useful skills for my business. Recently, I’ve been taking Facebook Advertising courses!
6. PayPal: Part of owning your own online business is keeping track of finances. PayPal is a timesaver when it comes to all my online business purchases. The service also helps when I sit down with my accountant to file taxes. Everything logged for the year is in my account history – making it super easy to track and expense purchases at the click of a button.
7. Invest In Social Media Scheduling Tools: Tailwind for Pinterest; Tweetdeck for Twitter; Later for Instagram & Instagram Stories. I find every scheduling platform to be worth the investment! For the longest time, I refused to pay for these 3 services because I could schedule posts on my own through individual platforms. As my time in the office grew shorter, I had to schedule social media content in bulk – a task I found tedious. So, I decided to invest in Tailwind, Tweetdeck, and Later to maintain productivity and diminish the mundane. They say time is money and social media scheduling apps are worth every dime!
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