Social media, website content, email marketing, shipping orders, buying stock, clients, paperwork, accounting, phone calls… the list goes on.
We all experience overwhelm. We feel the pressure to be everywhere, to everyone, all of the time. It’s too much – and not sustainable.
Just think about the number of social media channels you might be on. Can you say, hand on heart, that you give total value on each of those channels?
Don’t be disheartened – there are some simple steps you can implement to help avoid a ‘crash & burn’ situation and get things back on track in a way that is much more manageable. Which means it’s sustainable.
Here’s what we’re looking at…
- Scheduling Tools
“Work smarter, not harder”
First, take a review what you’re currently doing. Assess what’s working so you can decide what to stop doing. Let’s address some self-management. Here’s some things to try.
- Turn off notifications on your phone – it’ll stop you being a ‘slave to the ping’. It’s not a healthy way to be.
- Muting or unfollowing social media accounts – if there are some accounts that post way too much or accounts that have an adverse affect on you when you see them, either unfollow or put them on mute. They’ll never know and it’ll save your santity.
- Avoid comparing yourself, your social channels and work to others. You are not them. Be yourself and stay away from the things that feed your overwhelm.
- Specify communications channels – with all our various apps and devices, our clients and customers are able to send messages to us at all times of day (and night). Make it clear what channels (and times) you will use for your clients or customers.
- Focus on the activities that will make a difference and bring benefits to your business. Stay away from activities that don’t.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel – if you already have content, re-use it on other platforms. You can easily convert a blog post to create a series of social posts, a live video, or even additional blog posts. This will save you a heap of time.
“Planning can be your saviour”
There are lots of different techniques and methods. For me, I use a simple diary and time-blocking. Do what works for you. And if it doesn’t work, try something else.
- Time-blocking – this is allocating your day into ‘blocks’. They can be 1 hour blocks or 2 or 3. Whatever suits. Then allocate specific tasks for each block.
- Keep a diary or calendar – this one seems quite obvious. Keeping track of appointments is a no brainer but you can use your calendar, diary or wall/desk planner to plan specific tasks and business activities for specific days and times.
- Bullet journaling – this is the answer to having a diary and a beautiful creative planner. It can be completely customised to suit you and your needs. If you’d like to learn more, check out the courses at Got2Jot (https://got2jot.co.uk/bullet-journaling/). They’ll get you started AND you can get some beautiful journals and pens to help you create one.
What’s key here, is that you follow your plan. Allow for some contingency too and don’t be too ambitious with what you think you can achieve. Be realistic.
“Manual tasks can feel like hard labour”
Instead of doing social media posts manually, use a scheduling tool. There are lots to choose from and can cover the majority of platforms like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.
These tools can be really helpful in allowing you to bulk create your posts, pins and images so you can allocate a pre-planned block of time (see planning above) and then use the scheduling tool to publish when you want. These tools can be free too although the paid versions have more features.
Those with a free plan include:
- Later (https://later.com) which covers Instagram, Pinterest, Tik Tok, LinkedIn
- Planoly (http://planoly.com/) which covers Instagram, Pinterest
- Buffer (https://buffer.com) which covers Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest
“Automation is the super hero of marketing”
The best approach here is to look to execute marketing campaigns and initiatives that can be automated. You might be surprised to see how effective they can be.
There are free tools available for this too.
Facebook messenger bot – This is essentially a chatbot that can answer simple questions someone may have within the messenger system. It’s handy to make a simple response or even answering a question allowing you more time to get back to someone in person. Check out Chatfuel (http://chatfuel.com) for a free option.
Email marketing automation – This is hands down the BEST way of automating all sorts of things and my personal favourite. Not only because it remains the top converting channel, but also because it’s easy to set up some great automated marketing that triggers and sends without your intervention. Automation can be found on the free plan for most email solutions so there’s no excuse for giving it a go.
“And if it’s still all too much…”
If you still find that you have more to do than you’re able to (weighing up all the pros and cons), then outsourcing is a great option and there are some fantastic VA’s (Virtual Assistant) out there that can help you. They can be really affordable and are often very tech savvy so a solid option if you can’t find any other way to streamline your workload.
The key takeaway is to start at the beginning, assess what you’re doing and whether it’s working. You may be able to eliminate a lot just from doing that little review. And if you only have time to focus on 1 thing, do the 1 thing that will give you the biggest benefit.