Anyone who runs their own business knows it’s the most rewarding endeavor ever. But they also know that it’s (likely) the most demanding endeavor they’ve ever taken on. Starting your own business hits differently in so many areas of your life- some of which you can’t predict initially.
Download my free Blog Template + Guide so you can write effective blogs without giving yourself a headache!
I’ve found that a HUGE aspect of running my copywriting business effectively relies on some unorthodox techniques and tools that I use almost every single day. I’m going to share them with you now in case they might help you too!
Sunrise Alarm Clock
So, being a freelancer, I work from home. That means I’m fortunate enough for the opportunity to care for my 1-year-old (omgwheredidthetimegoplzstopandslowdowni’mnotready) son, Jake, full-time. But as all parents know, our little ones require much of our attention, and 2020 has shown just how hectic and stressful it is trying to work and meet the needs of our kids simultaneously. More often than not, I’m usually playing keep-away during client calls with Jake, lol.
I decided that the best solution for me was to get up earlier… way earlier… like 4:45AM earlier. Ugh…
I’ve never been a morning person, but I had to learn how to be one to best manage my day and be the mom I want to be. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect, and sometimes I hit the snooze more than once… but I’m getting there, okay?!
Anyway, that’s where the sunrise alarm clock comes in. This is a game-changer for me. The sunrise alarm clock wakes you up gradually with natural light, so by the time the alarm starts to make noise (mine has multiple noise options like rain, ocean, etc), it’s much easier for me to wake up feeling ready-ish to go.
Mine cost about $40 on Amazon, I think, and I know there are cheaper versions and more expensive versions to choose from. What I’ve heard, though, is not to go with the “cheap” version. Apparently, they tend to be more frustrating and unpleasant to use. I love mine, and I’d say it’s in the mid-range as far as cost. So far I’ve had no issues and it’s very easy to use.
So I am not quite at the point in my business where I can afford a Full-Time VA , but Alexa has helped pick up the slack for me. When I have my hands full with work and Jake, there’s nothing more convenient and helpful than being able to say: “Hey Alexa, please remind me about x at x o’clock” and know I won’t risk forgetting it.
I’m stunned at how frequently I rely on Alexa to help me remember important phone calls, appointments, etc. I just have the Echo Dot, which goes on sale frequently from what I’ve seen. I have a few of them in my house, and I like that they can send me notifications, reminders, and lists to my phone.
Stretch Reminder By Physera
Entrepreneurs are infamous for long hours without taking a break, but breaks are critical. Taking care of our bodies is a huge aspect of running a business that we often neglect. Being a professional writer, I’m hunched over my computer all day, and it’s caused me some major neck and back issues that have required multiple chiropractor visits to help correct.
Obviously, I learned that I needed to stretch more frequently, and so I downloaded a Chrome Extensions aptly named “Stretch Reminder” by Physera. It sends me a reminder every hour with specific stretches I can do. Stretch Reminder is awesome and has multiple customizable features and stretch options. It’s also free, and it’s been a big help.
Notion Desktop & Mobile App
I love this frickin’ desktop app. I cannot emphasize that enough. Notion is an all-in-one productivity and organizational app that I introduced into my work-flow a few months ago after learning about it on YouTube.
(If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you’ll know I’m also a big Trello fan, but I now tend to use Trello for more personal tasks)
Anyway, my gosh is this app amazing.
Not only is Notion super beautiful and fluid to use, but it’s insanely customizable. It DOES have a bit of a learning curve and can feel overwhelming when you first open it, but I recommend this video by RowenaTsai. She does a great job of walking you through how to set up Notion, and she’s a sweetheart and a pleasure to watch. That video was how I discovered Notion in the first place and fell in love.
I know this one might make you cringe, but it’s especially true for creative entrepreneurs. Sometimes the most productive and effective thing I can do is just… not work. My body and brain make it VERY CLEAR when it’s reached the burn-out level, so I try to avoid hitting that point by taking breaks once-in-awhile.
It’s most important that my work is the best quality it can be, so as long as I meet my deadlines, I’ll let myself take an afternoon or day off if I feel like I just can’t get focused.
Back on the topic of self-care, drinking water is something that hugely impacts my ability to be effective. If I don’t stay hydrated I get cloudy and lethargic. First thing in the morning I fill up my 32 oz water bottle and make myself finish it before my son wakes up (usually around 7:30-8AM).
From there I’ll make myself a healthy Tumeric Latte (if you want the recipe, lemme know), and by lunch time I know that I’ll definitely hit all of my hydration goals by the end of the day.
Drinking water IS a challenging habit to master, but my biggest recommendation is to find a water bottle or glass that you enjoy drinking from. It makes a HUGE difference. My personal favorites are the water bottles by Contigo. I have multiple sizes, and they last forever.
Listen, as I said, I’m a FT Mom and FT Copywriter. Sometimes that means my little guy gets to watch Puppy Dog Pals while playing with his toys and I work. Having something fun, happy, and entertaining for him to enjoy gives me just a bit more flexibility and time.
Obviously, I try to give him a balanced schedule, but it definitely helps keep him from getting frustrated with me during the times I have to finish a project and can’t play right then and there. I’ve stopped feeling guilty about it, and refuse to put unnecessary pressure on either of us.
I will preach meditation all day every day. I am not a ‘woo-woo’ person, as they say, but I practice 10-Minutes of guided meditation before I start my workday, and it’s made a massive impact on my efficacy and mental health.
It really sets the tone for my day, helps manage my anxiety, and gives me a time where I’m wholly devoted to appreciating finding stillness.
I only do it for 10 minutes each morning, and I cannot recommend you adopt this practice enough. Meditation has had such a positive impact on my ability to manage stress, run my business, and be an emotionally attuned mom.
There are tons of videos on YouTube to choose from, so don’t be afraid to give it a try for a few days!
One Last Tip
I hope this post has given you some tips and new tools to try in your own small business adventure. Being an entrepreneur is hard, but so rewarding- and it’s critical that we find ways to work smarter not harder.
One extra way to work smarter is to download my blog template and guide. I make it super easy to write effective blogs, and it’s TOTALLY FREE! 😀
Thanks so much for checking out my post, and please share your own tips and tools down in the comments! We have to stick together and support each other! 🙂
XOXOXO Happy Holidays!!!!