Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should
The new year is always when I struggle with trying to do it all and turning myself into superwoman.
“I’m going to start taking more photos and creating more photobooks for my family…”
“I’m going to workout every single day for an hour…”
“I’m going to minimize my whole house and organize every single drawer, cabinet, and closet with cute Container Store bins…”
“I’m going to eat totally healthy and make everything from scratch…”
…On top of running a design shop, a blog, social media, managing a home, helping my kids with school stuff, working for church, reading 100 books this year, all the things!
These are all fine goals.
BUT if I try to do everything perfectly and all myself, I will probably accomplish none of them.
This is a really important time to ask, do I need to be doing this right now?
Is there a better, simpler, smarter, way to get things done?
Just because you can do it all doesn’t mean you should.
High stress, packed-full schedules and obsessive tendencies are not going to bring order and peace to your life.
I think solopreneurs especially can tend to try to be in charge of all the details, and spend a ton of time or way too much money trying to do everything uniquely.
Just because we have the creative ABILITY for tasks also doesn’t mean it’s WORTH the time and energy.
This new year, instead of adding more to your plate, take the time to evaluate all you’re doing and see if there’s a better way to do it.
Are there any tools you can use to make your life easier or your processes a little smoother?
I love to go through each area of life and figure out if there’s a better system, a time saving tool, or an app/service that takes it right off my plate.
Want to try it?
Here are some examples…
Last year I stopped going to the store.
I used to waste a good 4-6 hours each week going to the store, looking for deals, etc.
Now I use Walmart’s free online service and simply pick them up each week. I drive up and they put them in my car.
No more impulse buying.
No more standing in line.
No more steering my kids away from the candy and toys.
No more going over budget.
Templates & Actions
I create a lot of images for my products, the blog, Pinterest.
Resizing takes forever so now I use templates to lay everything out and Photoshop Actions to resize and apply filters for me.
Everything looks nice and orderly and only take a few clicks.
Canned Emails & FAQs
During the busy seasons for my shop, I used to get an average of 40 emails a day of questions.
Multiply each of those by 20 minutes and you can see how long emails alone could take me.
So I decided to clarify my descriptions, add FAQs and video tutorials, plus use Etsy Snippets + Google Canned Emails.
This last year I rarely spent more than 15 minutes a day on emails.
Tracking your numbers and knowing where you stand financially is really important, but it does take a lot of time every day.
Quickbooks Self-Employed can keep track of personal and business expenses for you and pull up reports so you instantly know your profit + loss.
You could also use IFTTT to add your numbers to Google Sheets instead of entering things manually.
Graphics & Stock Photos
I am really slow at creating illustrations and setting up photoshoots.
So if I’m creating something that I won’t sell, I almost always use Creative Market graphic details like flourishes or borders rather than spending hours drawing my own in Illustrator.
Even though I know how to design and take styled photos, it makes so much more sense to save that time to create a better final product in the long run.
Again, just because you can do it all, doesn’t mean you should.
It’s been a huge lesson for me and I have to keep reminding myself not to get too obsessive about details.
What about you? What tools, apps, resources do you love to take tasks off your plate?
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