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Structuring your Work so you don’t lose your Marbles

You’ve probably heard Larissa, the Freedom & Profit coach, express “work smarter, not harder” before, but what does that mean exactly? When your inbox is packed, there's a giant stack of to-do's and the client messages keep piling in, how are you supposed to get it all done smarter?
The truth is many of our common ways of doing things aren’t actually productive. 
When you focus too heavily on the act of doing rather than the brilliance of planning, you can be investing lots of extra time spinning your wheels. Stop spending valuable time on things that aren’t worth your attention or that could be handled in a more efficient manner. Also, its time to stop focusing on activities that aren’t actually driving any results.
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Being the Marketing Coordinator for Salon Owners Collective & SalonBot is a very hands-on job. I struggled for a little while because my workload just kept getting bigger but I wasn’t working smarter, I started to work harder. I started to feel overwhelmed and as a result, productivity actually went down. 
Here are my top 5 ways to save time when working:
1. Structure 
If you’re running around willy-nilly stomping out fires that randomly pop up instead of planning your workloads future, you’re going to burn out and fall behind. 
The key to an effective workweek is setting some structure in place. What works best is to create “topics” for my days; 
  1. Monday and Wednesday & Thursdays are for designing SalonBot Salon Marketing.  
  2. Tuesdays are for social media, copy & other admin bits and bobs 
  3. Fridays are for social media and heavier styled copy tasks. 
Laying out your weeks or months with specific days for doing things ensures you aren’t doing tasks on days where you shouldn’t be. Get aggressive with your planning, schedule in times for when things suit YOU. If something pops up, move it to the day where it is appropriate or if it's urgent, make the time for it, but don’t spend your hours thinking about that one thing that needs to be done or else it has the potential to ruin your entire day/schedule. 
2. Write it Down
I can not stress this enough. You can make all the lists you want on your computer or phone but when push comes to shove, you need a physical daily list right in front of you.
Break your tasks down, figure out what is the top priority and get it out of your head and onto some paper. Use the rule of 3 key things on your list at once. Be realistic on how much time you have and how much you can actually achieve in this time slot. Pinterest has amazing free downloadable to do lists! Print one off and get into it. 
Check out my list - Up the top are my 3 main tasks, followed by extra bits that need to be done, and then by things that pop up throughout the day that I can forward till tomorrow.

Then on another piece of paper, i have broken one of the 3 main tasks down into chunks.

Take a pic and tag @salonownerscollective on Instagram, use the #hashtag #planning - I can’t wait to see what you have come up with! 
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3. Drop the Myth of Multitasking 
For a few talented mothers out there, there is such a thing as multitasking. But for the rest of us mere mortals, drop the idea that you can multitask and be effective. The brain isn’t wired to do two tasks well at once. 
Focus on talking, typing, working or thinking, but don’t try to do more than one. You end up wasting more time trying to correct your words or rewrite your email. Your brain is losing efficiency and getting tired each time it jumps to a new task. 
Focus on one thing at a time, complete it fully then move on to the next. This goes back to my point above about setting days for topics and tasks that are alike so your brain doesn’t fizzle out chopping and changing to different things. 
4. Urgent does not necessarily mean important 
If you check your emails or return calls in scheduled batches of your structured routine, it trains your staff to figure out their own problems. If they know you only answer emails during a certain day or time, they know if it's urgent they might just have to put on their big pants and figure it out for themselves.  Have the judgment and discipline to step out of the easy habit of thinking every urgent thing is important, it's not. Learning to let urgent go will save you a tremendous amount of time and stress, so you can work smarter and focus on what is important. Plus it will give your staff independence to grow & take initiative - its scary to start with but its a win-win situation for everyone involved, think of it as a blessing in disguise  
Our Salon Owners Collective Hub offers a module called “Ditch the overwhelm and get shit done” and I cannot recommend it enough. Click here to join the Hub today and find other really useful workbooks. 
5. Take lots of breaks! 
I bet you are thinking, “omg how in the heck does not working equal getting more work done!” 
Its all about structure again. When you plan out your day to have moments of time between tasks for breaks, you’re setting yourself up for success. When you go, go, go, you end up burning out big time. Don’t get me wrong, I know what it feels like to be on a roll. 
However, if you set up time for short walks, meals and other small blocks of time to reset your brain and fuel your body, you’ll have the energy and juicy brain matter you need to go strong all day. Start off small, plan to have 1 extra 10-15 minute break where you normally wouldn’t, when you get the hang of that, bump it up to 2. Don’t knock it till you try it, trust me! 
Don’t feel guilty about getting up from your workspace every two hours for water, a snack and a few laps around the block. Keeping your body fueled and rejuvenated will keep you working smart for a long time down the road. 
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If you are looking for more structure within your Salon, check out our amazing coaches who can help you put all the building blocks in place to ensure you are on the right track to running a successful salon while still looking out for yourself.

Remember, your business will never be at its best if you aren’t. 

About the Publisher , Suzy Broad

Suzy is a New Zealand based Fashion Designer, Business Owner, Marketing Coordinator and Developer. She’s the founder of Salt Label, a Sustainable Swimwear Brand featured in magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, Bride Magazine etc.

As a Marketing Coordinator for Salon Owners Collective, she has had the opportunity to work alongside incredible Influences, Coaches & Clients.

She has a passion for helping those involved in business and loves connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs, check her out on Insta: @suzy.broad