Can you believe it's already August? That means 2016 will be drawing to a close before you can blink. Some parts of the year have flown by with a flurry that knocked the wind out of me, while other parts seemed to meander on and on with no end in sight.
I can't help but reflect back on last year... 2015 was a year has been full of business setbacks for me, I said goodbye to a long-term client who went on to better things in their own businesses. I had some opportunities fall apart right in front of my eyes and I faced some pretty big disappointments.
But this was also a year of incredible growth. This blog became its own business, with my numbers growing from 4,000 page views a month to over 100,000 page views a month and climbing! I can hardly believe that.
Because of the growth of this blog I was able to TRIPLE my monthly income. I am not saying that to brag and I am by NO means saying that it's a HUGE some of money, but I am telling you this just to encourage you that you can do this. Whatever your business is, whatever your goal is, even if you're caring for small children in a messy house, you can do this. You too can start and grow a business from home.
In fact, I shared one way that I really grew my traffic. (No, it wasn't dumb luck or just plopping of blog posts and hoping for the best). But today I wanted to share how building a good morning foundation helped me achieve my goals.
And no! I am not talking about 4:30 or 5 in the morning (although there were mornings I have done that!) I am talking about just 15-30 minutes before my kids get up.
You can accomplish so much, but you have to maximize that morning time.
1. Complete your biggest task first.
For me it might be writing or outlining a few blog posts, recording and editing a video or emailing a sponsor with details about an underwritten post. Whatever it is, I try to get it finished first. Otherwise I become the queen of Procastinationville.
If you have to wrap up a client presentation, edit a few more chapters of a book, get inventory ready to ship, whatever the BIGGEST thing on your to do list is- do it first. After you've had your coffee of course.
Why? Two reasons, the biggest thing you have to do is often the most daunting and you're more and more likely to procrastinate, if you're anything like me, and then you will be pushed on your deadline.
The second reason is because when you start with the biggest and hardest thing and then go from there your day is getting easier as the hours wear on and your kids wake up. Not harder.
2. Don't check your email.
I know this sounds counter-productive. But unless you are waiting on a very specific and important email just don't check it until you've made it through your to do list.
It's so easy to get distracted if you jump on Gmail really quickly or your hop on Google News to scan the headlines. You can so easily get sucked into the rabbit hole that is the internet that you don't get things done that you set out to accomplish.
I recommend not checking your email until well into the morning or even after lunch. It's just too easy to get sucked in.
3. Break up the task.
This morning as I am typing this I hear my kids stirring. It isn't time for them to get up yet, but I know they will be up soon. So I won't accomplish everything on my to do list before my focus shifts to them.
So I will break up some things that I can start now and finish later like drafting a blog post, compiling content for a newsletter and outlining tomorrow's YouTube video.
4. Start with a clean work space.
When I end the work day I try to clean up my desk. That way when I sit down in the morning there isn't a pile or receipts, bills I already paid, scraps of paper, dust and toys littering my desk.
When a work space is cleaned, or at least clutter free, it is easier to focus in the limited time you have.
Working from home is a blessing but it's still a job and one you have to work at even more diligently to protect your family time and maximize your work time.
So use those morning hours or minutes as effectively as possible.
It's really important to develop a morning routine that works for you in your phase of life. One of the things that really helped me was the Make Over Your Mornings course put together by Money Saving Mom.
I will be totally honest with you, I was skeptical. I really thought she would just tell me to get up earlier and work harder. But the course walked me through, step by step, how to develop a morning routine that would help me grow my business and get in control of my household responsibilities.
That's why I was really excited when I saw that Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom was lowering the price of her Make Over Your Evenings course. Her Make Over Your Mornings course really inspired me to reevaluate how I was working in the morning. And it really helped increase my productivity and business income.
I tried out Make Over Your Evenings and while not all of the tips applied to me, there was a lot of really good and useful tips and information that I gleamed from this course.
Right now you can get both Make Over Your Mornings and Make Over Your Evenings course for just $10. Or you can get both for $17 (which is the regular nonsale price for each course). Each course is designed to take 14 days, but is self-paced, so you could go through it as quickly or slowly as you want.
What about you? What tips to do you have for maximizing your morning?