One of the biggest things that constantly seems to bother EVERYONE is nailing down that feeling of being "organized".
You know what I'm talking about...
It's that FLOATY, incredibly invigorating feeling you get when the day comes to and end...
And you KNOW you killed it.
In fact, you probably did MORE than you expected, and now you're feeling like a freshly formed super hero: ⇣ ⇣ ⇣
So here's the thing, and I'm just gonna give this to you straight:
What you're addicted to is the FEELING of being organized, not ACTUAL productivity.
You're probably like NOOO WAY...When I am productive, I am A F*CKING EXPLOSION of epic.
And you might be right.
But indulge me first:
I used to think I FELT productive on days I was ACTUALLY productive. ⇣
BUUUUT...Let's play this out for a minute.
On a TRULY productive day, how do you feel??
So let's say I have a productive day. That might look like:
✔ Writing a blog article,
✔ creating a video for it,
✔ editing that video,
✔ dealing with the graphics,
✔ sending it to my Pinterest team,
✔ then linking other articles to it,
✔ and scheduling an email to go out about it.
How do I feel by the end of THAT day?
I just did something that will boost my traffic, create new readers, and hopefully help lots of people. I created an asset that I can use over and over...and my business will grow monthly because of it. (!!!)
But at the end of a day like that ⇡, I'll feel COMPLETELY DRAINED.
That's because I took all my creativity, poured it into a FUNNEL...
And drained it into the blackhole we call the internet.
Tasks that are SUPER productive (aka creative tasks) take A LOT of energy.
Some days you have BUTTLOADS of creative energy, and other days, you only have a few ounces swirling around at the bottom.
And most Etsy sellers are going HARD, draining as much of your creativity as you can...ALL DAY, EVERY DAY.
But there's an EASIER, way more sustainable way:
It's called "blocking" your time.
When I block my time, I do it by the WEEK instead of daily.
So I have ONE task that I focus on each week, and then I just repeat them when I'm done.
For an Etsy seller (or small business owner like me), that might look like this:
Week 1: Research + Make 5 new listings (to drip out over the next 30 days)
Week 2: Social media promos (also 30 day drip)
Week 3: Email marketing work (write emails to go out over next 30 days)
Week 4: Extra marketing of your choosing (YouTube, Cratejoy, Patreon...etc)
For me, once per month I have a content week. So I can put my writing volume up to 95% for about 3-4 days...Then I get a MONTH OFF.
Creativity is my MOST LIMITED RESOURCE. So I use my ROUTINE to make sure I always have plenty of it!
So that means I ONLY deal with content one week out of every month. Any more than that, and I'd LITERALLY be DEAD on the floor...
(Cut to me blathering about Etsy while laying on the floor drooling -- I'm not making this up, I know from experience that I can only do content A FEW DAYS per month, because I will CRACK otherwise 🤪🤪🤪)
Which brings me to my point... ⬇️
Is there a DIFFERENCE between a day where you FEEL organized vs a day you ARE organized??
For 99% of people, the answer is YES.
And that's because certain things AFFECT how much energy you have at the end of the day, and those things have NOTHING to do with what you actually accomplished in that day. ⬇️
Let me show you WHY that productive FEELING does not equal TRUE productivity:
The last time I felt ULTRA PRODUCTIVE was a day when I cleaned out my entire email inbox, then I did all the dishes in our house.
But was that stuff actually productive AT ALL???
Probably NOT. I just FELT like I accomplished a lot. But nothing I accomplished moved me any closer to my PERSONAL GOALS.
This is the point where I have to STOP for a second...
And ask you this:
What is TRUE PRODUCTIVITY??
It's NOT cleaning out your email inbox, because I made ZERO sales from that task...
In fact, most emails are just "things you have to do for other people" that actually contribute ABSOLUTELY NOTHING toward your ultimate goal.
And what about the dishes??
Yes, that made me feel GREAT, like I was living in a sparkly clean house.
But I've got news for past Jenni -- no matter how good it feels to get those dishes out of the way, there will just be NEW ONES waiting for her 24 hours later.
Never-ending tasks (aka dishes, email...things that will ALWAYS keep coming) are NOT productive, because they don't get you ANY CLOSER to your BIG GOALS.
In fact, never-ending tasks are a MASSIVE DISTRACTION from your big goals.
Often times, we HAVE to do them. (Because a house full of dishes is NOT my cup of tea...)
So I create SPECIFIC, short time blocks that I can use to do these tasks.
I do email at the END of the day so it can't distract me from tasks that ACTUALLY make money. I do dishes after meals.
Integrate never-ending tasks into your existing schedule -- and take away each task's POWER to waste your time.
Now let's get back to the REAL productivity...
Productivity = Tasks that Get You a Step Closer to Your Ultimate Goal
Productivity is the BIG KID in the room...And she MEANS BUSINESS.
If you're reading this article because you want MORE WAYS to decide on and work toward your goal, then I have shit loads of presents for you below ⇣
Productivity is about choosing ONE GOAL and focusing on it until it's DONE. Productivity is NOT about multi-tasking, and saying, "oh well if I do everything at once, then I'll get 10x the results, right??" ⇠ WRONG. This is how you make progress to NOWHERE. And if you don't believe me, let me ask you: how has doing everything at once worked for you SO FAR??? Get in touch with ACTUAL RESULTS Here.
Here's every resource I just linked to so you can pick and choose what you need:
The resources below are for people who are having trouble with TRUE productivity. Meaning you've set a goal, and you're not making ANY real progress toward achieving it. Fix those problems here ⇣
- Why is it TAKING so Long for Etsy to Work?
- I Did EVERYTHING and Etsy STILL isn't Working!!
- Let's ACTUALLY Fix Your Etsy Overwhelm
- Get Out of Etsy Organizational HELL with Kathy
BUUUUT if you're here because you want to FEEL Organized and IN CONTROL, then read on, because that's where we'll DIVE DEEP ⇣
You're here because your "organized" routine either doesn't exist, or you can't seem to STICK TO IT.
And you feel like a lesser human being...Because honestly, should it be this hard to sit down for FIVE minutes and figure our your day?? Then just DO what it says on the list??
That even SOUNDS super easy...And yet, you're NOT doing it.
Many of us BEAT ourselves UP for how hard it is to do this ONE SIMPLE TASK.
Even though you're probably CALLING yourself "lazy" in your head and getting REAL frustrated with yourself...
The way you are now DOES NOT need to change.
☑️ YOU are NOT lazy.
☑️ There is NOTHING wrong with you.
☑️ Feeling like you can't "get your shit together" is COMMON for a reason...
Because it's asking you CHANGE a situation that already WORKS for you...
You may not have a "routine" or "organized schedule", but I'm BETTING that you do certain things on repeat every day / week / month.
You are getting yourself to DO those things with minimal (or no) effort.
Adding NEW "tasks" that INTERRUPT what already works for you = imminent failure.
Instead, you should be ADJUSTING your routine to FIT the way your life ALREADY works.
This principle is simple:
Instead of CONSTANTLY trying to FORCE yourself to do the same thing every day (or week, or month)...
You need to make NEW things work WITH your existing environment.
By incorporating NEW things into what ALREADY WORKS, you basically create built-in success.
So for example, if I want to eat less sugar, I can do a few simple things to CREATE an environment that GUARANTEES I'll succeed: ⬇️
- Remove all sugar from the house.
- Replace it with other "TREATS" that I'm really looking forward to. (So that caramel bar I'd usually buy? I could replace it with Avocado ice cream that only has 6 grams of sugar instead of 30!!)
- Remove all food ordering apps from my phone (or put parental controls on it so I can't order in a time of weakness...The hubs is in charge of the parental controls on my phone, so I haven't had takeout in MONTHS... And I don't miss it!)
- Tell EVERYONE what I'm doing, so I'll get some good old fashioned SIDE-EYE when I'm tempted to break my own rules.
And boom, with just four ⇡ simple changes, I've dropped myself into a world where I'm ALREADY SUCCESSFUL and I don't even have to do any work to keep it up!
It's all laid out for me, done and ready to make my life easier!
BEST PART: I only had to set up the SYSTEM once...There's no need for me to "repeat" these tasks every day until I inevitably fail.
One and done will almost always work BETTER than something you have to do daily.
Your routine is all about making you feel ORGANIZED and IN CONTROL.
It's NOT about watching other people do stuff, and saying "well I want to be like her, so I'm going to do exactly what she does!!"... ⬇️
Why do you want to be like someone else?? Your brain literally WON'T let you stop being yourself.
If you don't believe me, just try to remember all those times you did things you saw other people doing...
How long did THAT last???
Even if you KEPT someone else's habit or method, I'm betting you MODIFIED it so it worked BETTER for you.
⇡ Now MODIFICATION is an example of creating something that WORKS.
Stealing someone else's routine = Getting in your own way. This is a direct route to failure that you'll eventually beat yourself up over.
Modifying something so it FITS into your life = MUCH EASIER!! You're way more likely to keep it up if you can do it with almost no effort.
BECAUSE you know yourself and your environment, you have ALL the TOOLS you need to create your PERFECT ROUTINE now...
Let's Look at the Workout Example
Because EVERYONE has trouble with this one.
I had trouble with it for TEN YEARS...I went back and forth between gym bunny and couch potato. I could never nail down any type of consistency here.
I tried it all: waking up early, picking an exercise I loved, personal trainers who show up no matter what...
None of it stuck.
Until one day, I realized that I was getting really bored around 3pm every single day.
My brain was worn out from work, and I wanted a natural stopping point so I didn't get lost in my email inbox for HOURS.
So I would leave my office at 3pm. But it was too early to eat dinner, too early to meet friends, and watching TV just felt like a waste of my time.
The BOREDOM was killing me, so I would just wind up WORKING anyway...Or I'd go shopping and spend money for no reason...BOTH things I didn't want to become a daily habit!!
Until it occurred to me that I could burn all that "boredom" by going to a fitness class.
It checked all my boxes:
- A structured, REGULAR workout (because when I go to the gym I just stand there like an idiot).
- Socialization! I was with people without the "pressure"of going out somewhere.
- It cost WAY less than shopping.
- It was WAY better for my brain than checking email all afternoon.
- Over time, it improved my mental and physical health, and became something I looked forward to everyday.
- It provided the PERFECT stopper -- if I had a class everyday at 3:30pm, I'd be forced to stop work and leave the house.
(Pre-corona, of course. These days, I do an at-home spinning class at 3:30pm then a walk outside!)
Notice that I DID NOT change my schedule AT ALL.
I just replaced something that made me BORED and UNHAPPY with something BETTER.
And it's been literally NO EFFORT to keep it up...Because my schedule does all the work for me!
Let's Try One More Example: Mindfulness
So many people want to include daily mindfulness in their routine, but they never keep up with it.
App notifications, alarms in your phone...These are all reminder techniques that your brain is DAMN GOOD at ignoring!!
So how do you add something HEALTHY to your day when you clearly don't want to make it a priority??
Attach it to something you ALREADY do everyday.
Mindfulness USED to be something I struggled with CONSTANTLY. I know I need it, but I never did it.
Until I realized that every morning at around the same time, I sit down to work at my computer.
What if I just pushed a 5-10 minute PAUSE on that...
And every time I sit down at my computer in the morning, I do a 5 minute meditation before turning it on???
That shit WORKS!!
Now it's like second nature...I sit down at the computer, turn on my lamp, and I pull up my meditation app.
Task done! Routine officially upgraded!
Creating YOUR Perfect Routine...
Here's a hint: there's NO such thing as perfect.
Even as I'm telling you ways I UPGRADED my daily life, that STILL doesn't mean I'm perfect everyday.
Fact is, some days you wake up tired. Or you wake up early and EAGER to work.
And you can have DIFFERENT routines for DIFFERENT days! You do NOT need to do the same thing every time.
For example, I have a minimal work schedule (for when I'm sleepy, sick, or just not in the mood to work). It involves me sitting around and doing a couple quick things on my phone right when I wake up, so I can have the rest of the day to myself.
I also have a regular, daily work schedule...And a regular weekend routine.
Finding "perfect" is all about ADJUSTING things so they work for you...
It's NEVER about adjusting yourself.
If you're try to create a schedule that involves adjusting YOUR BEHAVIOR, that's what leads to those feelings of "I'm a failure, I'm so lazy, why can't I get myself to DO anything??"
You need to adjust THINGS to fit YOU. Not the other way around!
So stop beating yourself up -- and try ADJUSTING just ONE thing so it becomes EASIER for you. ⇣ ⇣
Here are some suggestions:
- Adjust your ENVIRONMENT so it guarantees that you'll succeed (like in the stop eating sugar example).
- Attach a new habit to something you ALREADY do every day (like when I attached a 5 minute meditation to opening my computer each morning)
- Look for LOW points in your schedule and replace them with HIGH points (like when I removed my own 3pm boredom crash by going to a fitness class everyday).
These concepts ⇡ can be applied to anything: your daily routine, your Etsy tasks...even how you interact with your family.
(Example: The hubs and I got sick of feeling like we never "see" each other even though we're both always around. Now we have "no TV Saturdays" so instead of just sitting together, we actually TALK to each other. BONUS: We get a lot of housework done together when there's no TV to be watched!!)
Wanna Try an Etsy Planner to Get Organized?
If you're ready to start USING all the scheduling tactics I just covered ⬆️, but you have NO idea where to start...
Or how to make it work in YOUR specific case...
Then meet the Etsy PLANNER. ⬇️
Does your idea of heaven consist of a perfectly organized shop complete with worksheets, planners, and business growth exercises?
Guess what: I won’t judge you for being OCD organized. In fact, every time I made an effort to organize my business, the better it did!
I created the Etsy Productivity Planner based on all the regular work I do for my shop each week. These methods took me from a few dollars a week to a 6-figure business in less than a year:
See how it works right here 😊