Getting Ahead of Your Business in 2021
Preparing for the unexpected isn’t easy, but there are tons of things you CAN predict and get ahead of in the new year. Listen to Part 1 of our Getting Ahead in 2021 series. In today’s episode, I’ll share 8 small but mighty tips you can do today to stay on top of your business all year. (Spoiler alert: most of the tips take less than 5 minutes each!)
Happy Birthday School of Sellers & Looking Ahead on the Podcast
Can you believe School of Sellers is a whole year old?! I started this podcast as a way to share business tips for TeachersPayTeachers sellers just a little over a year ago. Thank you so much for joining us on this journey, and I can’t wait to show you what we have in store for 2021.
The first episode of 2021 kicks off a series all about getting yourself organized and ready for the new year. Many of you joined us for the Jumpstart 2021 Planning Workshop, and it feels so nice to have the year planned. Although I consider myself a procrastinator and like the pressure of doing things at the final hour, it does sometimes lead to being late with deadline. As much as we think we work well up until the last minute, it’s not always the best plan because things can change at the drop of a hat, especially in business. So it’s one of my goals this year to bring the work ahead spirit and getting ahead of the game to my teacher seller business.
So for the next few episodes, we’ll focus on easy ways to get ahead of your business all year long. In the coming weeks, we’ll be discussing how to prepare for changes coming to the TpT platform, including pixel tracking and VA login access. I’ll also be sharing a super embarrassing story that led to the discovery of certain business practices that now I can’t live without. And finally, I’m so excited to share that, for the first time, we’ll be having special guests on the show. Make sure you subscribe to the School of Sellers podcast so you don’t miss any of these upcoming episodes!
Tips for Getting Ahead of Your Business and Your Year
These 8 simple tips will help you get ready for the new year and set your teacher seller business up for success from Day 1. Let’s get started!
Tip #1: Schedule the Things that Will Happen No Matter What
When you sit down with your planner, ALWAYS pencil in the things that will happen no matter what. These include recurring meetings, appointments you’ve already scheduled, school events, and personal events like birthdays and anniversaries. Make sure you get these on your calendar first so you can see it all at a glance before you schedule other tasks.
Tip #2: Block Off Time in Your Schedule Instead of Listing Specific Tasks
Instead of listing specific tasks I need to do like X, Y, and Z, I say something like I’ll use these 2 hours for blog related tasks. I love it because it helps me to set my brain at easy knowing that I’ve given myself time for all of the important things I need to do. Think about the different blocks you’ll need to account for in your business and personal life. These might include time to plan for tasks you’ll give to a VA, blogging, social media, homeschool tasks, etc.
“Set your brain at ease knowing you have given yourself time in your schedule for the important parts of your business.”
Tip #3: Make Sure You’re Scheduling Breaks
Account for two different types of breaks. Start with the ones that have been predetermined for you like spring break and winter break. But also make sure to schedule breaks you give yourself by setting aside time where you’re not allowed to do anything business-related. It doesn’t have to be a full weekend or a long vacation, but try setting aside at least a couple of hours each week where you can step away from your business and not feel guilty about it.
Tip #4: Start a Brain Dump Document
I use a simple Google Doc to house my brain dump document. Use this as a catch-all for all the thoughts that pop into your brain all day long. Save them in one spot until you’re ready to act on the ideas.
Tip #5: Brain Dump All of Your Undesirable Tasks & Appointments
I like to list all of the things I know I’ll have to do throughout the year such as doctor and dentist appointments. When possible, I also love to get as many of these tasks accomplished right away. For example, I just scheduled all of my kids’ appointments for the entire year. Get these tasks done now so they’re not hanging over your head all year!
Tip #6: Know Your Zones
By zones, I mean the way that you think and the different zones your brain enters any given day. For me, I have a creative zone which is a setting my brain needs to be on in order to do anything creative. This includes things like blogging, writing copy for social media posts, and creating new products. I’m usually in this zone first thing in the morning, so I’ve shifted my schedule so that I can work on my business in the morning before I do homeschooling with my kids in the afternoon.
“If you get really familiar with your zones of thinking and the ways you work best, and you schedule your work and your time accordingly, you’re going to get so much more done than you would otherwise.”
I’ve talked about this tip on a previous podcast episode called The No-Fail Way to Work Smarter and I created an Airtable spreadsheet where you can brain dump your tasks, sort them, and rate them by what type of energy you might need for those tasks. Listen to the episode and get access to Work Smarter Spreadsheet here.
Tip #7: Clean Off Your Computer
This should really be done every month, but it’s especially important to do at the beginning of each year too. I like to clean off the files on not only my desktop, but also my Downloads folder and even my Recycle Bin. I use an app called Clean My Mac, but you can also do it manually too. Consider looking for duplicate files, zip files you no longer need, etc.
Tip #8: Clean Off Your Phone
If you’re like me, you have a ton of videos, images, and texts on your phone. One thing I like to do to save space is to periodically delete my text messages. I also back-up my photos using Google Photos so I can make room for more.
That’s it! Hopefully you can use some of these tips right away as the first step to getting ahead of this year. I can’t wait to continue this series over the next few weeks where I’ll be sharing even more ways to get organized. Please join me and set yourself up for success in your TpT or other teacher seller business. Remember to subscribe so you never miss an episode!
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