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FREE 2017 Website & Business Planner!

Happy New Year!

With the way Christmas and New Year’s fell on the calendar last year, I feel like that first week of January was getting back into routines and playing catchup more so than getting anything actually planned for 2017!

So here’s your chance! Download our Free 2017 Website & Business Planner PDF and get going on your goal setting!

The PDF will take you through basic business goals that are going to set the foundation for your marketing and website for the year. Try to push yourself from what you’ve done previously and think about new things to try – but keep in mind what worked last year too.

Once you’ve got your foundation goals set for your business, think about how they should be applied to your website. How do these new goals change what your site should look like? What the site should encourage people to do so those goals are realized?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from pros that know how to get things done for you! I’m always here for your business, design and website needs – feel free to give me a shout and see how I can help you tackle that list!

Free Resource: Scales for Tone Exercise (PDF)

This month’s PDF resource is similar to an exercise I do with my design clients when I’m looking to get an idea of what sort of tone/look/feel clients are going for when we first start the design process.

From this exercise, I’ve created a PDF for clients with existing branding that want to see how closely their current branding matches what their ideal branding would be.

It all starts with a list of adjectives, and a place for notes. Each adjective is ranked on a scale from one to ten for how closely that word should be used to describe your branding. In this exercise, you’ll fill out the PDF twice. Once for your current branding, and once for your ideal. This way you can easily compare the two, and see where adjustments should be made. This exercise also asks you to keep in mind who your ideal client is, so if you’re not sure of who your ideal client is, that’s something that needs to be explored before you think about branding. (We’ll do an ideal client exercise in future months, so sign up for the newsletter to make sure you don’t miss that one!)

I hope this exercise helps you to get a clearer picture of where you are now, and where you’d like to be. As always, feel free to ask any questions, or let me know if you’re having trouble getting your branding where it needs to be!

Download the PDF here »

7 ways to be more productive during even your most unfocused work days

7 ways to be more productive even during your most unfocused work days

We’ve all been there, our to do list is out of control, now to the point where it just feels overwhelming and impossible. So much so, that you can’t even fathom tackling one item on it, so you put it off, and in turn, end up ending the day feeling unproductive and not great.

We know everything is on that to do list for a reason – it needs to get done, right?
Okay, let’s buckle down and get to it. You can do it, I promise.

  1. Priorities. Take a look at each item on your to do list. Obviously some are going to have a higher priority than others, especially ones with deadlines (like RRSP season!). Highlight the ones that have to be done today in pink. Not the ones you “want” to get done, the ones that have to get done.
  2. Eventually. Look at the ones that have been dutifully copied over every week (or day/month, depending on how you organize your to do list), the ones that don’t have a hard deadline, but still need to get done eventually. Put them in their own list, and stop feeling guilty about them. They’re not the priority – they’re not the ones stressing you out right now.
  3. Eat the frog. Let’s go back to the pink/urgent ones. Find the one that will take the least amount of time, suck it up, and do it. Get that first task done. Bonus points if it’s also the most important. (I’ll bet it’s calling to make an appointment for something! It takes less than 5 minutes, and doing it will make you feel so much relief! Do it!)
  4. Mix it up. Congrats, you ate the frog! How’d that feel? Pretty good, right? Maybe not enough to tackle the next most important item on your list, though. Maybe that one will take a bit longer to get done than simply making a phone call, so break it down into 15 minute increments. Do something else for 15 minutes, and then come back and do another 15 minutes. It might seem counterproductive to keep switching things up, but when you’re truly unfocused, and you know there’s no chance you’ll actually be able to sit down and complete the task, there’s no point in wasting time trying. Committing to small chunks at a time is motivating, knowing there’s a set time on a task you’re not digging, and most tasks take less time than you think they will too.
  5. Break it down. Let’s assume you’ve done that first chunk of priority #2, and you need to take your break from it (only 15 minutes!). What else is on your list that you can break down into tasks to complete over the next few time increments or days if it’s less deadline specific? Spend the next 15 minutes organizing your list and making a plan. (Just don’t get caught up in re-organizing the list and never actually completing anything on the list… guilty!) 
  6. Done is better than perfect. Love this quote. Obviously do your best when you can, but don’t let it stop you from completing (or starting!) a task. You can go back and revise whatever it is later if you need to (in most cases), but don’t let “perfect” prevent you from making progress. Get started. Take action.
  7. Suck it up. Yup, no sugar coating it. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it. Being an adult is tough – but there will always be things that need to get done that you don’t want to do. Sometimes you just have to tell yourself to suck it up, get it done, and then eat ice cream for dinner… because there are perks to being an adult too!

I’m as guilty as the next person for procrastination, but these tools have absolutely helped me to get things done that have plagued me for weeks on my to do list.

If you enjoyed these tips, feel free to share them – help some other poor soul that’s procrastinating on social media to get started on their own to do list!

Resetting in the New Year!

resetting-for-new-year

Yes! That’s right, I said New Year, even though we’re more than halfway through the first month!

Here’s the secret – it doesn’t matter what day it is! Any day you take the time to look at your goals and your business, is a great day to do it! Waiting for a specific day isn’t going to do you any favours. Get it done!

What you should be considering:

  • What needs to get updated?
    • If you’re like me, you probably took notes about things to update eventually. These would include things like your contract, your invoices, spreadsheets, fine print on your website – small, quick changes.
  • What did I learn from last year?
    • Good and bad here. While I like to frequently look at what I’m doing, and ask myself if I’m using my time wisely doing things this way, or if maybe there’s another way I should be going about things that could work better… it’s also really important to celebrate the good stuff! Give yourself a high-five for all your successes, and list them out on paper for those days you’re just not feeling it!
  • Business Goals for this year (whenever you start your year!)
    • What are the top three goals/objectives you want to achieve this year?
    • What are the top three biggest problems you’d love to solve with your business?
    • What are your revenue streams for this year? Are they different from last year?
    • How are you finding your potential customers? How would you love to actually find them?
    • Who is your ideal client? Be detailed!
  • Website Goals
    • Which elements on your current site are you really happy or unhappy with?
    • What do you wish your website could accomplish for your business?
    • Make an editorial calendar for blog posts and social media. Include special events like holidays, deadlines for event registrations, anniversaries etc..

For a handy PDF of these questions, plus a few more, sign up now for our monthly resources email, and get the New Year Planner right to your inbox!

If this list only served to stress you out, try looking at each answer and ask yourself “what steps can I take to make this happen, or change this?“. Didn’t help? Don’t be afraid to ask for help from pros that know how to get things done for you! I’m always here for your business, design and website needs – feel free to give me a shout and see how I can help you tackle that list!