As a former side hustler, the one of the common questions I would get asked was: How do you organize your business to balance work and life? And the truth is, that you don't there is no such thing as work-life balance, but you can strive to have what I like to call a healthy work-life blend. My business is my life and my life is my business, therefore everything is intertwined. I never really "clock out" and my ideas and mind are always "on." After a whole bunch of years of doing a mediocre job, I finally figured out a system to organize my business and not feel overwhelmed. You can get a quick overview in the video below, or the entire outline within the post.
How to Effectively Organize Your Business
You need to stop leaving all your brilliant ideas in random notebooks and journals. They're cute for flat lays, but million dollar ideas are forgotten about every single day. Instead, use an online tool like Trello to keep it all in one place. Trello is a free, fun, and easy to use online project management tool. It uses boards, cards, checklists, and labels to help you outline a better to do list. You can even assign tasks to team members or your co-workers, see what is being worked on, who is working on what, and the progress on each task. Its visual interface and the collaborative features take task management to a whole new level. But for the sake of this post, I'll just focus on how you can use it for personal use.
There are three main components to organization on Trello: Boards, Lists, and Cards
Boards are used to house a large project, campaign or the work for your whole organization. Think of it as a house, with different rooms within it. For example, you can have a board dedicated to a specific project that you are working on or have a board that houses all the tasks for your side hustle. I like to have everything in one place so I only have one board. You choose how large or small the project that you manage within the board is.
Lists accompany the boards. These are columns that categorize and track your tasks(cards) in a visual way, which can be modified to your discretion by adding, subtracting or renaming them. Within these lists you have individual cards and you decide what kinds of lists you want to use to categorize tasks. When I tell you I have a lot going on... I mean miles of tasks. What I do is, I break up each of my days into lists and categorize them. I only work on a specific kind of tasks on a certain weekday. Mondays I build my business through collaborations and influence building, Tuesdays I create my content in bulk, etc. This allows me to increase my productivity because I'm not trying to do a million things at once, and it also ensures that I don't get stuck on one kind of task.
Each list is made up of cards. The cards are the building blocks for Trello. Each card is one of the little projects a team member is working on or a task within a specific list. Each card allows you to with smaller subtext on the back of each card.
- When you click on a card the details appear and you're able to add items like checklists, due date, link attachments, add team members and attach files. For example, let's say I'm doing research for an event. I can create a checklist of things that need to get done, add links of things I need to buy, and add pictures of the venue all in one place.
- You're also able to see the activity and progress of each card with a progress bar located on the “back” of the card as well on the bottom of the card.
I adore Trello, and you can use it to organize your job search, plan your next event or organize your side hustle. After you list all of the things that need to be accomplished (at some point in time) on your Trello Board, you need to prioritize those action items. Here's how I tackle that massive list. Each day, before I'm done working, I create a written to-do list of what I will accomplish the following day. I outline my top priorities, my #1 goal, what I will do in the morning, afternoon and evening and anyone that I need to follow-up with. I use my accomplishments notepad for this. The pad keeps me focused on what I need to get done in the short-term - aka today - and leave the rest on Trello. I will look at all of the tasks on that specific weekday and decide if I will add it on my to-do list based on the due date. If there is no due date, I consider if it will do one of two things: build my influence or generate income. If the end result doesn't support one of those two things, I don't prioritize it. It stays on my list until I get to it.
This approach (and journaling) has helped me achieve sanity and success. It is important that you understand and come to terms with the fact that you cannot do it all. However, you can see progress in your business and stop feeling overwhelmed if you work on accomplishing 3 priorities that build your influence and income each day, and save the rest for later.
Questions? Holla at me on Twitter or in my Instagram DMs. I'm @EmmelieDeLaCruz across all channels and below are my latest IG posts.