Hopefully, you had a relaxing Christmas break and are back feeling refreshed and ready to take on the New Year? It can be difficult to get motivated when the day is so short, but now is a great time to put bold new plans into action!
Making the most of winter daylight hours
Having complete flexibility in choosing my work hours (and days) is just one of the perks of being in charge of my own business. I do like the fact that I can go for a walk whenever I want, to get some much-needed exercise whilst there is still daylight. If I was an employee in an office, I would be arriving and leaving in the dark at this time of year with little opportunity to get some fresh air. And I find it is always worthwhile to take a break if I am struggling with a particular project, task or marketing problem, or I just need to ‘get my mind straight’ as it normally means that I am much more productive when I come back. I’ve been using some of this time spent in the open air to finalise plans I had been formulating in last quarter of 2016, all of which are aimed at offering you even more in 2018: More value, more choice, more advice, and even more ways to help our customers, website visitors and email subscribers be more effective in their marketing.
Be more efficient – create a ‘process’
As Pixooma has grown, I have developed a lot of methods which help me be efficient when I am working on a task. Over the last few years, I have created (and continually refined) a number of automated and semi-automated processes that allow me to minimise wasted time and speed up tasks that I perform regularly. I also use a number of cloud-based software solutions that help me access my files and data wherever I am, which help me be much more efficient. Finally, I have been tracking my time using a cloud-based app. I’ve tracked not just project-time, but everything else as well (admin, phone calls, marketing, proposals etc) so I can see what takes up my time during the week. This is really helpful because at the end of every week I know I’ve been ‘busy’ most of each day, but because I work on a wide range of tasks and wear a number of ‘hats’ in my business I couldn’t always accurately tell you exactly what I had been doing! My timesheet app gives me this vital information so that long-term I can concentrate on the tasks I most enjoy and outsource those that take me time but aren’t as rewarding or income-generating.
Is graphic design one of your ‘time-drains’?
Unless you are a graphic designer or are already outsourcing to a trusted supplier, it’s quite possible one of the tasks you do that’s not your core skill (and therefore you may not be that efficient at) is creating marketing materials to promote your business. Whether you love doing it, or it is a ‘necessary evil’ until you have the cash flow to delegate this to someone else, there are ways in which Pixooma can help, and for free. Having been in this business for over 20 years, there are a number of useful tips that I’ve learned, developed and been given over that time and I’m happy to share them with you to help you to:
- Improve the effectiveness of the materials you produce
- Make your design process(es) more efficient
- Minimise common mistakes
Through Pixooma’s social media channels I’ll be sharing tips and advice throughout the year, but to make things really easy I can just send them directly to you so you can make use of the advice straightaway (or file for future reference). To enable me to do this simply sign up to our Pixooma mailing list which gives you a selection of subjects to choose from (and you can change your preferences at any time)
p.s One of the subject options available to you is details of the time-saving apps I use, why I use them and how they help my business. So if you’d like to know more, simply sign up and we’ll send you more information. Obviously, you can research them for yourself (check out Capsule, Xero and Toggl for a start as I find these to be a vital part of my business), but it is always worthwhile to get a review from a trusted source – and it’ll reduce some of your wasted time as well!