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I’ve been reading a phenomenal book by Jon Acuff called Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done. I’m a complete and utter Jon Acuff fan girl. Seriously. I have read every book he’s written. At least once, some twice.
And then again on audio. I may or may not be listening right now. 😂
Side note: I highly recommend Quitter to anyone who wants to quit their day job and start a business/pursue a dream. It talked me off the ledge when I was at the end of my day job rope and helped me press on.n his latest book, Jon talks about how we find things that steal our time and prevent us from finishing projects; things that you absentmindedly gravitate toward. Then you look up at the clock and wonder “what the heck just happened?!”
For me, there are two things that do this:
- My Etsy Shop Stats
I think I always knew in the back of my mind that this dynamic was at play, but it wasn’t until hearing the words (remember, audio book) that I could really see what was going on.
I let those distractions steal me away from investing time into my business. When my Shop was younger than it is now, say 2-4 months old, I worshiped at the alter of Stats. I would see how many people came, where they were coming from, what listings were most popular, and before Etsy changed their Stats system to update every 3 hours, I would refresh mercilessly. It was very unhealthy. And I don’t want to see that happen to you.
So when you get the urge to look at something that could be a complete time waster, here are some productive things you can do instead.
Stop yourself and ask, “Am I Putting Something Off? Am I Overwhelmed and Need a Break?”
It’s ok to give your mind a rest. But I recommend getting up and walking around, getting a drink of water, or doing something special just for you, not getting lost on FB.
Work on New Products and Plan the Launches
Do research in Marmalead on new products, or start planning your Holiday schedule. Holidays are the busiest time for retailers. Think Black Friday: Do you know why it’s called Black Friday? That’s when most retailers are reported to “go back in the black.”
Learn New Skills
Is there a skill that could give your business an edge? For me, that skill is Web Design. So in my free time, I do research and read Web Design books.
Research Your Competition and Bigger Shops in Your Niche
Don’t copy them of course, but see what they’re doing and what concepts work for them and how you can apply those in a unique way to your business.
Plan Your Social Media Calendar
I just switched to SmarterQueue and it saves me SO. MUCH. TIME. I can plan out what I want to post about weeks (and even months) in advance, set up specific post topics for each day; it’s amazing. If you click here, you can get a free trial!
Blog for Your Business
Don’t have a blog? Start one! There isn’t a better way that I can think of for your customers to get to know you, than through reading your own words. Don’t feel like you’re a good writer? Don’t worry! The more you write, the better you get at it. I’ve been writing little stories and poems since I was a kid. And I can assure you those early writings were probably terrible. But like anything, it takes practice. And Grammar Girl. 😉
What are some ways that you’re better utilizing your time?