Using Essential Oils to Maximize Your Productivity

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I’m sure you’re familiar with the strategies that are being shared in the online business world to increase productivity: “Batch your time!” “Work more hours!” “Get up at 4a instead of 7a!” “Do the most important thing first!”

And while all of that is well and good (well, most of it), there’s one aspect to productivity that I feel like is being left out of the discussion - and it has everything to do with YOU.

When it comes to being productive, it’s important that you know how you work best. Now, that doesn’t mean just “Oh, I get the most work done in a coffee shop/coworking space/on my couch in my pajamas.” What I’m talking about is the totality of your environment, your brain, your body, your emotional state, your mental state, etc. 

Everything that makes you who you are is going to have an effect on how YOU are best productive during your day.

Before we get too much further, I want to take a moment and explain what I mean by “being productive.” To me, being productive means that I am doing the work that needs to be done in a way that feels the best to me, and honors who I am and how I work best.

I know, I know. But what does that actually mean?

This means that I have my to-do list in Asana. EVERYTHING goes in there. If it’s not in Asana, it won’t get done. (This is something I’ve learned over the past two years.)

I have certain tasks that have to happen at a specific time, but most of the day is open. That means that I am giving myself the freedom and flexibility to choose what to work on when. As long as everything gets done for the day, and I feel good about how it happened, then I’m satisfied.

I work best out of the house (think coffee shops, coworking spaces, libraries, etc.), but I can only do well on calls when I’m in my own space. I give myself (and my team) buffers before deadlines so that there’s space to adjust if needed.

I use the same two blends of essential oils in my diffuser every single day, and my brain now associates those scents with work. Whether work means writing a blog post, manning customer service for a client, hopping on a live call with my Business Clarity Experience clients, reading a book, or anything else that might happen on a given day.

To me, all of that goes into maximizing productivity each and every day. By creating environments that honor all of these different facets of myself, I am able to be the most productive and not feel overwhelmed, stressed, or burnt out.

I’ve been doing most of this for most of this year and last. Things get changed as I learn more about myself and what I need to be most productive, but for the most part it’s stayed the same. Until I learned about and started using essential oils.

In February, my mastermind met up for an in-person retreat in Atlanta. One of my mastermind sisters uses Young Living essential oils and introduced them to us. Pretty soon after getting home, I ordered my starter kit and began using them.

The most surprising way that they benefited me was in my business. I realized that certain essential oils actually helped me be more productive than usual. I was so intrigued about why this was happening, so I did a ton of research.

What I learned is that essential oils support every single system in our body. That means when we use certain oils, our body responds a very specific way. Think of how you will usually get relaxed if you smell lavender. Or invigorated if you smell peppermint.

Essential oils are like that, but much more intense and potent. So by using the oils that will help increase productivity and lower stress, we are able to get more done and feel better about how we accomplished everything on our to-do list.

While every person is different, and they’ll respond to different oils more, here are a few of my favorite Young Living essential oils for maximizing productivity:

STRESS AWAY

Every single human on the planet needs this oil! Like the name implies, it literally makes your stress evaporate. I love love love this during crunch times, or when I have longer work days. 

You can get it in a convenient roller as well, which is perfect for keeping with you on the go!

PEPPERMINT

Like I mentioned above, peppermint is a really invigorating scent. It wakes up the senses and the brain, which I love during the afternoon. Instead of feeling like I’m hitting a wall, I feel ready to keep moving forward.

EN-R-GEE

This blend is amazing - it gives you so much natural energy. And without any crashes! I love to diffuse this with Stress Away and Peppermint -- it’s really an amazing blend that will help you feel more alert, energized, and ready to tackle anything.

Have you ever used essential oils before? Let me know in the comments!
 

Why You Need to Track Your Time

I’m sure it’s something that you’ve heard time and again -- if you work for yourself, you need to track your time. But why is that so important? Even if you don’t work with clients, or have to turn in timesheets to anyone, tracking your time can give you valuable information and help you see where things aren’t going how you might think they are.

SEE WHERE YOUR TIME IS (ACTUALLY) GOING

I’m willing to bet that you probably think you know where your time is going when you’re working from home (or from a coffeeshop, or a coworking space). But do you actually know?
 
When you track your time, you’re able to actually see where your day is going and what you’re doing. So if you think that you’re only spending an hour on writing your blog posts, but it’s actually taking three? Then you know that your time isn’t being spent in the way you think it is.
 
And when you know where your time is actually going, you can determine if it’s being spent wisely. Which allows you to start creating new habits around how you’re using your time that will allow you to be more efficient and productive.
 
Which leads me into the next point, which is that you can...

DETERMINE INEFFICIENT HABITS

So now that you know where your time is going, you can see if the things you’re doing with it are efficient or not efficient. And if they aren’t efficient, there’s a 99% chance that means you’re not being as productive as you could be.
 
Now, I don’t say that to say you need to be productive all the time. But if you’re working 12-16 hour days (which is something that is unfortunately a normal experience when you work for yourself), you want to make sure that you are maximizing your productivity when you are working.
 
Let’s take checking your email, for example. If you’re like most creative business owners, you have your inbox open at all times in your browser. (I’m totally guilty of this, too!)
 
And you think you’re spending maybe an hour each day in your inbox, but when you track your time you realize that you’re actually spending four hours in your inbox -- but that time is spread over 10-15 minute chunks throughout your day, so it doesn’t feel like that much time.
 
But really, spending four hours a day on email is not an efficient use of your time. So now that you see what your current habits are, you can start to introduce new ones -- maybe you check your email for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon, and close out of your email the rest of the day.

 

LEARN WHAT YOUR MOST PRODUCTIVE TIMES ARE

So you’ve been tracking your time (ideally for a period of at least 30 days so you can see the patterns emerge) and you’ve determined your inefficient time habits. Now, you’re all ready to start scheduling your day in a more efficient way.
 
What you can do now is look back over the past 30 days and see when you were the most productive. What times of day did you get a ton of things done? When were you dragging your feet, or not on top of your game at all?
 
This will allow you to learn what your personal productivity “golden hours” are, and start creating your new schedule around that. 
 
So if you know that you are insanely productive between 10a and 2p, but from 2p to 4p you are not ever getting your best work done, you can schedule all your meetings from 2-4p and never schedule a meeting between 10a-2p. 
 
Doing this means that you are protecting the times of day that you know are the most productive for you, and you’re still able to schedule in everything else that you need to do around those times.

How To Create A Branded Google Doc Template

If you’re anything like me, you’re sending a Google Doc to at least one person every day that you work. Google Docs are convenient, easy to use, and easy to share with your clients, team members, collaborators, etc. But sometimes they can look a little boring, and not quite as professional as they could.
 
That’s why I’m showing you how quick and easy it is to inject your brand into your Google Docs! In about five minutes you can have a fully branded Google Doc template that takes your Docs to the next level by adding in your logo, your brand colors, and your brand fonts.

Wasn’t that stupid simple? And now for the best part -- you never have to worry about adding your brand styling to your Google Docs again. 
 
Every Google Doc you create from now on will be fully branded, but you’ll never have to think about setting it up ever again. Talk about a win-win! 
 
Are you going to create a branded Google Doc template for your business? Let me know in the comments!

Why You Should Revisit Your Systems in the Summer

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For most creative online business owners, summer is a slower time. Sales slow, people go on vacations, and people work less. But did you know that the summer is also the perfect time to tune-up your business systems?

YOU HAVE TIME TO EVALUATE WHAT WORKED IN YOUR BUSY SEASON

While it can be an exciting idea to keep going and be busy every month of the year (okay, well maybe only 10 months out of the year), having a slower season in the summer gives you time to really step back and reflect on what happened during your busy season.
 
This space and time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t will allow you to make tweaks now that will help you in your next busy season. 

YOU CAN TEST OUT NEW SYSTEMS BEFORE YOU GET BUSY AGAIN

Once you’ve evaluated what worked for you and what didn’t, it’s time to make some tweaks to your systems! When you do this in the summer, you’re able to see if they help or hinder you without feeling the panic of having to re-evaluate the tweak when you’re at your busiest.
 
So take advantage of the summer to try new things! See how they feel for you, if your clients and customers like the new systems you put in place, and really have the space to experiment before things pick up again.
 
But if you’re like most creative business owners, figuring out what worked and what didn’t (as well as what things to start tweaking) might seem like an insurmountable task. 
 
That’s why I’m offering Summer Systems Check-Ups! Give me one week to dive into your business, and I’ll send you a full report with action steps. Click the image below to get started!