Tapping into freelance talent as a small business owner can save you and your small business money.
Not sure how? Or even if hiring a freelancer is the way to go for your small business?
Welcome back to GinAdmin. I am Gina Koran and I will be your host today. As always, I am grateful that you have a taken a few minutes of your valuable time to read my coffee-induced “wisdom”, as it were.
So today we are going to look at how tapping into the freelance talent out there can help save your small business money this year.
Go grab your favorite drink and let’s dive in…
Did you know…
70% of employers plan to use freelancers this year!
This is according to the 2022 Freelancing Trend in the USA survey conducted early this year.
Companies in many sectors are facing fast-moving challenges in this digital world, and they have to scale quickly in a way they may have not done before. That’s where hiring freelance talent comes in.
This number is amazing, and a great opportunity for small businesses.
Think about this…WHY are so many companies using freelancers?
Because there are so many freelancers out there!
About 70 million people in the U.S. freelance. With such a staggering statistic, it’s important for business leaders to start thinking about how to harness the immense talent available to them in the gig economy.
If you are like me, as a small business owner/entrepreneur, your daily routine is key to your productivity. Today, I am sharing 7 ways to help boost your productivity with daily routines.
Welcome back to GinAdmin. I’m your host, Gina Koran and as always, I’m pleased you chose to spend a few minutes of your busy day with me as I share my coffee-induced thoughts with you. So grab your cup…
Many of the things we do each day to reach our goals can be achieved by creating small routines or daily habits that you perform without even thinking about it each day.
By making your actions routine and, more importantly, a habit, you will find you get more done and not feel like you are always working.
Starting off the day hydrated will boost your energy and make it more likely that you get your tasks completed.
Even yours truly, a self-proclaimed coffee addict, I start my day with at least one glass of water. And while I might joke that I drink that glass of water to clean my palate before I start my coffee IV, it is truly to get myself hydrated after a full-night’s sleep.
I also will drink water with my lunch and my evening meal to keep myself hydrated, understanding that staying hydrated keeps me focused and more productive throughout the day.
The great thing about water is that you can spruce it up. Add a slice of lemon. Toss in some fresh mint. Maybe cucumber slices. So many possibilities!
Review Your Schedule
I’ve talked about this before, but each night before bed I write down the most important tasks I need to work on the next morning.
Then first thing (after my glass of water, of course) each morning before I start my day, I glance over my list to get an overview of what I need to do during the day.
Then, I can prioritize each item based on my very colorfully-coded calendar.
If you are looking for some inspiration on time blocking, check out Cindy Bidar’s latest podcast : “How to Use Time Blocking to Get Stuff Done”. Cindy is a master at this!
Create a Morning Routine
Set up a morning routine for your self-care. This is totally personalized to each person, based on your needs.
You can start with a shower, make your bed, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc.
You may also want to add meditation, do some yoga, or maybe even journaling into your morning routine.
Those are some of my own routine: drink my glass of water, do my morning stretches for my back, brush my teeth, shower and dress for the day, make the bed.
And finally make my first cup of magic bean water a.k.a. coffee. As my friends at Chicago French Press say: Coffee beans magically turn into a life-changing potion everyday!
Then I head into my office to start my day, starting with that task list!
Monitor Your Nutrition
Another way to become more productive is to eat properly. As I have said before, I am not a doctor. But I do understand the importance of proper nutrition.
I would love to eat like that 14-year-old girl with her sugar-based cereal again. That sugar high, though will lead to a sugar crash a couple hours later for me, the NOT-14-year-old-girl.
I also know that too much pasta and/or bread make me lethargic.
Talk about unproductive.
You know what foods work best for you – do that.
For me, fruits give me a natural boost. With summer coming (YAY), that will mean early Wednesday morning starts as I head out to the farmer’s market where I grab loads of fruits and veggies to give me that natural boost.
Another trick I found is prepping food in advance to make it easy to stick to whatever plan you come up with.
It also makes for a less stressful meal-planning time each day if you have a super busy day and find yourself short on meal-prep time!
Develop a Positive Mindset
Find ways to look at the positive aspects of your life. When you have a positive mindset or outlook, it tends to strengthen your motivation.
And I get that with everything going on in the world and around you today, that it is sometimes easier said than done to keep a positive mindset.
One of the biggest ways I have found to stay positive is to distance myself from the news.
I have greatly reduced my time on social media. We don’t even watch the evening news, something both my husband and I grew up with with our parents. If you are reading this and you know my Dad, mum’s the word! (Wink)
Now that is not to say that we do not know what is going on in the world. We simply reduce our exposure to it all.
I have to admit, since we stopped watching and reading and listening to the news as much, both our mindsets have become much more positive!
Celebrate Your Victories
When you are successful and accomplish something, find a way to celebrate, no matter how small the victory.
One of my rewards for completing a task is (no surprise) …a fresh cup of coffee. When I am working from my colorful calendar and its time blocks, once I complete a task, I’ll refresh my cup.
This also gives me a chance to get up and stretch my back after sitting through that task so that it doesn’t put a damper on my positive energy.
Find something that motivates you. Something that will give you that motivation to complete a task. Then celebrate your win!
Segment Your Workday
Don’t work all the time. This is especially important if you work for yourself. The work never seems to end.
Set specific hours for your workday. Stick to these hours at least 80 percent of the time.
Keep in mind that being flexible is important. Sometimes working hard is going to be required, but it’s not required every single day.
I am getting better at this. And while I might have a client text me in the evening, if it’s not an emergency, it goes on my task list for the next morning (see how I tied that in from earlier?).
Well, there you have it, Gina’s coffee-induced thoughts on boosting your productivity through daily routines!
If you have some other ideas on boosting productivity or daily routines, drop them in the comments below. I would love to hear yours!
For my fellow small business owners, if you are interested in ways that working with a Freelance Administrator can help put more time in your day and boost your productivity, drop me a message over at www.GinAdmin.com/#contact.
Until next time my friends, stay safe, positive and productive!
Do you wish you could streamline your schedule and increase your efficiency when working from home? Do you frequently feel like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need to do?
Welcome back to GinAdmin where today, me and my sidekicks (my pupper and my always-on-hand cup of coffee) are going to share some ideas that work for me in streamlining my day to work more efficiently.
So, grab your favorite beverage and have a quick read.
As hard as it is, we must do things when we need to.
Otherwise, they don’t get done at all. Or we find ourselves having to do them when we truly don’t have the time TO do them.
Then it seems something else has to be put off.
If you’re like me, when a project has a deadline, it is important to devote all of my undivided attention to it, or it won’t get completed. Time management is a critical aspect of every job – from planning to executing.
I have found that my schedule needs to be structured to support efficiency and productivity to reach my goals.
So, if you’ve ever felt like you need to streamline your daily schedule to work more efficiently, here are some tips are for you:
Check your existing workflows and processes.
Ask yourself these questions:
Are my workflows or processes efficient?
Do certain things take too much time or space to complete?
Are there things you can do to either eliminate steps or streamline your workflow?
Assessing current workflows is essential in improving productivity.
For example, do you need to complete specific tasks in a particular order or time? If so, then building your schedule with the tasks in the order you need to complete them will help you work more efficiently.
If you don’t need to do certain activities in the order you listed them, simply reorder them to streamline your work.
I do this with each task. At the end of every day, I review my current projects and list the priorities for the next day to keep me on track and complete those projects on time.
Rank your processes.
Once you know your current workflows, you can rank them in terms of both the amount of time they take to complete and the extent to which they streamline your typical workflow.
I recommend using a scale of 1 to 5, depending on how time-consuming a process is and how much it changes your routine.
If it takes less than five minutes, you can probably combine it with another task in your workflow.
Turn off your notifications.
Notifications in apps can be great when you want to receive a notice for something important, but when you’re working tasks, they are simply distractions.
Turn off your notifications and focus only on the task at hand so that you don’t end up losing focus.
The truth is, most notifications can wait.
I put news alerts and messages on hold until later and read them as a reward for finishing my tasks. Then I can sit back with my favorite mug and read them without feeling guilty for taking time away from my important tasks.
Tackle the hard stuff first.
If you are trying to jam in as many tasks as you can, chances are you’re not getting much, if anything done.
Or, you might even be the opposite; you’re spending more of your limited time on busywork that you don’t need to do. To help become more productive, I find that it helps to focus on one task at a time and work on that task until I complete it.
If I find myself multitasking, I try focusing instead for a single 30-minute period, taking a quick break (probably grab another cup of coffee) and get back at it. I talked about multitasking before – you can read that here: How to be more productive this week.
Trying to work on more than one task at a time can cause procrastination, which is a whole new level of anxiety. I will take the time to organize my tasks in order of priority so that the most important projects have the first slot in my schedule.
For instance, I tend to procrastinate on tasks that involve creative work, such as writing, brainstorming, and generating ideas. I find that setting aside 15 minutes a day to write helps me make more progress on that task.
Another trick I use is that I do the things I like to do the least first. Otherwise, I’m just dreading that task while I’m doing other things.
Do your work near an excellent natural source of light.
A good source of light not only helps you see better, but it also helps you work better. This tip is handy if you work from home.
Those of us who work from home can become dependent on artificial light, leading to eye strain and fatigue. Working in a well-lit area and taking regular breaks away from your desk helps with this.
Watch your natural lighting, though. I have windows behind and next to me. When I’m going to be on a video call, I have to close the blinds and the curtains on those windows, otherwise the lighting is terrible!
And while some days my cup and I aren’t looking our best, the person on the other end of the video wants to see you as you’re talking to them!
Streamlining your schedule and increasing your efficiency will help you focus on what is important throughout the day. Try to limit the number of distractions you have around you.
Now, remember that you might not need to make a complete overhaul of your schedule. Many times, you can make small changes to greatly improve your overall productivity.
One of the best ways to improve your efficiency…you guessed it! Work with a Freelance Admin. We can help you assess and restructure your processes where needed, structure your schedule, and overall make your life easier!
If you try any of these tips, leave me a comment below and let me know how that works out for you. Or if you have other ideas, feel free to share!
And, of course, if you would like to learn more about how a Freelance Admin can help, contact me ~ we can chat over a cup of…yep, coffee, or whatever you beverage of choice is!
Changing your mindset can help you grow both personally and professionally in achieving your goals.
But do you know what is the number one factor that determines whether or not someone succeeds at achieving a goal?
Is it genetics? Luck? What about skills or natural talent? Hard work has to be in there somewhere, right?
All of these factors are important, some more so than others, but none hold the number one spot.
So, what is number one?
If you guessed mindset, you are right. Mindset is a better predictor of future success than every other factor you can consider, including working hard and natural talent.
Welcome back to GinAdmin. My name is Gina Koran and I, along with my trusty sidekicks (a.k.a. my cup of joe and my pup) will be your host into this journey of changing your mindset to help you grow both personally and professionally, and achieving your goals.
What is a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is where you believe in change and improvement.
You believe that your skills and talents can be improved through hard work, practice, and dedication.
You embrace challenges.
People with a growth mindset set challenges as learning and growth opportunities rather than obstacles standing in their way.
They don’t get easily frustrated by failures and roadblocks; they believe these things are to be expected and are a sign that they need to adjust and try again.
I never see failure as failure, but only as a learning experience.
The success of other people is inspiring to people with a growth mindset. They try to figure out how the other person succeeded and how to imitate them. This increases their own odds of success
You’ve heard the old adage “A leopard cannot change its spots”. Well, yes. But you are not a leopard, you are a human being. And we, as humans CAN change our spots!
Mindset is Changeable
Don’t buy into the myth that mindset is static. Not only CAN it change, but it DOES change throughout your life, whether or not you purposely try to change it.
So if your mindset is changing anyway, why not guide these changes and help them along so that you can grow into the best possible version of yourself?
Now, you’re probably asking yourself “HOW can I make these changes?”.
Well guess what…I have some tips. These tips are actually some habits you can create to help you change your mindset into one of growth!
Changing your mindset takes time and work. There’s no magic that will let you do it overnight.
And, of course, you don’t want to do ALL of these!
Pick the ones you think you can do easily and start there. You can always come back later and start on a new one!
So here we go…
Create a morning ritual to get your day off to a good start.
What makes you feel best in the mornings?
What can you do to set yourself up for success every day?
Maybe it is journaling over a cup of coffee or going for a morning run.
Maybe it is taking a few minutes to meditate or stretch before you get in the shower.
It might even be something as simple as making your bed before you leave for work.
Figure out a ritual that works for you and prioritize doing it every day.
If you have been with me for a while, you know that running…yeah, probably not going to happen.
But as the weather gets warmer, I will start going walkabout with the pupper. (AND my cup of coffee!). This gets my blood flowing and sets me up for a good day of good old-fashioned work!
Reflect on your day.
Every night before you go to bed, take a moment to reflect on your day.
What went right?
What didn’t and how can you make it go right tomorrow?
Did you get done what you wanted to do? Why or why not?
What can you do to make sure tomorrow goes well?
I mentioned in a previous article that my best tool is my very colorful calendar.
Every morning before I start my day, I look over my calendar and have a snapshot of what I need to accomplish.
This also helps clear my brain most nights so that I can rest knowing that tomorrow is already laid out for me.
Okay, sure you can pass on that busy work to your Freelancer. But typically, Freelancers have such a wide knowledge base that you will find that, again you can also pass on other, bigger tasks to your Freelance Admin to put some time back into your schedule!
I’m sensing a trend here! (wink)
Freelancers aren’t skilled, otherwise they’d be working a “job” for a big company
Most Freelance Admins come from some type of “corporate” background.
Having been a corporate admin for (way too) many years, I can tell you that having a “job” for a big company is not so much something I want to go back to. I find much more satisfaction in working independently with companies I choose to work with, especially small business owners.
Why small business owners? Thanks for asking! I love working with small business owners because they are still intimately involved in the daily running of their business. They are still in the trenches, so to speak. They are still passionate about their business.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to sound as if I am speaking poorly of large corporations. It’s just that having been in that world, I simply and personally enjoy and prefer working with small business owners.
On the skill side, Freelancing is so popular right now and there are so many places for Freelancers to gain knowledge that this is a big pile of myth nonsense. Plus, there are so many online communities for Freelancers, that the knowledge-base we have to draw on is truly impressive.
Freelancers lack true work ethic
The majority of the Freelancers I personally know work more hours every week than your average employee.
This comes not only from the fact that we take great pride in our work, but very likely – you are not our ONLY client, so we have to schedule our time to make sure we finish the work we’re given.
Plus, we know that if we don’t do the work we’re contracted to do, we can lose that contract. And that’s just bad business.
And because we ourselves are business owners, we tend to put forth the effort it takes to keep the trust of those who have hired us!
Freelancers aren’t employees, so they have no commitment/loyalty to the company
Again, those Freelancers I know take great pride in working with the business owners who put their trust in them to get the job done.
So I simply call hogwash on that myth.
Companies that encourage the use of freelancers will benefit from the increased access to skilled talent and more workforce flexibility, while those that ignore freelancers will inevitably fall behind.
As a small business owner, I can’t afford to hire a freelancer
This is probably one of the things I hear most from small business owners that I talk to. And yes, when you are first starting out on your business-ownership journey, hiring ANYONE can feel like a huge expense.
There are three major points I share with the small business owners that I approach about working with me.
First, you cannot do all of the things all of the time over a long period of time. You will burn yourself out and start to resent the very business you started. I have watched this happen to many small business owners.
And as a Freelancer, it is painful for me to see this happen when I KNOW I can help them. It is especially painful when they have previously said “No, thanks” when I offered my services.
The second point I make is that by hiring someone to do the background work, it frees them up to focus on building their business. Which is the goal, right? You want to BUILD.
Which feeds into my third point, and that is that once you have built your business with a solid foundation, eventually you’re going to need to hire SOMEONE. That someone is going to require benefits, supplies, office space, breaks, vacation time. All the things that go along with hiring employees.
Plus, that employee will not have first-hand knowledge of the background of your business.
When you hire a Freelance Admin, you are strictly paying for the work they are doing for you, so no benefits, etc. And by working with them when you are starting out, they have first-hand, working knowledge of how you want things done! There is no learning-curve by having to hire an admin later and take the time to walk them through every step.
So when a small business owner tells me they cannot afford to hire a Freelance Admin, my question is: Can you really afford NOT to work with me?
And there you have it. One woman’s opinion on the 6 biggest myths of working with a Freelance Admin.
As always, thanks for stopping by! And I would love to hear from you – the good, the bad, the ugly – so feel free to leave me a comment below. Or pop on over to www.ginadmin.com/contact and schedule a time for a chat!