Five productivity tips to help you work from the beach

Love the idea of building a business that runs without you? Or one you can manage from anywhere in the world? Read five productivity tips to help you work from the beach.

We’ve all had the dream about creating a business that virtually runs itself while we get on with living our lives. A business that we can manage while lying on the beach, travelling with our family or doing anything else we fancy.

For most this remains a dream. But a handful of people have found a way to make that fantasy a genuine reality for them. One of these people is Donna Miller, founder of C3 Workplace. And now she’s sharing five productivity tips that have helped her shape her business.

I built an organisation that runs without me

I started my business so I could retire when I was 50 (the key word here is was, because I’m considerably north of that now).

However, I believe our businesses are meant to fuel the lives of our dream, and for me, that does not include retiring any time soon. Why would I? I absolutely love what I do and I believe we are making a difference for so many small businesses.

Instead of retiring, I’m opting in to a working from anywhere semi-retirement/semi-not-retirement. I have strategically built an organisation that runs without me.

For me, that meant I had to build a team that I could confidently delegate to and I had to embrace technology without letting it consume my every waking moment. (The latter is a balancing act I’m still working on!)

Five productivity tips to work from the beach

To help you build a business you too can run from anywhere, here are five productivity tips that have worked for me.

1) You simply MUST delegate

Yes, I said MUST. Start by doing some time tracking to build data around where your time is actually going. Once you’ve built this data, you can make strategic decisions on what to delegate.

You can start small, but start you must! Your goal is to stay focused on that which drives your business forward, and not tie yourself up in daily tasks that keep it stuck where it is.

 2) Build a team

Whether they’re your employees, subcontractors or vendors, spend time making sure everyone you work with is moving in the same direction, and build a team.

Hold regular team meetings (either face to face or via phone or video) to create space for collaboration, cross-training and team building.

Most importantly, keep them focused on your organisation’s WHY. Remember, people do business with you or work for you because of why you do what you do, not so much what you do. Check out Simon Sinek’s TED talk on how great leaders inspire action.

3) Find the tech tools that work for you and your team

The list of potential tech tools you can use is endless, but our core tools include Office365, Asana, TSheets, Zoho, HootSuite, Constant Contact ARS system and several WordPress plug ins.

Take it a step further and make sure they are integrated to eliminate redundant entries. Once you find a suite that works, stick with it by re-evaluating new options on an annual or semi-annual basis (avoid the shiny object).

4) Turn alerts and technology OFF

Yup, I said OFF. Create some boundaries people. You are serving no-one by being on 24/7, you are simply training your team and clients to do the same.

Check your emails once or twice a day, period. Use email rules to manage email and better yet, work to delegate your email management.

5) Schedule everything

This works much better for me than a task list. By scheduling everything (appointments, travel, prep time, project work) on my calendar, I create a visual that allows me to more easily see when I am over-committing.

Here’s the most important thing to schedule: DOWN time. I call it ‘white space’ on my calendar. This is my most proactive way of anticipating the unplanned things that simply happen every day.

It is also how I create creative space and MAKE time to stay strategic. Most importantly, it’s how I make sure to take breaks. Sounds counterproductive, but taking breaks is absolutely my #1 productivity tool!

Play the long game

Building a successful business is a process, and you need to play the long game. Break it down and keep moving in the right direction. That’s what I did. And today I take regular vacations. I work summer hours and I barely work in August – so I speak from experience.

Trust me, you can build a business than runs without you too, or a business that you can run from anywhere. Just take it one step at a time.

Join C3 Workplace for their June theme: Delegation & Technology – free webinar on 22 June and Lunch & Learn on 29 June.