Team Jenna Kutcher loves streamlined systems and workflows so we can get weeks and even months ahead, allowing us to dig into bigger, longer-range projects with full creative headspace and focus knowing that the recurring pieces of the business are handled in advance.
That’s what this episode is about — A look into our systems and workflows, how we define and stick to them, why they get us so giddy, and some suggestions for further help with systems that fit the way YOU work and thrive.
WHY I LOVE SYSTEMS
When I was first starting out with photography as my side hustle, I had no choice but to develop systems and workflows that could help me get my work done in a short amount of time. Systems and workflows are a gamechanger at any phase of business, but especially in the solopreneur/side-hustle phase because they allow you to condense a task into a shorter, repeatable process.
Now, systems in my business allow each of my team members to execute tasks and complete projects in streamlined ways that always match brand standards and expectations. My obsession with systems has really allowed us to do more in less time while freeing up brainspace to take on new projects and ideas.
I’ve also realized again and again that stressed work is not my best work. Workflows allow me to get ahead and then I’m freed up from the stress of creation and to-do lists and deadlines.
TIPS FOR WORKING AHEAD
When you listen to this episode, you’re actually hearing the final recording we did in a 10 day period that allowed us to create two whole months of content at once. Let me tell you, the work may be extensive at the time, but it is so freeing to know those things are finished and scheduled in advance.
One thing you risk when creating ahead of time is that content could become irrelevant by the time it releases. We learned this in 2020 when things changed by the day — releasing certain content on the blog or podcast that was written in February but scheduled for April just didn’t work.
Your systems and workflows can give you structure to your commonly repeated tasks, yes, but they should also allow for flexibility. The best way to build in flexibility specifically when it comes to content creation is keeping things “evergreen” and then remembering to go back and review, edit, and update before the content goes live.
HONOR YOUR FLOWSTATE
When you think of systems, you might think of linear step-by-step tasks, and most of the time that’s true, but a system might also look like honoring your flow state. Put simply, it means leveraging the time of day where you feel most motivated, focused, creative, and mentally driven to complete your work.
Flowstate is different for everyone, and it might even change from day to day or week to week — we’ve even found that our monthly cycles impact when our flowstate happens!
Figure out when you perform at your highest and best level, and then do the things that require the highest and best work in that time while giving yourself permission to tackle the easier, less demanding tasks during the time of day when you’re not quite firing on all cylinders.
As I started to get my footing in my business and began branching out, for example, with the podcast, one thing that was a non-negotiable to keep things running smoothly was utilizing a CRM like Honeybook. Keeping things out of email, making sure we were hitting deadlines, and tracking contacts, payments, etc. all in one place was truly the key to keeping my business on track.
Now in my business with a team of over 10 women, we lean heavily on Monday.com as a project management system. If you struggle with breaking down larger tasks into digestible pieces or laying out timelines for launches, explore Monday.com or another project management system so your to-do list lives in one place with smart features to keep you on task.
IF YOUR BRAIN WORKS DIFFERENTLY
Kylie shared with a topic that she’s learning about through a friend who was recently diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. Did you know that people with ADHD are 6 times more likely to become entrepreneurs?
As Kylie said, “All through college she would ask me for help getting organized and creating systems and she essentially wanted to do things ‘my way’, but what she realizes now is that was so dismissive of the fact that her brain functions differently than mine.”
So while the systems and strategies we talked about in this episode can be a great workstyle if you’re someone who thrives in consistency but needs help structuring your time, they might not be right for everyone.
If you’re neurodivergent or this style of organization doesn’t work well for your brain structure, I’d recommend checking out people like Tracy Otsuka who can provide alternative approaches to implementing a workflow. Her podcast ADHD for Smart Ass Women is a really incredible resource.