Work harder. Produce more in less time. Earn more money. Achieve even bigger and better things.
If you’re anything like me, reading those phrases makes your body tense up and contract.
Your heart rate increases and your body becomes full of dread.
Sadly this ‘hustle and expansion’ mentality has become a societal norm thanks to the oppressive structure of the Patriarchy and in turn Capitalism.
We are expected to produce more in less time and with less support…and we are also expected to produce a better and brighter outcome on top of this.
Well, I say a big ‘no thanks, not for me!’ to that!
If you’re a long term reader you’ll know that I am ALL about working smarter rather than harder.
I’ll admit that this is a phrase that’s thrown around quite a bit and its meaning also depends on your definition of working smart.
Productivity experts love to claim that being productive allows you to work smarter rather than harder (no surprises there).
But what I’m acutely interested in is the ‘WHAT.’
WHAT fuels this productivity and how do we ensure that we thrive while being productive, rather than fizzling out and hating our businesses and lives?
Below I share 5 tips for working smarter rather than harder in your business, incorporating a feminine embodiment and feminine leadership lens.
Kate Northrup has a brilliant phrase which is ‘Body First. Business Second.’
I can’t tell you how often I repeat this mantra, especially when I know I am making things harder than I need to for myself.
You see, when you’re not honouring your body, you’re not honouring your business.
Let me share the impact of dishonouring your body….
What do I need for my body to perform and to work optimally?
Planning and implementing structure into your business definitely help to ensure you’re working smarter rather than harder.
But I’ll admit that over planning or having too much structure has backfired on me, big time.
If my work day and business is too structured I feel constricted and constrained. It can squeeze all creativity and inspiration out of me and it can also squeeze all the energy out of me.
But on the flip side, if I’m too in my feminine and I have zero or little structure I just float and I get very little done.
So in my mind this formula is perfect when it comes to working smarter, not harder –
‘Embodied Structure = Freedom’
But what does this mean?
I have previously mentioned in the first point about the power of tuning into your body’s wisdom and accessing her depth. And for this tip, it’s no different.
Every week I tune into where my body is in terms of my menstrual cycle and how my energy is feeling each day. From here I plan my weekly Most Important Tasks (MIT’s) and I flow on from there.
So from a macro perspective, I have 3 main tasks that I must complete that week in order to drive the needle forward on my business and they are aligned with the tasks that my body is best suited to.
You can learn more in my FREE PLEASURE + PRODUCTIVITY Planner. Download yours here.
It’s also important to note that I ‘Time Theme’ or Batch my time for certain activities throughout the week. For example, I block out time for ‘content creation’ (which is great when you’re in your Luteal menstrual phase). I also have time themes for client calls + client prep, finances and bookkeeping, marketing and sales, personal embodiment work, learning, and development, etc.
And from a daily micro level, I tune into what activities and projects I am really feeling into and I know I’ll get done effortlessly. So for example, this week is a non-coaching week and I’m focused on content creation, admin and finances (which all align to my body and her energy in terms of my menstrual cycle).
So tuning into your body and her needs and desires is critical if you want to work smarter rather than harder…and also feel more pleasure in your day-to-day business activities.
Where are you currently in your menstrual cycle and what tasks/business activities would align with your body’s energy, allowing you to work smarter rather than harder?
Before we dive into embodied boundaries I want to ask you:
How confident are you saying no to business opportunities that aren’t quite aligned with your current priorities and business goals?
How comfortable are you saying no to client requests that don’t fit your scope of work?
The thing is, when we externally say ‘yes’ or agree to things we just don’t want to do, whether it’s because we desperately want to help someone, we’re experiencing FOMO or we don’t want to be disliked, then we’re running the risk that these lack of boundaries will negatively impact our business and our health.
As women in business, we give too much energy, too much time, too much support, too much guidance, too much information (you get the picture). And as a result, we don’t honour our bodies or our businesses (going back to Tip 1.).
When you’re a solopreneur or small business owner, we are responsible for what gets done and what doesn’t. I totally get that.
But that’s why setting boundaries, communicating them and then enforcing them is so important to managing a successful and sustainable business.
When you know what’s most important, set boundaries accordingly, and take the necessary actions to enforce those boundaries, you set your business up for success and you ultimately work smarter, not harder.
P.S. If you want to look at boundaries from a masculine and feminine perspective, creating clear and strong boundaries provide the masculine structure which enables us to avoid becoming involved with other people’s energy and emotions, wants and needs…and drawing us away from our own heart’s desires (the feminine).
P.P.S. Creating Embodied Boundaries involves somatically experiencing the current (often unhealthy) boundary and the desired boundary, which helps you anchor and hold firm the new boundary in your body + life. VERY POWERFUL! (The ‘Embodied Boundaries Tool’ is incredible and something I learned from my Feminine Embodiment coaching certification with the School of Embodied Arts).
Where could you strengthen or enforce boundaries in your business or life that will allow you to work smarter rather than harder?
Similarly to embodied boundaries, support + systems are masculine in nature and they are crucial to creating a sustainable and successful business.
Even though I come from a very masculine way of doing business, I have always been open to asking for help and receiving support from various professionals, friends and fellow women in business.
Sometimes being a business owner can be quite a lonely journey.
For me, having a mentor, being a part of a high-level mastermind and having great entrepreneurial friends and coaching colleagues helps to fuel my success through these connections.
I’m able to quickly access professional business advice, receive fresh ideas, tips, tricks and of course endless support and encouragement that really helps me work smarter rather than harder…as I don’t have to do it alone! (And neither do you!).
In addition, to support, simple business structures and protocols help you streamline your business. This allows you to create shortcuts or automate repetitive tasks and even outsource this work with the corresponding protocols.
For example, I get my VA to upload all of my blog content and newsletters using a ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ or SOP that I created.
I also have workflows set up for new client acquisitions and enrolments which makes my business far more streamlined and effective, as it saves me time and energy.
What support or systems do I need to honour my body and my business so I can work smarter, not harder?
Have you ever had one of those days/weeks/months in your business where everything felt magical and things were falling into place?
You know, those times when you feel lit up, on purpose and you’re just magnetising your desires, whether it be new clients, amazing opportunities etc. etc?
Well, I bet while all this wonderful magic was going down you were in your pleasure!
When we are in our pleasure we are far more energised, inspired, creative and we move into a state of flow.
Put simply, our pleasure fuels our productivity and our prosperity!
It’s really important that you plan pleasure into your business activities on a daily, weekly and quarterly basis. The thing is, we have been socialised to believe that pleasure simply rewards.
We are taught to think that we can experience X pleasurable things only if and when we have completed Y task.
But this is complete rubbish and a very Patriarchal perspective that we must rebel against.
My intention each and every day when I sit down at my desk is to embody pleasure and to use it as my compass.
And guess what? It works a dream!
How can I bring more pleasure into my body and into my work day?
What do I need to do to make pleasure a priority so I can work smarte, not harder in my business?
My intention for this post was to really showcase the idea of ‘working smarter rather than harder’ and to provide practical, easy to implement strategies so you can really enjoy the work you do, avoid burnout and truly thrive while serving your clients.
If you’d like personalised guidance on how you too can work smarter, not harder in your business, then please do book in a call here.
During our call, I will provide you with insight and recommendations on how you can move forward in your business using both strategic marketing and feminine embodiment tools to ensure you have both a wildly pleasurable, successful and sustainable business.
Regardless if you sign up for us to partner together, I can guarantee you will walk away from our call with tangible tips and takeaways.
So if you’re keen, just book in a time to chat here.
Here’s to your wild pleasure and sustainable success in life + business!