• 5 Ways To Streamline Your Business And Life

    Do you ever get that panicked feeling that you have so much to do, with so many loose ends, but you’re not sure how to deal with it all? One of the upsides AND downsides of being your own boss is that you’re in charge of everything. It can get pretty overwhelming. Which is why it’s so important to take a step back sometimes and work on your business rather than just in it. To work out a strategy for how to run your business without running yourself into the ground.

    I’ve got a few tips to get you on your way to becoming more streamlined and focused.

    streamline your business

    1. Be aware of how you spend your time. One of the best ways you can streamline your business, is by simply becoming more aware of how you’re spending your time. You might be shocked! You can do this using apps like 30/30, or by simply writing down what you’re doing. Once you’re aware of how you’re spending your time, you can focus on what needs outsourcing or trimming.
    2. Don’t multi-task. There’s plenty of evidence out there that it doesn’t work for the vast majority of people. Single tasking is more efficient, and if you batch work you can plan much further ahead. For example, if you batch work all your social media in one morning, you’re not constantly thinking about it all month (although you should still check in daily). Additionally, according to this quote from the American Psychological Association “Meyer has said that even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.” Planning ahead and batching things up can really help you feel more streamlined.
    3. Schedule ahead. Wherever possible, get ahead on your scheduling for social media (try Buffer), blogging and newsletters. Knowing you already have something in the works and you’re a step ahead frees you up to focus on the other important stuff – and potentially spot opportunities you would have missed before. It also reduces panic if you happen to fall ill or have to take a couple of days off.
    4. Only spend time on the social media that works for you. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of being on everything. But which tools are working for you? Choose 2 or 3, and focus on doing them well, rather than panicking that you’re not a Pinterest Queen or a Twitter Guru.
    5. Use IFTTT recipes. IFTTT is a site that enables you to create ‘recipes’ using different online tools, so that when one tool does something, it triggers another. I’ve shared a few of my favourite IFTTT recipes here on the blog and over here on Yell Business.


  • Win! A 12 month free subscription to FreeAgent


    Have I got a competition for you!

    Some of you may know FreeAgent is my accounting software of choice. I don’t recommend anything unless I really love it, and I honestly believe FreeAgent has improved my efficiency and reduced my stress when it comes to invoicing and accounting.

    A few of the reasons why I love FreeAgent:

    • It imports my business banking account so I can easily match up my invoices with my bank statements. I do love a good sync.
    • I can add expenses like train tickets easily by using the new app, as well as create invoices on the go with it.
    • It tells me how much I should have put aside for my tax bill
    • It sends me a Monday Motivation email telling me how much I’m owed.
    • The support rocks. I first came across them through their free weekly G+ chats (you can find them through their page), but their support through their site and social media networks is great overall.
    • If you do your own self-assessment, they’ve got a function that fills as much of it in for you as possible, and you can then add in the rest online.

    Sound good? That’s where the competition comes in. They’re offering one Freelance Lifestyle reader the chance to wine 12 months free subscription to FreeAgent.

    All you need to do is click on this link and fill in your details.

    The competition will run until Tuesday 2nd June.

  • Win! Organise your week with this handy desk planner…


    Today, I’m launching a little competition for those of you who love stationery and organisation in equal measures. While shopping in Paperchase recently, I came across this desk pad – and realised it was perfect for freelancing. It’s got sections for your Monday to Sunday errands, email and call back notes, to do check list and general notes, plus a separate sticky note pad for notes on the go. You can fill in the planner, then tear the top one off when you’re finished at the end of the week to start again. There’s even a ruler at the bottom for er….well, it’s probably quite good for crafters actually.

    I’ve got a similar one in my office, for when I want to have my week all in one place. And now I’ve got one to give away.


    I’ve popped a Rafflecopter below with four options on how to enter – like the Freelance Lifestyle on Facebook, follow on Twitter or send a tweet. UK entries only I’m afraid. Competition closes on the 7th July.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Disclaimer: I have bought this planner myself, and Paperchase has not had any involvement in this giveaway. Y’know, aside from making the planner in the first place.

  • Competition time: Build your own website with WebPlus X6

    The revamped Freelance Lifestyle has been going for a few months now, and I wanted to celebrate and say thank you to everyone who’s been reading and commenting by running a little competition. I figured as it’s a website and blog dedicated to freelancers, it makes sense to have something that can be used for business.

    The WebPlus X6 is a piece of software that you can use to whizz up a website quickly, whether it’s a fancy business website or a lifestyle blog. It’s by creative software developer, Serif, and it’s worth £81.69.

    Here’s the blurb about the software:

    “The latest version is the most powerful visual website designing software on the market today. Start from scratch or use a customisable template to kick-start your bespoke website. Drag-and-drop designing makes it easy to add text, images, and videos so you can create an entire website in minutes – you don’t even need to know any HTML. And with powerful features for adding ecommerce, designing mobile sites, and optimising pages for search engines, WebPlus X6 has everything you need for a business-class website.”

    Plus, it includes your own .com domain and 12 months hosting.

    Lookie, fancy websites made with WebPlus X6

    Fancy winning this handy piece of software? Excellent, it’s easy as pie!

    How to enter

    All you need to do is leave a comment below telling me three of your favourite websites (basically, because I’m nosy and love hearing about new websites!) Closing date is next Friday, the 13th July, at midnight.

    T&Cs: One entry only per person please, and the competition is only for those living in the UK and ROI this time I’m afraid. Please make sure you fill in your email or leave your Twitter username below so I can contact you if you win. There are no cash alternatives, and I won’t pass on your details to any other companies.