It feels like this whole year has been just a constant stream of being busy and having one thing after another thrown at me, and while I have felt overwhelmed at times – I am constantly surprising myself in my ability to adapt and take things up another gear.

In the past couple of weeks, things have ramped up again. We’re still looking for our next home in the Bay of Plenty, which is quite time-consuming in itself, I’ve been busy working with my existing clients, planning my SEO workshop in Tauranga on Thursday, have signed three new clients and we’ve still got the kids at home… (we decided to keep them home until at least after we’ve moved house).

So things are a little chaotic at the moment! But it’s all good stuff and so I’m happy. I’m expecting my workload to reduce again in the near future when a couple of big projects and our house move are done, but in the meantime, I’ve had to find new ways to be more efficient with my time, including:

  • Turning my Facebook newsfeed blocker on.
  • Not posting or consuming content on LinkedIn in the past week.
  • Largely ignoring social media and current events.
  • Fewer coffee meetings.
  • Worked until 10pm-11pm three nights in a row.
  • Working weekends.
  • Gamification.

The late finishes are not sustainable, but it’s only temporary, I don’t like letting people down when they’re expecting things from me and by front-loading now it’s going to pay massive dividends in the future when I’m on top of everything. Plus some of the pressure will ease off when we finally move home.

The biggest help for me has been gamification!

I’ve always been extremely competitive and motivated by high scores. In my previous role as Marketing Manager for a tourism company, we had very high targets and this is something I implemented… I put up a big whiteboard in our department to track daily leads and record the daily and weekly high scores.

It becomes incredibly motivating to see the numbers go up and to beat your best scores!

I currently (mostly) charge an hourly rate for my SEO work and track all of my time using a time-tracking tool in Freshbooks, so it’s already easy for me to see how many billable hours I’ve worked.

At the start of this week, I made a point of checking back through Freshbooks and putting my daily and weekly high-scores for most billable hours on my whiteboard… and I tried to beat them.

And I beat them both, by quite a significant margin! Which is good, because I’ve had a lot to do.

This implementation of gamification led to a shift in mindset for me in the past week, where I’ve put lower-value tasks to the side and have been more excited to start on client work to try and beat my score.

For such a small thing as putting a couple of numbers on my whiteboard, it has had a very big impact. I won’t be able to beat it every week as presumably at some point I’ll run out of work to do if I keep my current pace up, however, this will be a very nice problem to have!

Now I’m going to make a top three leaderboard for both daily and weekly high-scores and see if I can beat them again next week.

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An SEO Consultant based in Mansfield Woodhouse, United Kingdom. I'm obsessed with SEO at the moment, but I also love talking about and interpreting marketing in general, productivity and entrepreneurship.

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