I’ll skip the recap of 2020 and head into the new year with some positive vibes: this post is packed with the tools that helped me get through the last year, and are setting up The Content Factory (and me) for success in 2021.
But first, let’s revisit my favorite math equation.
If you subscribe to TCF's emails, you've already seen this (you may remember it as “The Law of Half Assing”). It shows the MASSIVE difference small – but consistent – efforts can make over time.
Another way to put it: the strongest force in the universe is inertia.
Restated more positively: small daily, weekly or even monthly habits can add up to a huge difference over time.
For instance, one solid blog post per month can make all the difference in your long-term SEO. Five targeted HARO pitches sent every month can lead to major media coverage that drives brand recognition and sales. Each of these things require less than one hour of your time per week.
With this in mind, let me ask
Are you on track to close out this year at 1.00, or closer to 37.7?
Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time, money and headspace figuring out which systems and tools can get me to the 37.7 front – and I think I finally got it figured out (mostly, at least).
- BetterHelp online therapy (discount code for a free week trial: Workationing). I first discovered BetterHelp when I started the Workationing podcast and project in 2017, and I’ve been a member ever since. My online therapist comes with her own set of tools that she’s shared with me over the years, which has made more of a difference than I could’ve imagined.
With BetterHelp you get to talk to your therapist via text or video, 7 days a week, for one low monthly rate. If you click the affiliate link above, you can get a full week of free therapy to check it out for yourself (heads up: this is #1 on the list for a reason – tell your friends, too).
- The Headspace meditation app. There are a ton of benefits to meditation – personally, I’m in it for the drastic reduction in stress and anxiety. Props to those of you who can meditate on your own, completely unguidedYour girl here is not one of those types.
Headspace has a variety of guided meditations that walk you through every breath, essentially making your meditation time fail-proof and frustration-free. This is the best 10 minutes I spend each day (and on hard days, sometimes I treat myself to another 2-3 rounds).
- Clearly defined processes + SOPs – shoutout to Asana for making this possible
Last year I hired a systems specialist to take a look at everything TCF had going on, and where it all was hanging out.
With one new tool (Asana) and a bibbity-bobbity-boo of importing everything from various Gdrive folders and email histories, we organized ALL of our workflows, contracts, SOPs, and more into one convenient location with a TON of additional functionality than we previously had...and we actually utilize it all!
This is one of those things that takes a lot of time up front, but saves you so much more in the long run, and I wish I’d streamlined all this way sooner.
- The 5 Minute Journal (the journal for people who hate journaling, via our affiliate link). If you follow me on LinkedIn, you already know I’m a huge fan of the 5 Minute Journal for helping me start and end each day with gratitude, goal progress and self reflection.
I first heard of the 5 Minute Journal from Tim Ferriss’ podcast four years ago, and each year I buy and fill a new one.
- MixMax for email tracking, reminding, and more. Ever wish you could reach the elusive “inbox: 0” status? MixMax makes it possible.
Speaking of systems, MixMax allows you to create email templates and sequences, and tracks when your emails are opened/links are clicked/downloads have been downloaded (+ how many times, which my PR team finds very useful when pitching). Plus, it has sick scheduling features and automates follow-up on emails so you never forget anything or miss a beat (my employees enjoy this feature less than I do ).
Hands down, it’s the best $9 per month I spend. If you sign up for a paid program via our affiliate link, you’ll get a $25 gift card.
HARO. This is my #1 secret to unlocking major media coverage for yourself and the brand/s you represent. If you half ass this, you’ll still win big as long as you follow our guide and template.
I hope you get as much value out of these tools as I do. As cliche as it is to say, each has been a real game changer for me – and I have a feeling you’ll rely on them as much as I do.
What tools and systems are helping you get to the next level this year? Share them over at our Facebook group, so everyone can benefit
P.S. – Having trouble kicking your complacency to the curb? Give this episode of the Workationing podcast a listen. It’s about getting unstuck, and it’s one of our most popular episodes of all time. If it resonates with you (or makes you laugh, we’re good for both here), email me back and let me know
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