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How to Build Your Productivity Without Getting Burned Out

I’ve been doing freelance design work since I was in college, but it wasn’t until after I had my daughter and went through a long stretch of poor health and medication failures, that I decided not to go back to work for someone else and to freelance full time. So, I sat down, created a company name, who my ideal client would be, what my brand would look like, and I set up a website. Then I sat back and said…

“Ok, now what?”

build productivity without getting burned out

I knew what my goal was; To create a steady stream of clients through my website. I’ve always worked through word of mouth, or through an online marketplace like Upwork. While those avenues are great for expanding and reaching new markets, my goal is for my website to drive my business. After all, it's a hub of information, and I spend a lot of time writing my blog posts and keeping things fresh and updated.

If you build it, they will come?

Yeah, no. Maybe if you’re talking about Harry Potter World. Sadly, my website just wasn’t as insanely and immediately popular as J.K. Rowling’s series (I planned it out on a napkin and everything!). Which means this is the goal I am working towards this year:


It's important to know your goals and have a direction in mind, but this post isn’t about just any goal that you can achieve in one, or even a few, sittings. This is about overwhelming, takes months of work and has lots of steps to it, kind of goal. Even when you work towards it consistently, every single day, sometimes it feels like you’ve barely accomplished anything.

This is where a lot of people lose motivation, and get burned out.

Fortunately there's a technique you can use to make your goal more attainable. And it's as simple as breaking it down. Don't underestimate how motivating (there are actually a lot of studies about this) it can be when you cross things off a list! By assigning yourself small tasks that can be completed in a day, or a couple days, you continually have a sense of achievement. You also get to cross each task off the list, creating a visual reminder of how far you’ve come towards reaching your goal.

This method has worked so much better than I expected, and I'm sure it will work for you too! Instead of plodding along towards a goal that is so huge it’s overwhelming just thinking about it, this method creates an easy road map for you to follow.

Want to see it in action?

Here’s my goal breakdown; my road map if you will. You can even see how close I’m getting to reaching my goal!


Timeline: 1 year

  1. Establish Branding & Identity.

  • Design primary & secondary Logos.

  • Visual style guide: including logo usage rules, primary color palette, secondary color palette, and typography hierarchies.

  1. Establish Company (trade name with town, business account with bank)

  2. Update Website.

  • Create services page and rewrite content using Chelsea Baldwin’s 3-Day Free Copywriting Course.

  • Upgrade to an ecommerce site so I can create and sell low ticket items such as ebooks as well as prebuilt packages consisting of my most popular services.

  • Create and price brand packages.

  • Add a “Who are You” section to home page to direct site visitors to the right information based on their needs.

  • SEO, SEO, SEO – and update company listings on Google, Yelp, Yahoo, etc.

  1. Revamp Blog using Andrea Bolder’s New Money Blog Challenge (each day could have its own list, but it’s worth it! If you don’t follow her yet, you should! Andrea kicks butt!)

  • 1: Mindset & Setting Goals

  • 2: Presence: Discovering your Brand Magic

  • 3: Products: Choosing New Money Streams for your Blog

  • 4: Pricing: Pricing your Products to Support your Big Money Goals

  • 5: Positioning: Optimizing your Blog to Capture & Convert

  • 6: Pipelines: Driving Traffic to your Money Pages

  • PINTEREST (Currently taking her Pin It Perfect Challenge!)

  • 7: Pipelines: Building your Email List & Blog Community

  • 8: Process: Taking your People from Free to Paid with 6 Figure Funnels

  • 9: Process: ATM Money Webinar Replays

  • 10: Promotion: Promote to Profit with the New Money Promo Plan

  1. Consistently write weekly blog posts and utilize powerful social media strategies, and maintain posting schedules for Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

  2. Develop worksheets and printables to offer free on the website (in no particular order).

  • Design Questionnaire

  • Project Brief (free version)

  • Marketing Planner

  • One-page Year in Advance

  • Large Task Breakdown

  1. Branding Ebook

  • Layout chapters

  • Compile content

  • Write & edit

  • Design layout

  • Title & cover art

  • Pricing

  • Upload & promote

  1. Promote the heck out of everything while consistently producing high quality designs on time and on budget!

You can use this same technique to break down your goals into manageable pieces. Sometimes I even broke down one of the steps into smaller steps, which helped me to keep track of where I was in the process.

Download my Large Task Breakdown Worksheet here, then comment or email me with questions, or just to let me know what your goal is and how your breakdown is going! I always respond as quickly as possible!

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