$2,000 Time Wasters: Streamlining for Solopreneurs & Side Hustlers
$2,000 Time Wasters: Streamlining for Solopreneurs & Side Hustlers

$2,000 Time Wasters: Streamlining for Solopreneurs & Side Hustlers


Read Time: 3.5 Minutes

$2,000 Time Wasters: Streamlining for Solopreneurs & Side Hustlers

Imagine this:

You FINALLY landed a few clients for your business.

Now you’re averaging $100/hour for your time. WOOHOO!!!

But there’s a problem…

Now you have to:

  • Onboard all those clients
  • Correspond with them regularly
  • Do the actual work for those clients
  • Overdeliver on value (as you should)
  • AND manage the other parts of your business too

Uh oh….

This is where I found myself about 3 months ago.

And after talking to several solopreneur friends, they struggled with this too.

And it’s a BIG problem.


Because if you make $100/hour (which is great) you can’t afford to be literally wasting 10-20 hours a month on tedious and repetitve work.

That’s $2000 of WASTED time.

And if you’re not thinking about it like that yet, you’re in big trouble.

Opportunity Cost: The Entrepreneurs Best Friend

There’s a simple concept I learned in a college economics class 5 years ago called Opportunity Cost.

It’s pretty simple. It essentially means there’s a COST associated with choosing to work on Task A vs. Task B.

In other words, if you choose to work on Task A instead of Task B…you sacrifice the benefit of Task B.

This is a big deal.

Because if you’re a solopreneur, you physically cannot do everything all the time.

So you’re always making trade off calls.

And if you’re spending your time doing tasks that could be automated/delegated/cancelled…

You’re literally wasting your time and your money.

But what if instead, you could automate all of those low-leverage tasks and reclaim all that wasted time?

What if you could reinvest that newfound time into tasks that will actually make you MORE money?

This is where systems, and specifically Notion systems, come into play.

Enter: Smart Notion Systems

I’ve been solving this problem for myself for weeks now.

Because I was running myself into the ground trying to “do it all” in my business.

But my own Notion systems were missing the mark (that’s embarassing…) and they were actually causing friction instead of alleviating it.

So here are the 3 things I did to solve this problem in my business (and how you can too):

  • Box Everything Up
  • Simplify & Automate Your System
  • Destroy Friction

Let’s dive in so you can learn to implement these too!

Step #1 → Box Everything Up

Sounds crazy, right? But it’s just crazy enough!

This idea actually came to me because my husband and I are in the middle of packing for a cross-country move.

So all of our life in getting packed into boxes.

And I realized: If I’m able to live without all of this crap while its in boxes…how much of it do I actually need?

Then I realized: My business is the same way.

There are parts of my system that are giant wastes of time.

And there are parts that are essential.

So what did I do?

I took (another) break and I stepped back from my business for a week.

Not fully! Just enough to catch my breath and actually observe what truly demanded my attention.

Here’s the stuff that rose to the surface:

  • Client correspondence
  • Building client systems
  • Managing my lead funnel (emails, meetings, etc.)
  • Putting out quality content

Everything else?

It can stay in those boxes for now.

Trust me, “box up” all the tasks in your business.

Then see what you truly need to pull out of the boxes within that week.

That will give you a much clearer picture of what really matters.

Step 2 → Simplify Your System

Now that you know what truly needs to be done in your business…

It’s time to simplify.

I recently simplified my own Notion system again and it has changed everything for my workflow.

I created a simple dashboard pages for the 4 key areas of my business:

  • Products
  • Clients
  • Projects
  • Content

Each of these pages got special treatment, because they are the lifeblood of my business.

And everything else? It doesn’t matter.

It either got subsumed into one of these 4 pages, or it got deleted.

Simplifying your systems means consolidating your workflows and eliminating what’s not truly necessary.

But it also means automating.

I built a TON of button automations into this system that save me LOADS of time in the long run.

Not only that, but I’m in the middle of setting up Slack automations in my client database so that client correspondence will be partially automated for me.

This takes time, yes, but it’s 100% worth it when you think about how much time it will save you as you scale your business and take on more clients.

Step 3 → Destroy Friction

Friction is your worst enemy in business.

Especially if you’re a solopreneur.

You literally can’t afford to have friction in your systems.

“But Madison, what the heck do you mean by friction!?”

I mean:

  • Cluttered pages that hinder your workflow
  • Confusing systems that slow you down
  • Superfluous tasks that don’t really need to be done (or at least not by you)

Friction comes in many forms.

But as someone with ADHD I cannot afford to let it get in my way.

So, I focused on eliminating cluttered pages that were causing me to get distracted.

I invested in an app called Endel that plays focus music in the background but doesn’t require me to use Spotify or YouTube which often result in me getting distracted.

I set my key tasks for myself the night BEFORE I need to do them so there’s no question in my mind about what I need to work on that day.

Friction is your enemy, and it’s killing your progress little by little.

Notion (unfortunately) can be full of friction if you build your systems wrong.

So, take some time to really think about how you can destroy friction that throws you off task or makes things harder than they need to be.

I promise you, it’s worth it.

BONUS: How To Practically DESTROY Friction in Notion

There are a few key tips I picked up during this last round of revisions in my Notion system.

  • Buttons & navigation
  • Callout boxes everywhere
  • Sequential database views

Buttons & Navigation

This is such an underrated tool when it comes to Notion builds:

Always build in simple navigation.

I have gotten a lot better at this over time, and I used to SUCK at it.

But here’s what I learned:

Build a “Back to Home” button into the top and bottom of every page within a dashboard.

I promise, it’s worth it. It saves so much time clicking around.

Build it into your database page templates too, it’ll save you all the trouble as you go.

And while you’re at it…always. build. MENUS.

Menus (my current favorite is a sidebar menu) save time AND help you keep your pages nested and organized within a dashboard.

Callout Boxes Everywhere

I will fight to the death for this → Callout boxes are the best Notion block.

Listen to me:

If you have ADHD…you NEED to be using callout boxes.

It’s a simple way to put everything inside of a clearly defined area.

The borders make a bigggg difference and help to visually reduce clutter.

When your eye can clearly see where a database starts/ends it makes a huge impact on how you perceive the page.

So, my advice is to put nearly everything inside of a callout box.

It has worked absolute wonders for cutting out the visual overwhelm that Notion can sometimes provide.

Sequential Database Views

I posted a thread about this a while back, but I created my own method of building views in databases that I call sequential database views.

Which means…

Instead of doing a standard table/board/gallery view setup, I build views with a purpose.

Each view in my databases (and specifically project-based databases) represents a stage in the process.

Ideation → Writing → Editing and so on.

This not only helps me know exactly which views I should build, but it also helps me stay on task and format each view so that it is set up to enable me to do that stage of the process and show me the info I need at a glance.

I promise, this is a huge game changer.

Remember That $2,000 I Mentioned?

This is a real thing.

Once I pulled back and realized how much time and energy I was wasting…I realized I could reinvest that time in finding new clients.

This week alone, I’ve gotten 2 new prospects (and I was barely trying) who could each be worth $2k or more.

Not only that, but I polished up a few products that I’ll be launching soon.

Instead of wasting my time on non-income-producing tasks, I focused on what mattered.

I leveraged systems to help me do more of what matters.

And boom!

Just like that, that $2k is almost here.

So what are you waiting for?

Go simplify your systems my friend, and focus on what will actually help you grow!

See you next week!


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