Let’s chat for a moment about a prevalent struggle, especially for entrepreneurs and business owners. Time management! As a multi-passionate entrepreneur with multiple businesses, a family, and a book (with a second one in the works!), time management is crucial.
Now, believe me, I don’t have it all figured out. I can make lists on top of more lists, and just find more things to add! But over the years, I’ve come up with some practical tricks to keep me organized, producing, and successful. And I’m going to share those with you right now!
Step One: Acceptance
The first step is accepting that it won’t all get done. At least not all in the timeframe you want. As women entrepreneurs, sometimes we expect so much of ourselves. To the point that even if we have a team of twenty, our dang to-do list wouldn’t be completed. Sometimes tasks need to get cut, that’s just the way it is, and I’m becoming more okay with that.
At the end of the day, I’m only human, just like you’re only human. It’s time to prioritize that to-do list. What needs to get completed today? Focus on that and show yourself some grace. I’m a mama of two awesome, messy, and silly little boys, so obviously things can really pile up, like dishes and laundry. This took me a while to accept, but if I’m too exhausted from the day and the dishes just don’t get done, that’s okay!! What’s the worst that can happen? I do them tomorrow? …Yep!
Efficiency = Free Time!
It’s important to mention that my methods for time management are not for the sake of maximizing time by filling up every minute of the day. I dedicate certain tasks to specific days and find the best ways to work efficiently in order to give myself a chance to breathe. It’s important to put work aside and focus on my family without distraction. The more efficiently I can get things done throughout the day, the more time I have for them and myself!
Just Get It Done
I realized that just getting things done, and not perfect right away, is the simplest way to free up time. We spend too much time worrying about and contemplating tasks, that we could’ve done those tasks by the time we finish obsessing about them! Trust me, I can easily slip into perfectionist mode, so this isn’t always easy for me, but it is sooo worth loosening up the reigns a bit. Done is better than perfect!
Another way to keep your productivity to a max, and contemplation time to a minimum, is by timing your work. I know this sounds a bit neurotic, but it really works for me. I give myself a limited, yet reasonable, amount of time to complete a task, and once that time is up, I put that task aside.
For example, when I’m writing a first draft, I’ll give myself 1 hour per 1,000 words, and I usually try to write in 3-hour increments. When my 3 hours are up, I stop wherever I am and move onto whatever’s next. Talk about the ultimate-writer-torture! But if I don’t write with discipline, it could easily consume my entire day!
One of my favorite technologies that has helped me with organizing my thoughts is voice memos! Whenever I’m stuck in the car, and my kids aren’t with me, I will figure out a task that I can work on verbally and have the app record me. I’ve recorded full chapters this way, and then just transcribed them later.
So friend, give it a try! Brainstorm and record an Instagram post, blog post, book idea, freebie idea, podcast episode ideas, seriously, the possibilities are endless! As a bonus, it’s an amazing way to keep your thoughts in order, and helps clear your mind of clutter since you’re not actively trying to remember everything!
Don’t forget to do this…
The most important part about time management, though, is prioritizing. Some things need to get done on certain days, and those are non-negotiable. Those tasks are your top priority. For example, with the swimming pool company, I need to bill our clients monthly, so on the 15th of every month, that’s what I do no matter what. This ensures consistency, so our clients know what to expect.
If smaller tasks need to wait, that’s completely fine. Just make sure you write down a schedule for yourself, so these smaller tasks don’t get lost in the chaos. But like I’ve been saying, we’re only human, and some things just won’t happen. If I’m overwhelmed on certain days, I will order takeout for dinner or put off the laundry for another day or two. One time I pushed the laundry too far, and the kids didn’t have any socks one day (oops!), but guess what? It wasn’t the end of the world! They wore flip flops that day! Life finds a way to keep on, even if you get behind on things. You will be okay!!
Take Care of Yourself
Like I said before, time management isn’t about increasing your activities and filling up all of your time. It’s about organizing them and being efficient. So you have more balance and time for self-care. It might not feel like you can take time for yourself, but when you schedule out your weeks, dedicate a couple hours here and there to relax or do something fun, it is possible!
Plan out time for a jog, to watch some TV, bake some cookies (my personal fave)! Free time is your time to do whatever will bring you joy and is not related to work or stress. I know it’s easy to skip this step, but burnout is real, and you can avoid it by taking care of yourself mentally and physically! Find that balance, my friend! You deserve it!
Need more support?
Wanna keep this conversation going? Need some extra support? Or have suggestions for me? Contact me here. Or connect with me on Instagram because girl, you’re high on my priority list! Supporting others is my biggest passion!
A Final Note
Remember, don’t punish yourself for not getting everything done! At the end of the day, everything we accomplish is just a learning experience that makes us better and more prepared for the next day.