Time Management Hacks For Your Small Business
Ohh lordy, this one can be a doozy. I am writing this as I am in full swirl baby brain. I literally put half an avocado in the drawer with our tin foil the other day. So, coming from someone who needs all the help she can get in this regard, here are a few of my top favorite time-saver hacks.
This is probably my best hack. Basically it means instead of doing an hour of emails, then two hours of painting, then an hour of blog writing, you chunk the time. I’ll have days where I pretty much only paint. Mondays are usually my days where I write all my content--this is done on purpose because my brain is rested from the weekend. If I have brainless tasks like packaging, those usually happen at the end of the week since that’s when I’m the most tired and unproductive. This is probably the librarian in me, but it is super helpful when I’m doing a tedious task like spreadsheet work or video editing--it helps me get into some sort of fugue state zone where I can just blast through the work way faster than if I were being interrupted.
Planning Day for the next week:
I started doing this on recommendation from biz bud Jillian Soprano owner of Studio Soprano. Doing this at the end of every week so you don’t have to scramble when the next week comes is great. You can go into Monday feeling confident and ready for what you have ahead. I believe Jill does this on Fridays. Sundays seem to work better for my family. This is when Andy and I sit down during nap time and just do a quick check in on our Trello task list.
This is a game changer. I found that when I started blocking my time, I would be able to work ahead a bit. I would be able to get three blog posts done in one sitting, rather than scrambling on Tuesday night to make sure all my links worked. So, I started to pre-schedule their release, then I could rest easy knowing that everything was already sorted out. I will also pre-schedule newsletters or marketing emails, pins, YouTube videos, and Instagram posts as I create the content. Scroll to the bottom if you want to get the list of my favorite time-saving online resources.
Working in your prime:
This is a newer concept for me. In my blog post about being a recovering perfectionist, I talk about this in more depth but basically TLDR, I was over-scheduled and burning myself out. Instead now I try to look at my weekly task list and figure out what makes the most sense for how I am feeling that day. If I am feeling super focused, it is probably a good day to do computer work or writing. If I am not feeling very creative, it is a good day for video editing. If I am feeling stressed, painting is always a great cure. If I am feeling like a blobby blob that needs a nap, I will often take a nap and then watch a movie while I sleeve cards or something mindless.
Okay this is for all those mamas out there. My whole business started by taking advantage of "Art Naps" when my first child was an itty bitty baby. I needed some me-time and painting was such a refreshing creative release. In the early days, I didn’t have too much direction, but now that we are trying to schedule around two different erratic nap schedules, I like to know exactly what I need to accomplish during naps so as soon as those little eyes drift closed, I can run to my studio and crank out what needs to be done. Usually I like to plan to do things that won’t mess me up if I need to stop suddenly. Some examples of this are, Instagram posting (they are shorter than a blog so I won’t lose my flow), packaging things, painting details that don’t require me to work with too much wet paint, catching up on emails, or tidying the office. I’ll be honest, sometimes (often) it also involves me napping too! Listen to your body--you can’t be the best mommy or business owner if you’re running on fumes!
The myth of multitasking:
So as I was growing up it was a common belief that women are better multitaskers than men. I hate to break it to you but more recent studies have shown that we all really suck at multitasking. Women have just had to figure out ways to pivot their brains more efficiently to deal with the overburdened workload of motherhood and the workforce. So, that being said, one of my best time saving hacks is to NOT try to multitask, since that probably means I’ll have to do the work over again. For example, I cannot watch the kiddos and write a blog. I will spend more time editing later than I actually took to write the thing initially. I have found that there are some things that I CAN do to combine leisure with work. I can do mindless things like watch a movie and sleeve cards. I can paint and listen to casual audiobooks. Usually I can’t pay attention enough for a book I’m reading for my book club. I can stretch and respond to Instagram comments. Think about some of the things that you might be able to do to rejuvenate yourself and still get work done if you’re in a crunch. DON’T LET THIS BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR RELAXING THOUGH! YES I’M YELLING! YOU HAVE TO RELAX TOO!!!
So those are my quick tips on some of my favorite time management hacks. If you want to dig deeper, here is a list of my favorite online tools that help my business run smoothly! Just fill out the form below to get the list delivered right to your email address.