Do you hear yourself often saying “I don’t have time for this” or “not now”? Do you feel like you never have enough time for everything you want to get done?
I started planning out my weeks using large post it note paper and a good planner with a monthly and daily pages in it back in October 2017 and that has been key for me to manage my time better!!! Here are 4 tips that can help you manage your time!
First: Take a look at the time you DO have. We all have different lifestyles, jobs, family, and other activities that require our time and attention. Do not worry about what everyone else is doing – focus on YOU! We are all in different places at different times and it is easy to focus on what everyone else is doing! Put all of your non-negotiable items on your calendar first, Look for pockets of time around those items and plan ahead to take advantage of those time slots. You have to be realistic with what you can actually accomplish in pockets of time! Also, some times of the week, month or year we have more pockets of time than others – so embrace the season you are in and plan for the bonus pockets of time you will have! If you are a morning person, can you get up an hour earlier? If you are a night owl, can you stay up an hour later? When I ran my in-home daycare, I did a lot of prep work during nap time which helped me maximize my evening times I had available to craft in the evenings. Do not forget to schedule in a little self-care time so you don’t burn out!!
Second: Prioritize your top tasks. If you put them in your planner first, you can add the rest of the items in as they fit. I found that my list is usually unrealistic -which makes me feel like I have failed!! So be realistic in the number of tasks you have on your list and the time needed to complete them. One thing I learned quick was that many people have the same questions. I get new viewers all the time and it is unrealistic of me to assume they know something I did/said two months ago! I started collecting the answers and solutions to many questions in a blog post that I can easily refer people to. I do update the posts as needed. This has saved me a ton of time!!! If you have some tasks that need to get done but they are not super technical, you can hire those out. You can hire a web designer or graphic artist to do a number of things for your business. You can hire a virtual assistant to post on social media or run ads for you. You can hire a cleaning lady. You can hire a teenager or stay at home mom to base coat wood signs for you. You need to look at the cost of hiring help versus the time you free up that you can produce more items to sell – and most of the time it is worth it. You are also providing some income to other small business owners.
Third: Break It Down into bite size chunks! Learning new information is important but it takes time. I schedule a couple of hours a week for learning (watching videos) because it can be totally overwhelming! It is easier to implement new information in small bits. I also know I need to listen at least twice!! Find times during the day to listen to podcasts or book on audio – maybe riding in the car or on the treadmill. I do my best reading in the car on long trips as my husband drives. Another example for me is wood signs. I get all the wood cut at once then I sand it. Another day I cut out all the stencils and prep them. The next time I have available I can paint the signs.
Fourth, Schedule it! Take control of your time! As I mentioned above, put things in your planner or your online calendar. It is so easy to say you will do it later, but sometimes later never comes. Get the top priorities down first then plug in the rest! Find a way that works best for you!! I am a big picture thinker so I start with the monthly calendar then break it down into the days each week.
I hope these tips help you manage your time more effectively! It has helped me so much to do my planning for the week Sunday evening or Monday morning! If you want to watch my video on this topic click HERE.
Below are a few things I use every week to plan my time:
Lori Apgar Creates is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com