Sometimes I don’t realise how as a society we’ve become busier than ever until I talk to someone like my mum.
Obviously her generation did not grow up with mobile phones, YouTube or Facebook. She had to walk to school, book her travel tickets through a travel agent, go to a class or borrow a book if she wanted to learn something, pick up the phone if she wanted to talk to someone and physically go into a bank if she wanted to do any banking.
So you would think that in 2018 where we can do all that through a little device in the palm of our hands we should actually have so much more free time - but why are we busier than ever? Where did all the time we supposedly saved go?!
The truth is, at the same time our lives have been getting more convenient, we’ve also been getting more distracted. There are so many more things vying for our attention now, from social expectations, reality TV shows, social media, and who knows what else!
One of the hardest things about running your own business (full time or on the side) is that you need to be disciplined about your time or else nothing gets done and you end up being super stressed!
If you're working in bed are you a hard worker or a poor planner? I think I've been both...
So in this newsletter I thought I’d share with you 5 time management tips I have learnt to apply to my life and business.
Start your day right - Do you grab your phone and look at your emails and social media the moment you wake up? I am guilty of doing that too. I use my phone as an alarm so I can’t avoid seeing all those emails and notifications when I first get up. My advice here would be to set your phone to do not disturb between when you go to bed and when you wake up. So you don’t wake up and start the day all stressed out. Sometimes I cheat and I look anyways, but I am very strict with myself about not replying to anything until I get to my desk.
One thing at a time - Sometimes when life is so hectic we want to do a little bit of everything to make ourselves feel better about making progress. When in fact we are not making any progress at all. Focus on one task at a time, the more focused you are the faster you will get it done and the less likely you will end up making mistakes. Like putting the wrong ingredients in a cake batter - oops!
Schedule - One of the things I do each morning is look at my to do list and pick out the items that are time sensitive and schedule when I will do them during the day. I tend to work on the harder/most urgent things first. Then I stick to those times! So for example, if I need to make flowers for a particular order I will schedule a block of time and then work hard to achieve it during that time frame. Keeping track of the time and holding yourself accountable is the key to successful scheduling. Don’t forget to schedule in some time for you to eat, rest and relax too.
Plan - plan your cake/cupcake/cookie projects as early as possible. One or two weeks before you have to start the project, have a look to see what you will need to do. What type and size of cakes will you need? Can you prepare anything beforehand? Do you need to buy anything just for the project? Organising yourself 1-2 weeks out means that when the time comes to create that project you are not running around like a headless chicken trying to buy cupcake wrappers or a specific cutter. It means you can just start, which makes the whole process a lot less stressful!
Go to bed in the right frame of mind - So your day didn’t turn out as you planned. That’s OK - life happens and sometimes things you thought were simple actually took a little longer than expected. Learn to forgive yourself and tell yourself that tomorrow will be better. Plan your time for tomorrow so that you are ready. Don’t go to bed stressed because you will either be unable to sleep or have restless sleep - which won’t help the next day.
Sweet Side Gig (my new online community) actually has an entire lesson all about time management - because many of you have told us that is what you struggled with the most. Ironically we spent most of our time on the TIME lesson because it’s the one thing that affects everything else in your business. If you have no time… you’re not marketing, you’re not able to price stuff out, you’re forever catching your tail….and usually, you beat yourself up about it. Not to mention if your side business takes too much time, you end up not having much of a life and don’t see your friends or family!
One of the things we talk about in that time lesson is about setting boundaries - and we created a really simple, fun downloadable worksheet to help you set those boundaries. You can download it for free HERE.