Managing your time effectively is key to running a solo business and to getting things done. Having some good time management strategies in place is the key to taking you from an overwhelmed, overworked and disillusioned business owner to the happy, loving life business owner you dreamed of being.
It doesn’t matter what creative craft business you are running; good time management strategies are essential to help you get things done so that you have time to create your products, run your business and have time left over to have a life.
You can have many simple time management strategies (tips and tricks) in your kit bag ready to help you out. Most will work in one way or another, but how useful they are will depend on what you need and how you currently manage your time.
The strategies I am interested in sharing with you will work for all areas of your life.
I don’t want you wasting your time doing something that isn’t going to work. So I have included on my strategy list only the ones that are quick and easy to implement and have proven results.
Using these strategies WILL improve your daily organisation, productivity and effectiveness.
” If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done” – Bruce Lee.
Time management strategy #1. Take control of your to-do list
No surprise that this is first on the list from someone who is a list freak!
Many people go straight to complete the easy tasks first and put off anything more complicated or taxing until later. This can result in you having to panic to finish off more critical jobs too late.
To break the cycle, always start with essential tasks first, no matter what. Write a list of everything you need to do. List everything, big and small.
Then prioritise each item.
Pick the top 3 highest priority items and work on those until completed. By ticking off the most critical tasks, you will be motivated to continue with more.
Basing your actions on importance, you will feel more fulfilled and accomplished at the end of the day. Who wouldn’t want that?
Read more about how to take control of your to-do list in this post.
Time management strategy #2. Declutter your online life
How much time do you spend checking your email, reading blogs, watching youtube?
The list could be endless, but the time can certainly be better spent. Do the following, and you will soon see great chunks of your day be returned back to you:
- Stop notifications
- Block yourself from sites
- Outsource and automate
- Don’t check your email
Doing all, or even just some, of the above, will make you much more productive and less distracted, allowing you to focus on tasks that you really do need to do.
Read more about how to declutter your online life in this post.
Time management strategy #3. Do similar tasks together
Whenever possible, group similar tasks together. It’ll definitely make your day flow better.
Time is lost every time you switch tasks, as your brain has to adjust to the new processes that it has to deal with.
More time is saved if your brain doesn’t need to switch between tasks and focus on similar activities in rapid succession.
Read more about how to similar tasks together in this post.
Time management strategy #4. Learn to say no
If you feel like you have got so much to do and you just don’t know where to start, then it is time to start being difficult.
No more Ms Nice Girl.
Saying yes to every task can leave you overwhelmed, but saying no can fill you with guilt for letting people down. Learning to be difficult when it counts really helps.
Fortunately, a few simple routine changes can make bothering you so much more painful for people that they will leave you in peace.
To make it easier to say no, identify what type of requests you usually can’t say no to and create a strategy in advance to deal with these requests.
Read more about how to say no in this post.
Time management strategy #5. Take 15 mins at the end of each day to plan for the next day
Most people are usually most motivated first thing in the morning and most stressed at the end of the day.
To help get you a good nights sleep, take 15 minutes at the end of each day to write down a plan for the next day.
This means you can then use your precious productive time in the morning to actually completing tasks.
Once you are in the routine of planning your days each evening, try taking the next step of planning for the coming week.
This can be just vague ideas of which tasks you want to try and tackle. But it will suddenly start giving you structure, and you will feel more in control.
Another benefit of creating a plan is that assigning work to scheduled times reduces the urge to procrastinate. You are no longer deciding whether to work during a given period; the decision is already made.
Read more about how to create a daily plan in this post.
Time management strategy #6. Be kind to yourself
It is no good beating yourself up about never getting anything done.
It is not going to help. You are only going to feel more stressed.
There are many things you can do to be kind to yourself, from getting more sleep to taking more exercise, to working on your mindset.
Any time you can take to reset and rebalance is time well spent.
Read more about how to make time to be kind to yourself in this post.
Create good habits to last a lifetime
There is so much to be said about creating good habits that help you improve your productivity and time management.
Hopefully, by going through my top time management strategies, some can become new habits you can build into your life.
The trick with making and sticking to habits is to do them consciously and consistently until they become a habit.
These small changes really can make a MASSIVE difference.