If I had a penny for every time I've heard someone complain about time moving faster each year, or that there just aren't enough hours in the day, well, I would be a thousandaire. And although I'm certainly guilty of poor time management myself every now and then, I've gotten a lot better at keeping myself on task and accountable ever since I made AiF my full-time focus. I guess you kind of have to when you work for yourself, so you just do it. End of story (and Instagram scrolling). So with that in mind, here are four tips that really work for me in terms of staying on task... because you better work (see-through tank top optional).
1. BATCH TASKS
Whoever told us to multitask was a total idiot... full stop. While multitasking makes sense for certain aspects of our lives, work doesn't always apply. Let me explain. With so many distractions bombarding us throughout the workday, it can be a lot more productive to carve out blocks of time for certain activities rather than doing several things at once. For example, if I dedicate thirty minutes to answering emails and nothing else, I can get my inbox far more under control than if I spend the same amount of time editing a couple photos, fixing a broken link, and posting to Instagram while answering emails. See what I mean? Giving your sole focus to one task at a time can really help you work more efficiently and get more done during a given day... if you don't believe me, just try it for yourself — it's life changing.
2. BE INTENTIONAL WITH YOUR TIME
If you know you're going to be working for the next eight hours (or whatever the case may be), and that you need to get x, y and z done in addition to your daily tasks, be intentional with the time you have. Write a detailed to-do list for the day ranking tasks in order of importance and start tackling the hardest jobs first. By the time those tasks are done, you'll feel like such a rockstar that you'll likely breeze through the easier items on your list. Save the worst for last, and you'll likely drag your feet all day in dread.
When you're already stretched thin by your current workload, prioritizing new projects or jobs is key. You can't do everything, so make sure that everything you do say yes to is aligned with your brand and your end game. Saying 'no' (and not beating yourself up for it) can go a long way towards increasing productivity and allowing you to better manage the time you have to work on what's important.
4. OUTSOURCE WHERE POSSIBLE
Jumping off of my last point, if something feels like a good opportunity for you and your business, but you're just too busy to take it on, it might be a good time to consider outsourcing. Hiring a bookkeeper, working with a photographer that takes and edits photos your photos, or hiring a part-time assistant can be great ways to free up your time for more important things. If, for example, the cost of hiring an assistant seems prohibitive, figure out how much your newfound time could generate in terms of new income, and if that number offsets the cost of hiring an assistant, it might be time to take the plunge. As they say, you need to be able to work on your business, not just in it, in order for it to grow into something bigger. xx
Photo via French by Design