I recently asked my subscribers to tell me what sorts of topics they would like me to cover here on the blog, and overwhelmingly, Better Time Management came up as a big request!
When it comes to getting things done, if you’re like me, you’re probably finding that sometimes it’s tough to stay focused. With no accountability other than yourself as a solopreneur, the distractions are major! Here are some things that I do to help me get a ton of stuff done!
Better Time Management By Limiting My Daily Tasks
One way to achieve what I want to get done every day is to keep a running list of tasks that I need to accomplish. I call this my master list of projects. I would add to my master list as I came up with something new or an idea popped into my head.
Then, each morning, I choose three items from my master list that I believe I could accomplish that day.
I make sure that I don’t pick three things that are all larger and involved tasks. In fact, I would often take a daunting task (creating a workshop for example) and break that down into smaller tasks for that project.
As I complete each task, I mark them on my master list, and then I start the process over the next day.
If I felt that I could throw something else in my day because I had several hours left before the close of business, I would pick only one more task to tackle.
I believe it’s important to set work hours for yourself. For me, as a full-time solopreneur, I set my hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you’re a side hustler, think about how many hours per day you want to work each evening or on the weekends, so you don’t feel burned out too quickly. Then, stick with them!
Better Time Management With Productivity Apps Like Asana
I, fortunately, discovered the project management app called, Asana. It’s free (unless you’re working with bigger teams) and allows me to schedule my tasks with due dates. I can view my projects on a calendar, and I’ve gotten to where I prefer this method better than using paper.
I still use the same approach as above in that I just keep a running list of things I want or need to do in a Google Spreadsheet, and then add them to Asana when I have some free time to plan.
Instead of using each morning to plan the day, I pretty much have everything planned out in advance for me. However, I strive only to have three tasks scheduled for each day, with the exception of small, minor repetitive tasks.
My favorite part of Asana is clicking the check button and watching the unicorn or one of his friends fly across my screen in celebration for completing a task!
Better Time Management By Working in Blocks
Another beneficial way to stay on track is to work in blocks.
By this I mean I will tackle a common task like photographing images for Instagram at once. So I will shoot them all at once on one day, then edit them the following day, and then schedule to post them after that.
Think about how much more time-saving blocking can be!
For instance, I enjoy writing blogs, but I hate editing them, formatting them, then making all my share graphics. So I block them out by working on writing one day, editing and formatting them for WordPress the next, and graphics the next. Then, my posts for the following week are all done and scheduled to share.
Better Time Management By Managing Distractions
Managing our distractions is up to us, but it’s hard sometimes to achieve. I’ve gotten pretty good about not opening Facebook or Twitter while I’m in my work zone, but if you’re struggling here are some things that might work for you.
Use the Pomodoro method. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. You can find apps for Pomodoro timers on your phone!
I have also found that using an app like SelfControl or Cold Turkey allow you to block certain websites (ahem, social media) on your computer via timers. However, I was struggling because as a design person, I always need to see a client’s FB page or something on Pinterest. But it might work for you!
Turn off notifications on your phone! I did this ages ago. I do not need to know when someone likes a photo on Instagram or comments on Facebook. It’s a distraction I can live without anyways. Some people even turn off their phones (I just can’t do that because I need to be able to be reached in an emergency).
So what sort of things do you do to stay on top of your time? I’d love to hear from you and be able to share with others. The community is amazing, and I think supporting one another with our ideas is how we stay on top of the world!