For most of us, our businesses were created out of an inner need to create or do something that we love every day of our lives.
At some point in your journey you came to a realization that you wanted to live a life where you got up every day and did something you believed in 100%. You wanted to do something that would feed your soul and not drain it, right?
Then things got serious.
Before you knew it, your pursuit of a job you were passionate about probably became a pain instead. It wasn’t the job you hated, but it was all the other stuff that came with running your own business, right?
So how can we manage our time best to accomplish the have-to’s, without draining us or keeping us from doing the want-to’s? Here’s my 3 tips!
1. Set Yourself Up with Systems
Organization is key! I know everyone isn’t a list maker, and calendar planners don’t work for everyone. But there is something out there that will work for you and you need to find it! That could be a journal, an app, a calendar, an accountability partner, an online meeting scheduler, or a life/business coach. Whatever it is, find your ‘thing’ and commit to it. Find a system that will work for you and your lifestyle to track and organize your goals/tasks.
2. Identify Your “Un-Movable’s”
I am and always have been a multi-passionate person. I’m a gym-aholic, I volunteer with several ministries at my church, I teach, I co-lead my local TuesdaysTogether chapter, I’m a college student, and I run my own business. These are my un-movable’s. When I open up a blank calendar, these are the things that I write down first. It is important to remember to prioritize your un-movable’s too. To be responsible, client work/payed work (and homework, #collegelife) has to come first. But for me, I make a deal with myself every week to get my client/school work done first so that I can fully give myself to my volunteer positions without guilt. After all, these things are un-movable because they are important to me, and if you place importance in something you should be giving it everything you can (not just a halfway-present version of yourself or your work).
Some things you should make un-movable:
- Client Work
- Family Time
- Self-Care (spa day, coffee trip, friend time, etc.)
- Education (even in business you have to take time to learn),
- Health/Wellness (you’ll be able to work better, when you treat your body kindly)
3. Play to Your Strengths
After you’ve nailed down the things that you have to work around, it’s time to decide how you are going to get the rest of your work done.
Everyone works differently, and one of the greatest luxuries of creative entrepreneurship is being able to work when and where you work best! Once my un-movables are in place in my calendar, my next step is to block off time for work and homework.
For instance, I look at my class schedule and the schedule for my gym and then block off time between/around the two to work or run errands (example calendar, below).
Red squares are un-movables, yellow is work, blue is homework.
If you know you have to drop your kids off at school and pick them up at a certain time, then work within that space to passionately prioritize your to-do’s and accomplish what you can.
The second element of this tip is that you have to work in a place that is convenient for you.
For me, I know that some days I cannot get work done efficiently at home. Other days, I don’t have time to work a 30-minute round trip into my schedule to drive home and get work done. On these days I budget to work somewhere that I can get work done.
Starbucks is my most efficient work place (I view it as a co-working space, and $3-5 is a small price to pay to actually be able to get work done), other options are cafés/restaurants that offer free wifi, or actual co-working spaces. Don’t feel ashamed to work out of your house, or to work somewhere that you have to pay for if it actually HELPS you work!
In all of these things, take time to give yourself grace every now and then. Some weeks are crazier (and harder) than others, and that’s ok! Plan and prioritize where you can, and work as efficiently as possible. A client management software for small businesses will help you do this too. Whatever doesn’t get done today, just shake it off and push it to tomorrow!
Now go grab a calendar, nail down your un-movables, plan when/where you’re going to work, and then DO IT!
I hope these three tips help you reach your goals and allow you to effectively “Do What You Love, Nothing Less.”
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