The busy girl's guide to time management
So I am officially the worst at time management. Take a look at this blog - The last one I wrote was 6 months ago! Between planning a wedding (that is yes, in 3 weeks!) and managing a new, very large and very demanding client, I've let my blog, email and social media fall to the wayside. I am officially the cobbler with holes in her shoes. I preach to my clients all day about the importance of staying on top of their digital presence and here I am letting 6 months go by without even so much as a "Hey" to all those hundreds (or tens?) of people who actually take the time to read my content. So here it is! A new blog post. I can't promise I'll update this regularly moving forward, especially with a nice relaxing Honeymoon around the corner, but I'm going to try harder. The first step is managing my schedule better, and making sure I set aside time every week to focus on my business. How am I going to do this? Well, I'm here to share my "secrets" on how I plan to get shit done.
1. Getting my ass out of bed in the morning. I have a nasty habit of taking my work home with me. On any given weeknight you can find me with a computer on my lap, "Say Yes to the Dress" on in the background and a fiance who gets more attention from the dog than me. After multiple nights of 1 am bedtimes, that 7am alarm begins to be pretty meaningless to me. No more! I am making the commitment to shut down at night, and head to bed a reasonable hour (do I sound like my Grandma right now?). On the rare occasion when I actually can get in front of my computer by 7:30am, I find myself knocking out client invoices, balancing budgets, updating Facebook pages and writing blogs all before my first cup of coffee. By 10am I'm out the door and pretty much unreachable for the rest of the day. Having those 2 hours in the morning will help me focus and power through all that "admin" work that easily gets pushed off as the day goes on.
2. Ignoring calls I don't know or plan on having. Ok I pretty much do this already. If I don't have your number in my phone, you can pretty much guarantee I won't pick it up. However, if you leave me a voicemail I have this compulsive urge to listen to it immediately (I can't stand having unread notifications on my phone) and call you back ASAP. What usually ends up happening is I stop whatever I'm doing to follow up on that call (or email for that matter), and waste an hour not doing what was originally on my schedule - which by the way is still sitting there not finished. I'm officially going to let that little red dot in the bottom left sit there (it's ok OCD, just breathe through it) and will finish what I was working on BEFORE I call you back.
3. I will focus on one thing at a time. Oh those wonderful Google Chrome tabs. At anytime I will usually have Facebook, LinkedIn, 2 emails, Google and at least 3 other websites up. Because of all this noise, I find myself writing half a blog (I just did it with this one!) then jumping off to check updates, post to a client page or respond to a new email. Because I'm doing things so disjointed, it takes me twice as long to get each task done. Goodbye wonderful little tabs. I will miss you!
4. Ok Amy, just suck it up! This one is going to be the hardest. Sometimes I just don't feel like doing stuff. Too bad! We all have to do things we don't want to do sometimes. If I can stop myself from eating ice cream at night (and just so you know, I usually can at least 4 times a week, which is a big win for me) you can shut off Real Housewives for 30 minutes and write a blog post. This is what we have DVR for.
Ok so there you have it. They may not be rocket science, and they may not be as lofty as some time management "experts" may suggest, but these steps are probably (hopefully?) going to work for me. I'm not going to start using some kind of time management program, and I'm not going to realistically be able to "schedule in time to reply to emails". But I am going to do my best, and maybe this will inspire you to start making your own small changes to start getting more stuff done.