Time: the only resource we can’t replicate. Once we’ve used it, it’s completely gone, and that’s why it’s also such a hot topic! There are thousands of books out there that teach you how to make more time in your day, thousands of podcast episodes dedicated to time management, and thousands of blog posts about being productive. The struggle with time is too real, and as business owners, time is something we are always struggling to keep up with.
I’ve found more often than not that the resources out there are super helpful and motivating, but there are also just so many pieces of information that it can be overwhelming to know where to start. (And then we waste time trying to figure out which book we want to read first — the irony!)
I want to simplify your time management journey by giving you three ways I’ve found to boost my productivity the most. These three tips are how I can balance my family life with three kids and my husband with my 6-figure businesses. Ready to dive in? Grab that notebook!
1. Create a routine
Creating a routine is generally helpful for productivity, but as a business owner, it’s nearly essential! Being your own boss means suddenly, you take on the responsibility of organizing how you use your time instead of someone else giving you a clear plan. Without a routine (and consequently, deadlines) it’s going to be challenging to know not only what you need to be working on to grow your business but also how to balance work life with home life. By implementing a routine, you’ll know exactly what time you need to get ready for the day, workout, meet with clients, do house chores, read, hang out with your kids and/or partner, and everything else that is important to include in your day. (And yes, you want to be that specific because again, no one is creating that schedule for you anymore!)
It will take some trial-and-error before you get your routine down to a science, but once you do, your life will feel a lot more streamlined and organized. Need an example of how to schedule out your days? Check out this podcast episode I did with Megan Gillikin where I break down how I balance home life with three kids and my husband and my two businesses!
2. Schedule a quitting time in your day
OK, as wedding and creative entrepreneurs, we know all too well that there are days where you need to work late because you have an enormous project you’re trying to push out — we are no stranger to those long, late nights. But have you heard this saying?
If you have eight hours to complete a task, it will take you eight hours. But if you have four hours, you will miraculously get it done in four.
Having this type of mentality creates more urgency and motivation, which can help you become super productive during your work hours. And the most important part? It will also help you turn off from your work. As business owners, we are (more than) allowed to feel very passionate about our work — maybe even a bit obsessed. But we all have to log off and take a break, no matter how much we love it, because we are not machines — we are human! And trust me, your family and your mental stress will thank you for it, too.
P.S. This blog post will tell you exactly how to create a vision for your business so that you can achieve that work-life balance you’ve dreamed about since starting your company.
3. Two magic words: Time Blocking
I’m going to let you in on a fact that may surprise you: to-do lists are the bane of all entrepreneurs. Shocked? I was too when I learned this!
It seems counter-intuitive to everything we’ve learned as business owners. But here’s the truth: to-do lists are never-ending because work in our business never ends until we retire/sell it/pass it along to someone else. How many days a week have you gone to bed completely exhausted from the day, but then you lay awake for hours with your to-do list running through your head? Looking at a literal never-ending to-do list can make you feel a lot more overwhelmed than you need to be. That’s why I’m such a fan of time blocking!
When I implemented time blocking, I felt so much more at peace because instead of looking at a long list of to-dos (and immediately feeling defeated because I never had enough time to accomplish everything), I now had all of my to-dos blocked into a time in my calendar. Having it laid out like this helped me see if I was over-scheduled and I only saw what I needed to accomplish for that day. I became much more productive with my time and felt much more empowered because I could get things done!
New to time blocking and need personal guidance? I have a mini-course designed specifically for wedding pros that takes you step-by-step on how to 10x your productivity with time blocking! It’s time to take back your time — click here to grab it!
Your productivity status: through the roof!
Hopefully, you feel more empowered to take control of your schedule! I promise that if you are serious about implementing these tips into your life and you are consistent with them, your productivity will skyrocket. And I know this because these have given me the most significant change in my own productivity with my businesses.
Which tip are you going to put into action first? Remember, we’re a community of lifelong learners but also action-takers, so I’d love to hear all your thoughts in the comments!