Today I’ve got a guest post for you from Meagan Visser, business coach for creative people. Over to you, Meagan!
Hello. My name is Meagan. I’m a wahm & a recovering multi-tasker.
Okay, too AA meetingish, I know.
My point is that most of us out there who have creative businesses, whether we’re a WAHM, SAHM, or we have a day job, feel that there’s not enough time during the day to get everything done we need to. We end up trying to multi-task life & business & you know how that ends up. We’re overwhelmed, frustrated, & we feel like we’ve not accomplished a thing!
We want fun, creative, successful businesses. We want time with our friends, family, & by gosh some me-time. We want to make money. We want to make a name for ourselves. We want a spotless house. We want to enjoy vacations. We want to indulge in our hobbies.
It doesn’t matter what our wants are, the fact of the matter is, in today’s world we have a lot on our plates. If we’re going to be successful, we have to get it together, figure out what works for us, move our booties to a different beat if necessary & make it happen. Success & money aren’t just going to come knocking at our door.
So what’s the first step?
Like I said, I get that you’re a mom & you may or may not have another job, let alone all the other responsibilities in your life to take care of, but in my opinion, the first step in not only getting it together, but keeping it together is time management. If you can’t manage your time, then you’re probably wasting it & that’s no good for business. Got it?
So here are 5 tips that you can use today to manage your time when it comes to running your creative biz & still being a mom that’s present in your family’s life.
I have 2 toddlers & a baby due in december. I love my husband & I want him to feel like he’s numero uno. I have to constantly remind myself that my little ones aren’t going to be little forever! I don’t want them growing up & only remembering that I worked all the time. I want them to remember their childhood with smiles on their faces & reminisce about the fun times we had together. I don’t want my man to feel as if I thought something else was more important to me than him.
Prioritizing what’s most important to you is the first step in developing a good time management system for yourself. Everything else is built around this part.
Take Action: Set down & really consider this. Write it out if necessary. What do you value? What is irreplaceable in your life? What things do you absolutely have to do each day? Where do those things fit into your day?
2. Set Work Hours
I get it. You love your business, it makes you happy, & you know you’re going to have to work hard to build it into something great. Seriously, I’m right there with you, but you have to set some limits. It’s easy to think of all the things you need to be doing & want to work all the time, but your business isn’t the only important thing in your life.
You know how much extra time you have available that you can commit to work. It may be a set time during the day or it may vary day-to-day. Either way, just having time set aside for work will take a load off of you!
Take Action: Go back & look at your priorities list. Where do those things fall into place during your day? What other things are you committed to during the day? Where do you have free-time that you can set aside for work? Schedule it out for each day of the week & write it down. Hang up your “work schedule” on the fridge or in your studio. Make it official!
3. Establish Goals
Goals are essential to moving forward in your business. They’re like the bulls-eye on the target. The light at the end of the tunnel. They’re what you’ll use to measure your success by.
Make sure you set realistic & achieveable goals, but you don’t want to make them too easy to meet. You want them to be just out of your reach & your comfort zone. Push yourself a bit. Be brave. Come on, you can do it!
You need long-term goals that are achievable in one years time. You also need short-term goals that you can meet on a monthly basis. Make sure when you’re writing your goals out that you make them simple, clear, & measurable. What exactly are you going to do & when are you going to do it by?
Take Action: Write out 5-6 things you want to achieve in one year’s time. Now break each thing down into actionable steps…steps that you’ll need to take to get from Point A to Point B. These actionable steps will become your short-term or monthly goals. Next you’ll need to take your monthly goals & create to-do type tasks from them that you’ll work on each day in order to complete each month’s goals.
By focusing on your monthly goals & working hard at completing your daily to-dos, you’ll be even closer to meeting those 5 or 6 long-term goals. Success!
4. Schedule Everything
Creating a schedule that works for you is gonna be the thing that holds it all together. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to do each day or you try to wing it, you’re setting yourself up to waste time & not accomplish much.
By knowing when you have a doctors appointment, when you’ve set aside time to clean or call your friend from college, & when you have time to work & what you need to do that day, you’re creating an environment where you don’t have to think or analyze what you should be or need to be doing. You’re simplifing your life even further.
Take Action: Get a planner where you can write out what you need to do each day…usually called a day-planner. Fill in any appointments, vacations, or other important things you have to do during that month. Take a look at your priorities list. Be sure to include time for yourself, cleaning the house, or helping your kiddos with homework. Next write out your goals for the current month & break those goals down into your daily to-dos. Write 3-4 of these to-dos down during each day’s work time that you need to do to get closer to meeting your goal.
Don’t stress if you get off task. It’s no problem. Move on & try again tomorrow. Keep in mind the amount of time you have available for “work” each day & don’t schedule too many to-dos. The point is to stay on task & not overwhelm yourself. 3-4 things a day is plenty.
5. Embrace High-leverage Tasks
“High-leverage tasks”? High-leverage tasks are the things that are gonna give you the most bang for your buck. Checking your email every hour is not one of those things. Chatting it up on Twitter for hours on end isn’t high-leverage either.
Creating new products or services that will make you money is a high-leverage task. Searching for a blog feature that will help get your business in front of a new audience is as well.
When it comes to your to-dos, try to keep 75% high-leverage & 25% low-leverage.
Take Action: Look back over your scheduled to-dos for the coming month. Are most of your tasks going to get your quality results or is the majority of what you’ve got just busy work? Make any changes necessarily.
No more excuses…
You now have some tips that you can use to help you get on track & stay on track with life & business. Look back over your priorities list every month. You may even need to make a new one each month because priorities change. Don’t worry about being perfectly organized & on schedule. It’s something that you’ll grow into if it’s not your strong suit, but over time you’ll realize just how important it really is!
Which tip are you going to start using today! Share with me in the comments below!
Meagan Visser is a creative business owner & coach. She guides creatives to build their business from the ground up with simple, easy to understand information on her website MeaganVisser.com. She recently released a mini marketing course – Creative Business Marketing 101 – a 7 day e-course to getting your biz marketing plan on the right track. Connect with her on Twitter @MeaganVisser.