We’ve all got the same 24 hours in every day, and as a business owner, you want to make the most of it.
You’ve probably read a million different posts and tips about time management, but what if a rigid, highly structured schedule simply doesn’t work for you?
Time management can be flexible and fluid, and still COMPLETELY effective! You can be creative, go with the flow, and still get everything done without being ruled by your calendar. Here are some easy ways to maximize your productivity and spend your time wisely without scheduling every minute!
- Analyze Your Day
What does a typical work day look like for you? The best way to get a sense of how you’re spending your time is to write it all down. Keep a log over the next week or two and track your day. (Include the things that you do monthly, even if they don’t happen while you’re tracking.) Then, add the things you do daily on your personal time like exercising, walking the dog, or cooking dinner. The more detail you can add, the better, so put in all those nitty gritty details and tasks!
- Highlight Tasks that Only You Can Do
There are plenty of tasks in your business that you can hand off to your team, but there are some things that require your attention. Highlight those revenue-generating projects and the things that bring your vision for your business to life. These could be current projects, ideas you want to put into play, networking, marketing- anything that requires your special touch.
- Prioritize Your Personal Time
Look at those tasks that you take on in your personal time. Which ones matter most and bring you the most joy? Circle them. These are your must-haves, the things that feed your mind, body and soul, and they’re imperative. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so you have to make time for the things that help you take care of YOU.
- Pick Tasks to Delegate
Do you really need to read every email? Are you the only one that can schedule your calendar, or make calls? Pick out tasks that someone else can handle, or the ones you just really hate doing, or the things you know you should delegate and underline them.
- Create a Loose Calendar
Now that you have this wonderful map of how you spend your time and how you SHOULD be spending it, it’s time to put it to work! Pick your favorite calendar app or just grab a sheet of paper and start drafting a loose calendar. Set up your day in a way that works for you. You can schedule tasks in hour-long time slots, 30-minute increments, or even 15-minute blocks- whatever feels like the best fit for your working style, and start filling in those tasks.
- Test and Revise
You’ve created a loose outline for your day, but now you need to see if it actually works! Follow your calendar for a few days and see how it feels. You might need to shift tasks or time slots to get a routine that feels comfortable, easy, and stress-free.
- Make Changes as Needed
You might have a job that’s very consistent where most of your weeks look pretty similar, but there are always going to be THOSE DAYS where everything just goes to hell in a handbasket. That’s why your schedule should always leave room for the unexpected. Don’t create a rigid, minute-by-minute outline for your day, because that’s going to go out the window the minute shit hits the fan. Think of your schedule as a loose guideline for your day and update it regularly- I usually update mine monthly, or every 90 days depending on how hectic my month looks.
I love working from a schedule because it helps me prioritize my tasks, delegate, and leave plenty of room for self-care, but I never want to be bound to an inflexible calendar that doesn’t work for my life or my business!
If you want more tips for organizing your time without overscheduling, check out this episode of Building Your Empire with SophieZo. And I’d love to give you some pointers on using the all-in-one business support team at SophieZo to take on those day-to-day tasks and give you the freedom you need to take back your time!