When it comes to your business, it may always seem like there’s never enough time to get things done. You’re probably wishing you had an extra hour in the day to work on designing, marketing and everything else that is on your to-do list. While finding time may seem like an on-going challenge, here are fours steps to free up your schedule in order to get more things done in your day:
Audit Your Time
The first step in freeing up time is to understand where your time is going. One way to do this is to audit your schedule and write down what you are doing. Take a look at your week and see where your time goes from both a work and personal level. Once you have a better picture of your schedule, it’s time to make it more efficient.
Set Up Consistency
Look at all of the tasks you need to accomplish in a given amount of time and determine what time of the day or night where you thrive the most and what items are best suited when. Once you’ve done that, you can set up a consistent schedule. For example, it may be that every Monday afternoon you work on planning your sales outreach, Wednesday is for marketing and Fridays are the only time you take non-essential meetings. When you have this type of system in place, time is allocated and ultimately set. One key to consistency is writing what you need to do down on paper or in your calendar so you hold yourself accountable.
One reason why people seem so stretched for time is because there is a lot of time that goes to waste. One area of inefficiency is social media because it can become a big time drain. Whether it’s being fixed on Instagram or Facebook, a few scrolls through a feed can become hours. Therefore, setting limits on how much time you allocate for both work an entertainment is important. And, if it’s something you want to do in your down time, make sure you’ve set up parameters and it doesn’t take time away from something you could be doing.
You should also see if there is anything you can cut from your schedule such as in-person meetings and coffee dates. Don’t be afraid to ask if these get togethers can be turned into calls or not happen at all if it doesn’t fall into your day-to-day or future objectives.
When you’re not focused, you are not optimizing a task. One example of this is checking and responding to emails while you are doing something else. A better use of your time may be to get in the habit of checking emails at certain times in the day.
The important thing about time management is prioritizing and making smart business decisions. Deciding whether you go out with friends or to social events can be great networking, but could also take the place of something you need to get done. Watching your favorite shows on Netflix all night long can be a great way to unwind, but may also take the focus off of your task.
Ultimately, you’ll have to decide what is important to you and find ways to get those items done. In the end, once you are able to take control of your schedule and build in regular patterns while eliminating time drains, you may just see that you’ll be able to accomplish a lot more.
Emerging Designer or have a resource to share? Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.