Do you feel there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, that you’re always running behind? Do you feel bad about the time you’re spending on work, because you’re feeling guilty about not spending time with family and friends, doing the things you love? Do you feel you’re not spending enough time doing what you need to do, and feeling guilty when doing things outside of work, like spending time with family or friends?
When running a creative business, there is so much that needs to get done, and it can feel like it needs to be done all at once. There are only so many hours available each day though, and we’re also working with other limited-supply resources, like our staff and funds.
As a busy creative entrepreneur and business owner, you need proven techniques to master your time, establish boundaries, set priorities, and get support. This will make running your creative business easier, so you can enjoy your business and life outside of your business.
Here are some simple things you can do that will make a huge and immediate impact to your business and your ability to reclaim your time.
- Set regular business hours.
- Schedule your time off.
- Know how you’re spending your time. If you’re not sure, keep track of all your activities and tasks for a week. A lot of what we spend our time doing as creative entrepreneurs and business owners isn’t really that important. Look at all the things that are keeping you busy and creating busy-ness!
- Focus in on activities and tasks producing results and generating revenue. Of all of these tasks, which do you personally do now? Of those, which could easily be done by others?
- To help free up your time, stick with what you’re good at, enjoy doing and are getting paid for. Fortify your strengths and delegate your weaknesses. Outsource or delegate to those talented individuals who take a fraction of the time we would to accomplish the same tasks.
- Know what your time is worth. Look at tasks you’re doing, which you may actually enjoy or are doing out of habit, that you could affordably pay someone else to do and free up your time. By paying someone else to do these tasks, how many hours would you free up a week? How much of your time can you free up to spend on other things, including generating more revenue?
- Batch your time:
- Cluster client appointments, designating certain days and/or times for consultations and appointments.
- Allocate business development time, where you’re working on your business and marketing your business.
- Batch calls, to and from clients, vendors, and other service professionals.
- Set aside blocks to source items for your projects.
- Schedule time to do your creative work.
- When it comes to your to-do list, set targets for all activities and tasks. In addition to deadlines and dates you’ll work on tasks, include the amount of time you’ll allow yourself to complete each task. For example, allow yourself one hour to write an article for your ezine. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” What this means is if you don’t designate a set amount of time, almost any activity will expand to fill all your time.
- Use a timer to keep you on track.
- Turn off any other distractions, such as your phone and email. We’re not made to multi-task! It takes longer to continually switch gears and regain focus. You’ll find you’re more productive and effective when you maintain singular focus and follow through to completion.
- If tasks are taking longer than you expect and you’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed with the timelines and using a timer, chances are you are working on projects rather than activities and tasks. Break things down into smaller chunks. For example, instead of having a task that is “Ezine”, have a task of ‘write introduction note for ezine.”
Begin reclaiming your time now and go from tired and striving to inspired and thriving. You’ll increase your happiness, creative energy, and enjoyment of your creative business.