Time management in your creative business can feel like an elusive skill you’ll just never master. As entrepreneurs and business owners, we’ve got a lot (!) on our daily plate and it often feels like there’s never enough time to get things done.
To make matters worse, some of our creative business owner friends and colleagues around us seem to get so much done that we're left to wonder… how in the heck are they always doing the most?!
In this guide, I'm going to share with you five time management tips and secrets to get your creative business producing better and more efficiently!
Time Management Tip: Changing Your Relationship & Beliefs About Time
There is an important first step before I teach you some tried and true time management tips and secrets… and it’s about you getting honest with yourself…
None of the time management tips I’m going to recommend to you can change your limiting beliefs or relationship with time. The only thing that will change these is to question how you view time and what kind of relationship you have with time.
When you acknowledge that your beliefs about time might be what’s really hurting your productivity, you can begin to work on changing your limiting beliefs. You may also discover that you need to create a healthier relationship with time, too.
To get started on your journey for better time management, ask yourself these questions:
- What are my beliefs about time?
- What is my relationship with time?
We all have beliefs about time. You may believe that you never have enough time to get the things that need to get done, done. But is that really true? Is that you never have enough time, or you just don’t make the time?
Limiting beliefs get in the way for all of us. Whether its limiting beliefs about money, relationships, success, worthiness and yes, even time. So what are some of your limiting beliefs about time?
Next, I want you to examine your relationship with time. How do you and time cohabitate together? Do you work well together, or are you always butting heads?
Make it Actionable
- Pick one limiting belief you have about time and work toward turning it from a weakness into a strength. Why just one? Because if you tried to work on them all at once, you'd fail. In order to change our beliefs and habits about something, it's best to take it one step at a time. As you flip a limiting belief about time into positive belief, you can work on the next.
- Examine your relationship with time. How do you value time? How do you view time? What kind of relationship do you have with time, and what kind of relationship do you want with time?
Time Management Tip: Outsource What’s Outside of Your Genius Zone
The next time management tip is all about your Genius zone. What's your “genius zone?” Good question.
As a business owner, there are two things you should be paying attention to:
- Things only YOU can do
- Actions inside your business that will take you from running a business to growing a business
Both of these require YOU, and you can't be focusing on the things only YOU can do and the actions inside your business that will take you from today to tomorrow if you're managing everything.
In Michael Hyatt's book, Free to Focus, he talks about outsourcing anything outside your desire zone (or genius zone). In order for you to scale your business and have the kind of impact you want, you need to let go of tasks that don't fall into the two categories above.
Right now you're probably thinking, yeah, you're right Candice. But here's the thing… I can't afford to outsource. I'm not making enough money yet to hire someone to do things for me.
That's fair. But I would ask you, then, what's it costing you not to?
Every entrepreneur reaches a stage where s/he can no longer manage everything. And in order to grow, you need to offload tasks and projects that someone else can do.
If you had a landscaping business, how many lawns could you mow a week if it was just you?
Probably not as many as you would need in order to make the kind of money you wanted.
If you had a landscaping business, and you had 2 teams of landscapers mowing lawns every single day, how many lawns could your business bow a week?
A hell of a lot more.
You'll never grow your business if you're the lawnmower, the tree trimmer, the marketer, the bookkeeper, the customer service manager, the mechanic, the graphic designer, the copywriter, and the business owner. The truth is you'll either be too busy mowing lawns to do all the other stuff, or you won't have any lawns to mow and you'll just be broke.
You've got to start hiring and delegating out work in your business to see growth.
Make it Actionable
- Make a list of the things that only YOU can do in your business.
- Revisit that list. Be honest, are they all things that only YOU can do, or can you delegate them to someone else?
- Make a list of the things that need to be done in your business that will accelerate its growth. Those tasks and projects live inside your genius zone. Everything else lives outside.
- Hire someone to do one task or project outside your genius zone. Sit back and relish in the fact that someone else is doing the shit you hate doing, don't want to do, or can't find the time to do.
Time Management Tip: Automate Everything
In this great digital age, there are so many tools we can use to manage the systems and processes inside our business. Sometimes, it feels like there are too many to choose from. This time management tip is all about automation.
If you are a business owner, I am going to assume you use some type of technology to help you run your business. Whether that's Honeybook, Asana, Calendly, Google Drive, or ConvertKit.
But are you using these tools to their fullest potential? And by fullest potential, I mean are you using them to automate areas of your business so that you can free yourself up from administrative tasks?
Make it Actionable
- Pick one tech tool that you know you’re not using to its full potential. Maybe it’s Honeybook, and you’re not making the best use of its automation features. Take some TIME to learn more about the automations inside Honeybook, and start using automations to take back time in your business.
Time Management Tip: Batchwork Your Tasks
If you find it hard to take the time to do tedious tasks in your business, consider batchworking your way through these tasks to the finish line.
On The Power in Purpose podcast, I recorded an entire episode walking you through how batchworking can get you productive.
Batchworking is simply eliminating all distractions while you work on a project (or projects). All you have to do is set a goal, and then group a series of tasks together on a scheduled date or days that help you reach that goal. Curious about what you can batchwork?
- Blog Posts & Content Writing
- Social Media Posts
- Client Projects
- Podcast Episodes
- 90 Day Business Planning
- New Client Onboarding
- Email Marketing
- Photo Editing and/or Album Editing
- Client Meetings
And that is just a really short list of ideas to get you started. Batchworking isn't a magic pill for doing everything in your business, but it works outrageously well for doing a month's worth of bookkeeping, a quarter's worth of content writing, and a year's worth of social media posts.
If you want to dive headfirst into batchworking, listen to this episode of The Power in Purpose podcast where I break down this time management tip into detail.
Make it Actionable
- Pick one day a week or month to focus on something specific.
- Set your goal for what you want to accomplish, so you start with the end in mind.
- Eliminate distractions (aka GET OUT OF YOUR INBOX!) and work ONLY on your batchworking project.
- See it through to the finish line, and get hooked on the momentum you'll build by batchworking.
Time Management Tip: Say No
In examining your relationship with time, you might discover that you’re a people pleaser. Yeah, I think we all are. In our quest to serve others, we have a hard time saying no to people, and that hurts you in more ways that one.
Whenever we say yes to something that we know we’re not capable of doing, we say no to something that might be more important.
Think back to all the times you said yes to something for someone else that you know you didn’t have the time to do, what happened? You probably regretted it every step of the way, couldn't wait for it to be over and promised yourself you'd never say yes to something like this again.
Well, it's time for you to keep that promise. Saying no means saying yes to what matters, and in order to have better time management, you need to learn how to say no.
It's time for you to acknowledge that you can't help everyone and you can't please everyone. Give your colleague, friend or family member the gift of finding someone who can help them (and is eager to), by saying no when you just can't help.
Make it Actionable
- Write down a list of common requests you get from friends, colleagues and family members that you can no longer say yes to.
- When said person asks, kindly tell them no. And if you have a suggestion of where they can find the right person, lead them in the right direction.
- Pat yourself on the back for putting your own needs first.
You've made it to the end! Those are my 5 tips and secrets for better time management in your life and in your business. Comment below and let me know which one you're going to start working on in your business.
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