It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of running your business, and running your time. As a business owner myself, I’m constantly making sure that I’m focusing my attention on daily and weekly priorities. Even though I’m super deadline driven, and list oriented, without fail, I can be easily distracted by a travel e-newsletter. Or sometimes get sucked into clicking article link after article link when I need to be moving on to the next task.
Between client work, meetings, building my own business, and making sure that I maintain a healthy work life balance, I realize that I have to be very intentional about how I spend my time. Work life balance for me is a non-negotiable, so making sure that I get work done, during my set work hours, is why I keep myself on a set schedule. I’ve learned over the years, that blocking out my calendar for specific tasks, and batch work.
Here are a few of my go to’s, to make sure that I’m focusing on my WIG’s (wildly important goals) throughout the day and week:
- Request phone or video meeting rather than face to face. In addition to not requiring me to block out time for commuting to and from the meeting, I’ve also noticed that phone and video meetings often start faster than face to face. With a face to face, it is typical to catch up on life, business, new office staff, etc, before jumping into what the meeting is actually about.
- When face to face meetings are indeed necessary, I stack my meetings with a 30 minute cushion in between. This 30 minutes allows for the previous meeting to run over slightly, to quickly check emails, and to refocus for my next meeting. I’ve learned that having one to two hours in between meetings is too short to actually start something new, get it accomplished, and then gear up for the next meeting.
- When not on the client’s time, always ask or give hard stops. If I’ve blocked out 45 minutes to meet with a graphic designer at 11:00 am to discuss a new project, I let them know that I have a hard stop at 11:45.
- Non-business hour appointments. Because some of my clients hire me for their side hustle, regular working hour appointments aren’t tough for them. To accommodate them, I have two days with late evening call slots that end my day, and a Saturday call window available. I’m able to better serve my clients when I’m available at their convenience.
- Block out time for calls and meetings for early mornings, mid day, or late afternoon. In order to better structure my day and week, I block out times to take calls and meetings throughout the week. I always know what to expect, and when I should have desk time.
- Always send an agenda. Putting together a clear outline of what needs to be discussed and decided upon streamlines meetings. It also helps to ensure that everyone is prepared to discuss key topics and make necessary decisions. Nobody likes unproductive meetings where nothing actually gets accomplished.
- Always review next steps. At the end of each meeting, I review next steps to set expectations. I go over any follow up action items, deliverables, etc, and assign dates. This way, everyone is on the same page. Once that meeting ends, I then add my action to my calendar, task list, to do list, etc. so that I’m constantly keeping track of my bandwidth, and nothing falls through the cracks.
Content, Strategy Development & Marketing for My Business
- 1 Hour every Monday, 3 hours every other Thursdays. I’ve learned that if I don’t designate time for marketing my business, it doesn’t get prioritized. With automated tools, I’m able to dedicate only 10 hours a month to content creation, campaign optimization, and regular marketing and branding maintenance.
Content, Strategy Development & Marketing for Clients
- Outline key milestones and action items that lead up to deadlines and assign due dates. I fill my remaining open time with key milestones and action items required for each client.
- Add breathing room! My weekly calendar includes 10 hours of non-dedicated time to accommodate the unexpected.
Do you feel like your days and weeks run you, rather than you running it? Does time get away from you? How are you prioritizing your week? Implement a few of the tactics above, and let me know how it works out.