It feels like I’m constantly pulled in multiple directions and I have A LOT of balls in the air most days. I’ve heard so many times from friends that, “I don’t know how you do it all” or “You make it look easy.” Friends, TBH it’s not easy, but by using the five tips below it is a whole heck of a lot easier to get it all done.
Identify Time Sucks
We all have guilty pleasures that take up way too much of our time, whether it be trashy TV, social media, texting, etc. Think about what you are giving your time to and adjust as needed. For me, I spend way too much time on social media. I’ll login to get an update on Instagram stories and next thing I know I’ve lost 45 minutes of my evening.
Invest in a Planner
I’m using the term invest loosely. The planner I bought was $13.88 at Wal-Mart and I’m a big fan. You can spend a lot more, but a moderately price planner will do the trick! My planner is the size of notebook and I enjoy having the extra space to plan out my day. While you are picking out your planner, go ahead and grab some fun gel pens.
So you’ve got your planner and fun gel pens – now it’s time to get to work. Start by using different colored pens to map out your appointments, meals, and general to-do list. For me, I use green for all appointments, turquoise for to-do items, and purple for meals. By color coding, I can quickly identify what I’ve got going on for the day.
Girl Bosses, I’m talking to you now. Use your planner to map out EVERYTHING. I keep business and personal in the same planner to make it easier on myself. Make sure your planner has an adequate sized monthly calendar to map out social media posts, marketing campaigns/sales, or events you’re involved in. If you’re organized, then your team and your customers will feel that. I’ve found that an organized team is more productive and your customers will appreciate the quicker turn around!
If you’re like me you have 156,984,797 going through your head at any given time. Obviously, we can’t get it all done, so that’s where prioritizing comes in.
Prioritizing can be tough, so I find myself asking these questions:
Can someone else do this for me? If so, then cha-ching – one less item on my to-do list! If not, why can’t they? By identify roadblocks, you can plan to remove the roadblock. For me, most of the time it is training.
Am I adding more value than the time I’m giving up? For me, I’ve found that appliqués are time consuming and don’t add a lot of value to my business. I do them from time to time for friends, but as a general rule I don’t spend time on applique orders because they don’t add value to my business.
What happens if I say no? This kind of goes back to adding value. I’m a yes girl through and through, which has gotten me into trouble many, many times. If you are finding an item on your to-do doesn’t add enough value to be worth your time, think about what repercussions there are of saying no. I’ve found saying no is pretty great and really helps me cut down on the fluff in my to-do list.
Get some help, girl! Whether you enlist the help of your kids, husband, or an assistant – don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’ve found that when I ask for help, I generally get it and when I don’t ask for help, I never get it. If you’ve got an organized planner with a prioritized list, it makes it much easier on you to distribute tasks to your team.
Each morning, I send a prioritized list to my team to let them know what needs to be accomplished for the day. 9 times out of 10 everything on our list gets done, which has led to so many returning customers. We consistently get positive feedback on the ease of doing business with us!
If you’re still unsure of what tasks you might distribute to your team, here’s an example. In my business, I realized that pickups, deliveries, and miscellaneous errands were taking up way too much of my time. I enlisted the help of a courier who does these tasks for me and works freelance just when I need him. It’s been a life saver and freed up my time to focus on things that only I can do – like spending time with my son!
Whew – that was a lot of information. I hope these tips encourage you to take the first step towards mastering your to-do list and gaining balance in your life.