Do you ever look at successful online biz owners and think “how do they get all this done?” It seems like certain people are constantly coming out with new stuff. You know what I mean. Blog posts, podcasts, YouTube channels, courses, e-books, webinars, joint ventures, mega-launches. . .the list could go on and on.
I recently reached out to 11 ladies who are rocking the online space and asked them:
“What is your favorite time management hack for small business owners?”
I’m absolutely thrilled with the response. There are some great tips here. So dig in (and if you don’t have time to read the post now, be sure to pin it for later!).
Before each month starts, plan what you want to achieve in advance, and then break those down into weekly to-dos. This saves you a lot of time because you spend less time on "busy work" and more time on work that will actually grow your business.
Raelyn Tan is a blogging and digital marketing strategist at raelyntan.com. She helps bloggers and online entrepreneurs build a sustainable blog + business that they are proud of. You can find her on Facebook at http://facebook.com/raelyntan.
My favorite time management hack is.... drum roll please... planning ahead. I know, pivotal I'm sure. But it's honestly scary how few people do this. My business partner and I have monthly planning meetings and weekly mini-updates. We keep everything carefully (perhaps meticulously) scheduled inside TrelloForBusiness.com. If you want help getting started, I would totally recommend you try our free course - all about saving that precious time of yours - head to YourBizOnAutopilot.com to enroll. We got some great planning tips, tools, apps and systems all rolled into one inside that puppy.
Think Creative Collective
We help overwhelmed and creative entrepreneurs break down their Oprah-sized dreams to create a functioning command center to tame the chaos of their business. Basically, we think you’re totally bomb diggity, we’re about to uplevel the shiz out of your business. You can find Think Creative Collective on Instagram at ThinkCreativeCollective.
Related post: Check out these free planners that will help you take a step back and make sure that you are focused on the right things.
My favourite time management hack is Prioritise! Always be clear on your goals. This could be a big goal, like get that e-book written or it might be something as simple as writing a blog post! The point is always know what it is you're trying to get done. And only work on the tasks you need to complete to get that thing done. If it's not helping you reach your current goal, put it at the bottom of the list. When you prioritise your tasks based on your goals, you actually finish stuff. Then you feel good about yourself and go on and finish more stuff! It's a feel-good cycle.
The Badass BusinessMum
Laura is a twin Mum & Blogger at The Badass BusinessMum where she blogs about Branding & Design, Organisation & Planning, and general Blogging Stuff. Her mission is to help cash-strapped bloggers start and grow their Blogging empires with DIY resources and affordable courses. You can find her on Twitter at badassbizmums.
As a small business owner, it is essential to focus your time on what moves the needle forward the most in your business. Use your best, least distracted, most focused work time for the high leverage activities.
I Heart Planners
Laura loves chocolate and creating pretty printables. She also loves helping other entrepreneurs learn how to create stable businesses online. You can find her on Instagram at IHeartPlanners.
Making a weekly to-do list on Sunday nights. I brain dump everything I have to do for the week ahead - client work, my own projects, business ops tasks, etc - and then every night, I plan for the next day. I start by writing down my top 3 priorities for the day and then add some smaller tasks to the side. I've tried almost every planner out there and I'm currently loving my Panda Planner.
Amanda is a creative strategist and design partner to high-level entrepreneurs + their ideas. You can find her on Instagram at AmandaGenther.
To focus on ONE main project per week instead of multi-tasking because being super FOCUSED saves time and keeps overwhelm from happening! Every 3 months I like to do a major brain dump of EVERYTHING I want to accomplish, and then I prioritize and prune everything I brain dumped by evaluating each item. Once I've got a newly pruned and prioritized list of projects/things I'd like to accomplish, I then schedule out one main thing to focus on (from that list) per week in my planner.
Allison is a full-time online entrepreneur and blogger whose obsessed with helping people build profitable online businesses by monetizing their amazing-ness in a fun, colorful way! She's been blogging for 10 years, ran her own full-time creative photography business for 7 and now spends her time teaching other online entrepreneurs via online courses, blog posts, webinars and more. She's obsessed with color, cats and coffee and frequently talks in weird random accents. She can be found over at Wonderlass.com! Be sure to check out her Facebook group for lady bosses.
To have two "golden hours" a day where you actually focus on doing work and nothing else. Jim Edward's taught me this - it has been the one thing that has helped me be successful and focused on what matters!
Sue helps bloggers make money with their blogs so they can work at home, be their own boss and spend more time doing what they love. You can find Sue on Twitter at SueAnneDunlevie.
I won't claim to be very good at time management (ha!) but I do use a few tricks to manage my time more effectively. The one that's probably made a big difference to me is learning to say "no." I have a tendency to get bogged down by so many tasks and have always been afraid to say no in the past, but I've had to use this skill a lot lately in order to get the things done that I need to. It's a nice one to have in your back pocket when you're feeling extremely overwhelmed.
Design Your Own Lovely Blog
Marianne is a web designer, blogger and mom who helps creative female solopreneurs DIY beautiful blogs that match their unique work and personalities through supportive, friendly feedback + helpful step-by-step tutorials + guides. You can find her on Pinterest at Marianney.
A lot of self-evaluation makes for a productive schedule. One of the questions I love to ask is: "If I only had four hours this week to work on my business, what would absolutely have to get done?" I'm a big fan of weeding your routine to find the income-generating seeds and fruit.
Market Your Creativity
Lisa is your source for authentic marketing, strategic business growth, and Your Best Year planning! You can find her on Instagram at IAmLisaJacobs.
Set up a Task Tracking worksheet to help you evaluate the stuff you do every week. The process let you see how long things really take so you know what you can honestly handle with your schedule.
Here's the simple steps to create your own Task Tracking worksheet:
1. List the top things you do every week for your business. Think of this like your master to-do list.
2. If the items have several steps, create a sub-list to give you a breakdown of your action items.
3. Now spend the next few days tracking yourself doing these tasks. Write down the time it actually takes from the start of your item until you can honestly cross that off your list.
4. Take notes about what really happened while you were tracking your steps. I find it helps to note if I had to come back to finish something the next day or if I needed to another step before this one.
5. Once you've timed out all the items on your master list, write out your top action items you need to work on that week to help you grow your business. Include the time it takes to do each item and include a priority number next to each item.
6. Now schedule those items into your planner starting with the highest priority item and block off the time it'll take to really and honestly get those things done.
Inner Social Media-ness
I’m Penney Fox, a Social Media Productivity Coach. I teach entrepreneurs practical productivity steps to help you grow your social presence to connect with more qualified people who want to buy your services, your products or online coaching programs. I’ve spent the last 15 years helping entrepreneurs with their marketing strategies. While others will tell you to sign up for a social media scheduler and give you steps to get a gazillion followers, I’ll give you easy actionable steps to really grow your business using social media. Find Penney on Pinterest or Facebook.
Get up early! This is especially important if you have small kids. Get up two hours before they wake up, spend 30 minutes quiet time for yourself, and then focus on the one thing that will help move your blog or business forward that day.
Women Winning Online
I am a wife to one great guy, mom to 3 of the best crazies a woman could ask for, and a proud blogger. I teach women what to do AFTER they start their blogs, including how to grow their tribe and earn an income from their blogs! Check out Jen's Facebook group.
I hope you got some great insights out of this post. The key now is to implement. Don’t try to do everything. Pick one or two time management hacks to implement in your own business and I’m sure you will start to see results.
What one or two strategies are you going to add to your time management arsenal? Share in the comments!