Working for yourself is tricky. There’s no boss breathing down your neck making sure you’re not goofing off on Pinterest or Twitter. Sure, you have clients who you have to answer to, but they don’t care whether or not you got work done at 1pm or 1am. And when you add procrastination and deadlines together, you don’t have the time to focus on other aspects of your business, such as your blog or services. These things often fall by the wayside as you focus on meeting client deadlines.
I’ve been there. Last year was a huge learning curve for me. I was busier than ever and important things got thrown onto the back burner because I didn’t have time for them. It took me awhile to learn how to manage my time and come up with a system that works for me. What I’ve found works best is scheduling every single thing that needs to get done. Since most of my days are similar, I’ve created a daily schedule with items for all the major areas I need to focus on. The items on it are recurring events that happen every day, Monday through Friday. This ensures that I set aside time each day to work on my business.
Here’s what most days look like:
9-10am – Start Day: During this hour, I check my email to see what needs to get done (and answer anything that takes 2 minutes or less), create my to do list, update my calendar, read blogs, and schedule social media. It’s pretty much my way of easing into my day.
10-12pm – Client Work: Pretty self explanatory, I work on client projects
12-12:30pm – Lunch Break
12:30-2:30pm – Client Work / Products: On Monday – Thursday, this block is devoted to client work. Fridays however, I use this time to focus on creating new products, whether it’s working on my ebook, or developing new themes for my theme shop.
2:30-3pm – Break
3-4pm – Email: I save my longer emails for during this time. Since my client work is done for the day, now’s the time I can update everyone on their project’s status if needed. I’ll also answer any inquiries during this time and send out invoices, contracts, etc.
4-5pm – Business: This hour block is usually what got pushed to the back burner last year. This year, I’ve set aside time each day for it and it’s working quite well. In order to vary the business related work I do each day, I’ve given each day a specific business related task: Monday = processes, Tuesday = site updates, Wednesday = newsletter, Thursday = education (ecourses, etc), and Friday = finances.
5-6:30pm – Dinner Break
6:30-7:30pm – Blogging: I end the day by working on blog posts.
Having this schedule has been immensely helpful. Every minute is accounted for so I know exactly what needs to get done when. And even better is the fact that I have time set aside each day to focus on growing my business. While some people might be a bit apprehensive to plan out their day minute by minute, I think it’s important to note that this schedule is not set in stone. Sometimes I’ll feel like writing a blog post in the morning, so I’ll do that. Other times I have meetings or calls scheduled and things have to be pushed around. And that’s okay. The schedule is only a guide to help give each day some structure.
How do you structure your days?