How I Manage My Time As An Entrepreneur (Plus a free Calendar printable!)
Whenever I'm talking to new clients or friends that have a side hustle, it seems like time management is everyone’s biggest struggle. There’s so much to do in a day, not enough time to do it and it can be really overwhelming. I knew I needed to figure out my time management when I had quit my full-time job and was still working 10-12 hours a day. And here’s the kicker: whether you own a business or not you are likely only productive for approximately 3 hours a day. That means anything in addition to that is added stress, pressure and unrealistic expectations.
So, I decided to get things together and allow myself the most productive day and healthy mindset in order to create growth for my business. On a typical day, my schedule looks a bit like this:
- 7:30AM: Wake up and make coffee (this is a must, people). Take the dog on a walk, answer emails, eat breakfast and engage on social media
- 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM: No talk, just work. I hustle hard for 3 hours straight and get as much done as possible.
- 12:00 PM- 2:00 PM: Take a little break and workout, eat lunch, shower.
My afternoons are casual, I get done what is left on my to-do list, sometimes from the couch (I know, living life on the edge!) and enjoy some low-key time.
Trust me, honey—creating this schedule didn’t happen overnight. I tested and tried things for months before I found that this is the most productive way to work for me. And it seems easy, right? “Work for 3 hours.” However, in order to work for 3 hours efficiently you have to be on top of it. Organizing my client workload is crucial.
I organize my tasks and due dates by month and week. This allows me to spend some of that low-key time to prospect new clients for the next month if I have the availability; ultimately continuing to allow growth for my business. I also like to spend time creating products and resources for you! In order to organize by both month and week, there are a few tools I use that I listed below! I also use a monthly calendar to view my client schedule on a longer-term basis (rather than weekly-basis). Want to get in on the monthly calendar fun? Of course you do, boo. Click the button below to download my FREE monthly printable calendar.
I’m not sure where I’d be without Trello. Not only is this baby totally free (you can upgrade to a paid plan, but all the features I need are on the free plan!), but it handles literally all of my day-to-day to-do lists. If you’ve heard about Trello or want to learn more about Trello but it looks too intimidating, take the Trello For Business Course (it’s only $29, people) and watch the quick tutorials on how to maximize it for your business. This was the best investment I made at the start of my business, and I’ve been using it regularly since.
In Trello, I plan out my week so that I don’t get too overwhelmed by so many tasks. Each day, I hop in and see what needs to be done for the day. I simply click and drag the tasks I have either accomplished or need to figuratively “reschedule” based on how the morning went.
Planoly changed the game for me when it came to posting to Instagram and scheduling out my week's posts. With Planoly, you can visually see how your posts will look in your feed, helping you keep that brand continuity and aesthetically-pleasing look and feel. PLUS, Planoly just came out with auto-posting to Instagram (with some restrictions), so now you can literally set your posts and move on with your day + life. Hello, work/life balance! This is great because I plan out my posts that are automatically scheduled; allowing me more time to hop in the comments and engage with other people in the morning.
I first heard about Toggl in college when my professor told us that time tracking is a key component in freelance work. Toggl is totally free (again, you can upgrade to a paid version, but all of the tools you need are on the free version!) and helps you keep track of how much time you’ve spent on a project. You can take Toggl a step further and track your entire day—timing both work and non-work related activities—to see where you’re spending your time.
The other important thing for me is exercise. Spending time checked out and bettering my body always leaves me feeling refreshed! PS - these headphones are my new best friend. Yes you look a bit silly in them but they’re legit worth every penny.
Here’s the thing, there is always work to do, more you could accomplish and things you could improve on, but keeping yourself sane is the most important. A mentor once told me to “stop comparing my Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 10”. Someone may seem like they’re “doing it all” but we all have to find what works best for us. When I see my daily schedule that I’ve created for myself, I'm proud but remember how it took me almost a year to get to that point. I have business friends that prefer to work in the evenings and spend their mornings at coffee shops, taking pictures for instagram and don’t shower until 4PM. Everyone is different!
Be kind to yourself and keep on being the boss babe you are!