Being a creative business coach and having a large family, to manage time has been a battle for me. But, gradually, I mastered certain techniques that helped me make the most out of my time —run my business smoothly and have enough family time.
I’m sharing the 5 tested and proved techniques that saved me lot of time and increased my productivity. Even if you’re not a family woman like me, these tips will definitely help you in managing your time.
Let’s dive in.
5 Tips to manage time effectively as a business owner
Tip #1: Create a to-do list
Listing down things to do before starting to work helps you gain clarity on what you want to do that day. You can also get an estimate of the amount of work you have and how how busy your day will be. To make it more effective, prioritise your list according to priority or easiest and hardest.
You can write a list on a simple notebook or use a digital notepad. Once you finish tasks, cross them off the list. Crossing off tasks is a very satisfying activity. It gives you a sense of additional relief.
I divide my to-do list into two slots — home and work. This helps me equally divide my time among both aspects.
Another suggestion I have regarding writing down tasks is to break down larger tasks into smaller chunks. This reduces overwhelm and you’ll get a clear idea of the amount of work completed.
Tip #2: Batch create
Batch creating is producing units in bulk together instead of creating it individually over a period of time. As a business coach for creative entrepreneurs, batch creating content is my top tip. The aim of this technique is to save time and eliminate the chances of procrastinating.
For example, I record a number of YouTube videos and Instagram Reels together instead of creating them individually. So, I have repository of videos which I can post according to the content calendar.
Read more about how to batch create Instagram Reels for your art business.
This method can be applied to tasks that do not take a lot of your time to complete but need to be done regularly.
Tip #3: Time blocking
Another simple way to manage time is by blocking your time slots for specific tasks. You might have many tasks on your lists. And as a result, your mind tends to get muddled up and your work will lack clarity. To avoid such counter-productive elements, practise blocking your time for a single task at a time. For example, set 20 to 25 minutes apart for a task and avoid any other distractions at the time. To help you gain focus, you can use the Pomodoro technique. Set a timer for 25 minutes and take a five minute break after that. Then, repeat this until your task is done.
The whole point of time blocking is to avoid multitasking, because focus in needed for be more productive. But, as mothers, we tend to multitask our way through the day, which is in a way good and sometimes necessary. In that case, club together a high priority task and one which needs less attention. This will help you finish works easier.
Tip #4: Meal planning
Cooking meals is an inevitable part of most mothers’ routines. For working moms like us, the best way to tackle the daily task of cooking is through effective meal planning. I believe that when a child is fed, the chances of him or her bothering the parent becomes lesser. So, cooking and planning meals is not just about satisfying hunger.
You can follow simple steps like chopping vegetables earlier and store it in the refrigerator or go for more big steps like cooking and storing meals in the freezer.
I hosted an Instagram live exclusively on meal prepping and planning. You can watch the recording here.
Tip #5: Set boundaries
Without boundaries, time management can be very difficult, especially as a homemaker. As women, we are told to always put everyone else before our needs. This leaves us little time for what we really want to do.
Learn to prioritise yourself and set strict boundaries between those around you, even loved ones. What many people don’t realise is that saying no is an option. This is one among many life lessons I’ve learnt.
You should also set boundaries with yourself. This means that you should set aa limit to the work you do and number of hours you spend. To run our business, we often work extra hours. This can lead to an eventual burnout. So, to avoid this, set a time to switch off from work, take enough vacations, and pick only the projects you love.
It’s all about staying in focus
As adults with multiple roles in life, we should be very mindful of how and where we spend our time. Although work-life balance is a myth, you can still manage your time to get the most out of every aspect of life. And it’s all about staying in focus of what your priorities are.
And remember, everyday and every minute of your life need not be productive. Having your fair share of lazy days are part of the journey!