We surveyed our email list at the end of 2016 and asked them what type of topics they wanted to see more of on the blog and in our email newsletters.
One thing that popped up again and again (and again) was productivity and time management.
Questions included “how do we do it all?”, “how do you make time to focus on your business?” and “how do we fit it all in as business owners and as parents?”
While productivity and time management isn’t something we’ve completely mastered (does anyone ever truly master this?) we do have some tips that may help you as you continue to grow your own business.
We hope this helps! And if you like this post, we would love it if you pinned the graphic above to share on Pinterest!
How We Fit It All In As Business Owners & Still Have A Life
1 | Admit that we can’t do it all
The first step in managing your time better is admitting to yourself that you can’t do it all. There are about a million ideas we have to grow our business but we know we can’t do everything all at once, otherwise, we will get burnt out. Fast.
I cannot be the perfect business owner, mother, sister, wife, friend every single day. There just is not enough time to do well in all of those categories every day.
We try to pick three priorities for each day and focus on those. Why three? There are a ton of articles that discuss why picking three things each day works better than trying to do #allthethings.
Some days, this means we prioritize family time. Other days, this means we are focusing on our business and aren’t hanging out with friends or family as much.
In the end, this strategy works a lot better for us because we can stop feeling guilty while focusing on a certain priority because we know we will be focusing on a different priority the next day.
Another way we don’t do it all? We outsource. As a business owner, there are a lot of things that you can outsource:
– Social media scheduling
– Blog writing
– Customer service
– Creating graphics
– Installing your new Bluchic WordPress theme
The options are endless. Decide what you enjoy and are good at doing for your business, and outsource the rest.
2 | Prioritize
As we mentioned above, we pick between 2-4 priorities for each day. Let’s dive a little deeper into prioritizing because I think it’s a topic many people know they should do but aren’t sure how to implement in their own life.
Since we own our own business, it’s hard to separate our business life from our personal life (especially since our office is in our home!).
We first determined all of our priorities in life: family, sleep, exercise, friends, business, etc. All of our family priorities go into the calendar first (this could be doctor’s appointments, birthdays, special occasions, holidays, etc). Those are non-negotiables. They are events that are happening and we want to be a part of and enjoy without guilt.
Once that is outlined, we schedule in the rest of our priorities into our calendar. This means some days are heavier on business, while other days are more focused on family.
But looking at it throughout the week, it is pretty balanced. It’s important to remember you will not be able to fit in every single priority you have in your life every day. It’s nearly impossible.
Pick your top three for the day and aspire to focus on only those.
Related post: 7 Strategies To Take Your Business To The Next Level & Make More Money
3 | Put the phone away
Sounds easy, but so many people struggle with it (including me!).
Put. The. Phone. Away.
Turn it off, put it on do not disturb, put it in a different room…whatever you need to do to have it not distract you.
Part of our business involves being active on social media, so we set aside specific times for checking and responding to social media. I typically save this time for when I’m feeling least productive.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Wondering how the @Bluchic duo fits it all in as business owners & still have a life? Check this post!” quote=”Wondering how the @Bluchic duo fits it all in as business owners & still have a life? Check this post!”]
4 | Keep the weekends for family
I mentioned last week in our email newsletter that for the longest time, I would always work on the weekends. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. I would sneak away time when my son was napping and thought I was being “productive” when in reality, I was heading toward burnout.
Taking breaks is good for your health, your mindset, and your business. It boosts your productivity, makes you a better employee, and helps you stay on schedule.
Focusing on my family on the weekends helps me feel less guilty during the week when I’m focusing on our business. Because I know that I’ve reserved the weekends for family, I can focus and work harder during the week so I don’t have anything hanging over my head that I “have to get done.”
Now, are there times that I do reply to a few emails or do a little work? Yes. But it is not constant like it used to be, that’s for sure.
5 | Plan ahead
Planning ahead makes life so much easier, doesn’t it? Planning isn’t just reserved for business either, we’ve also started planning out other facets of our lives that have truly helped us be better business owners.
Here are my tips:
– Meal prep and meal planning have changed our lives. Knowing what we are eating and having meals cooked ahead of time saves us so much time. It’s unreal.
– I plan for my day the night before. I outline my three priorities and make sure I’m ready to go for the next day by planning ahead.
– At the beginning of the week, I make a rough plan for the week. This always changes but I know ahead of time all of the things I need / would like to get done during the week and put those into my calendar.
– One key thing I’ve started to do is build time in my day for the unexpected: customer service issues, urgent emails, etc. Some days nothing pops up (yay!) other days I’m so happy I set aside time to be able to tend to these items.
Related post: How To Overcome Self Doubt As A GirlBoss
6 | Manage our energy
To truly be able to manage your energy well, you have to know yourself. I know that I have the most energy in the mornings, so I do my hardest, deepest work tasks then.
This quote from this Harvard Business Review article really stuck out to me about energy management: “The core problem with working longer hours is that time is a finite resource. Energy is a different story.”
Figure out when you are most productive and make sure those hours are filled with your deepest work.
And if you can, get rid of the most energy depleting tasks that you aren’t good at — outsource or get rid of them all together.
As we mentioned, we definitely don’t have this time management thing all figured out and there are days we feel stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted from all of the things we need to get done but we try and give ourselves a break.
Each day is an opportunity to improve ourselves, which is the best that anyone can do. We’re here cheering for you, all the way!