Time Management Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
Does thinking about time management make your head hurt and your heart race? Honestly, managing time as an entrepreneur is really not as big of a deal as we make it.
It’s just about implementing small tips to be more intentional, more thoughtful, and tackling your time.
Think about the people that you aspire to be. You have the same amount of hours as they do in a day, which means if it’s doable for them, it’s doable for you too! Beyonce, Michelle Obama, and YOU all have twenty-four hours in a day.
Using a Planner to Manage Your Day
One of my favorite time management tools is the Panda Planner. If you follow me on Instagram then you already know, I had this fangirl moment unboxing and everything! I believe this planner was designed through neurological science studies (correct me if I’m wrong!).
The designer used psychology to figure out how to plan your day so you literally look forward to every single day while getting things accomplished. And then at the end of the day, the planner helps you figure out how to have a good mindset for the next day. It’s incredible.
How does this planner help you manage your time as an entrepreneur?
Begin with mindset:
You first start off with the date at the very top. Then, in the corner is a “Daily Habit” – something that you want to start doing. It’s almost like when you write it down, you kind of automatically make yourself a little bit accountable to it.
So for me, I will say my daily habit today is: I want to rest or I want to accomplish two things and then rest because honestly, I don’t rest much and I’m very aware of this. So I’m trying to be more intentional about it.
The next thing that you do is called “Morning Reviews”. There’s this little banner that says morning review, and then “Three things that I’m grateful for”. Mind-blowing.
I always draw a blank at this because I’m like, “Wow, I never woke up in the morning and thought about what I’m grateful for right off the bath before!”
It can be as simple as: I’m grateful to be alive. I’m grateful for my good health. I’m grateful for my family. I’m grateful that I get to have my own business. And I’m grateful that I love my husband. It’s just seemingly basic things but surprisingly, writing it down just feels SO good.
After that, it says, “I am excited about 1,2,3.” So usually for me, the number one thing is taking a break. But it can be anything you’re excited about! I’m excited to go to the Dairy Queen with my kids or I’m excited to organize – whatever it is for you. This gives you the ability to look forward to something instead of dreading the next day and thinking about all the work you have to do.
Focus on to-do tasks:
Once you’ve got your mindset right, there are two square boxes in the corner. That’s about focus and exercise.
Now I try to run when Ken does because it just kind of keeps us like in check with each other, which works out sometimes. But I usually get so tired that I just want to lay down in my bed and never get out. So I try not to actually get in bed towards the end of the night if I plan to run because the odds of me getting out are just slim to none.
After exercise, the planner has you write out something that you want to focus on creating in the future.
This is all done first thing in the morning and I love every bit of it! Maybe that’s because I’m obsessed with planners, but I’m really bad at actually planning…
I tend to like the big picture and then kind of just go along with it. And if I get a couple things accomplished… great! But using a planner for time management has held me accountable for things that I want to get done.
Notes + Affirmations:
The planner has a small section at the bottom for “Notes.” So instead of just having five pads of paper with random notes in them (because that’s what I do), I have them all in once place!
Then below, in another box it says: “I’m excited about this affirmation.” This is really good.
I think it was Tony Robbins who says to give yourself affirmations in the mirror when you wake up. I can’t do it. I CAN’T do it. It’s too creepy to me.
But to be able to write down an affirmation in a sentence, like “Today I am capable,” is just so powerful to me.
Prioritize + Schedule:
I love that the Panda Planner has five huge boxes for the day’s priorities. I write down the five things I want to get done. And then at the very end of the day, I check off the huge box and it feels like a great accomplishment.
Then there’s a schedule from 6 am to 9 pm. I usually use it from seven to three, as those are technically my working hours. After 3 I’m just like, yeah, I’m gonna go watch a movie and not think about work.
Whenever I use my Panda Planner, I feel really good at the end of the day. I feel good waking up and I love having everything organized on one page, crossing off things, and writing in things.
My planner keeps me accountable. It gets me excited about the day versus dreading all the things that come along with it.
If you’ve seen my desk half the time, there are post-it notes everywhere. Only God knows why, but having everything organized in one place is more productive for your work day.
Self-care as Time Management for Entrepreneurs
A lot of people don’t think of self-care as a form of time management, but I think it’s one of the most important parts! You can do a lot more with your time if you make it a priority to stay positive and aware of how you’re using your time.
Scheduling in time to take a minute to just breathe and take care of yourself and your body helps your entire day run more smoothly and efficiently. If this is hard for you, you’re not alone. I think this is something I need to really work on.
Here are some of my best tips for using self-care to help you manage your time better:
Be aware of the food you eat.
When you eat fast food, notice the effects that it has on you. Let’s just be real, after eating McDonald’s, I feel like my organs are shutting down. I’m not even kidding! I feel tired. I feel like I need a nap. And it’s because I’m basically eating garbage.
When you feed your body, you’re supposed to be giving it fuel and not giving it garbage. So be mindful of the foods that you take in. I’m pretty careful about most of the food I eat…
However, I cannot get rid of sugar. And I know that our bodies are wired to be addicted to sugar. If you do the research, it’s gonna blow your mind how much sugar is in every single thing that we consume.
Drink water instead of pop and juice. Your body will feel so much better if you just drink water! That totally counts as self care, giving your body what it needs versus what you think you want.
Treat yo self.
I’m talking all things bath bombs, face masks, and pampering.
If I get 10 minutes to take a shower alone without Ella banging on the door and speaking gibberish, I will do my three-step skincare process. I use Skin Balm Apothecaries that is all hand-made. I use the cleanser, toner, and this beautiful lemon and orange smelling serum. It’s awesome when, for two minutes, I just feel like I’m taking care of my skin.
I’m being more mindful about how I treat my face and my skin and using good quality things. But seriously, just taking like five minutes to even wear a mask and just relax and just play some spa music is the best thing that I could ever do for myself.
Be aware of your body.
In the summer, I usually go for a walk or I sit on my porch and I journal and I just kind of think. I try to be aware of my breathing and analyze my thoughts.
I don’t want to sound like a hippie, but sometimes you get caught up in overthinking every single thing that you’ve done and other people have done and then you find yourself in this rabbit hole of insecurity and you feel paranoid.
When that happens, I like to analyze if I’m being rational or irrational. And then you know, sometimes I’ll read back from my journal later and say to myself “Girl, you were crazy!” but it’s really helpful to make time to be aware of your thoughts. I’m trying to listen to my body and that’s been helping tremendously.
Get yourself a support squad.
Surround yourself with like-minded people. Surround yourself with people that are positive that are lifting you up, not with the people that are always talking negative.
Recently, I have been very aware of the toxic relationships in my life and other people’s lives. So if you feel really drained or extremely tired after spending time with someone, you might be in a toxic relationship with that person. My parents have always told me to surround myself with people that lift me up and not tear me down. (Good advice, guys!)
Remember that life happens.
There are gonna be bad things that happen, okay? It comes with the territory. It comes with being a girl boss being surrounded by women, feelings come up, emotions come up and bad things happen.
You know, sometimes people will say things that they don’t mean or they’re jealous or sometimes people are insecure and they take that out on you. Don’t take it personally, because it’s usually not even about you. Other people lash out when they are dealing with their own insecurity.
Staying positive in a negative world isn’t always easy, but when you focus on the good things around you instead of the negative, you’ll start to feel better.
Owning a business means you’re signing up for a lot of failures and challenges and negative things. It’s part of the deal! But when you can keep a positive focus, you’ll start learning from your failures and using those experiences to help you move forward and grow.
Outsourcing as Time Management for Entrepreneurs
I think we all struggle with time management at some point in our business journey. If we have families, friends, things that we want to do, or a social life, we’re gonna need to manage each of those things to make time for what matters.
Outsourcing is one of the best ways to manage your time as an entrepreneur.
I officially outsource my editing. You know, it’s funny, because when you start off in the business, you’re trying to figure out your style and all this great stuff and it’s really hard to let go of your work. It’s really hard to give something that you spent so much time on to someone else and actually trust them with it.
It’s hard, but I needed more time.
So I met with a company and I specifically told them exactly how I wanted my pictures to be edited. I share the sneak peeks I give my clients (of photos I edited myself) with the company and they base their editing off my exact style.
If something needs to be fixed, I will let them know that the tone isn’t quite right or something else is off. So I still oversee the whole process. I wouldn’t ever just hand off my photos and say, “Have fun with that!”
Outsourcing editing has been the best decision of my life. I could just scream from the rooftops about how excited I am!
I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m relatively quick and it takes me hours and hours to edit a single wedding. I mean, I have to cull down 4,000 plus pictures depending on what my second shooter captures, and then edit every single photo. That takes me about two straight weeks because I have a family and a life, you know.
So now with outsourcing, I have time to budget, cook, clean, and do all the other things I have to do in my life. Honestly, outsourcing has made the biggest change in my business.
I got so much time back once I was able to let go of the control. And that’s what the problem is when it comes to outsourcing – control. We are used to being the CEO. We are the Boss Lady or Boss Man and we call the shots. These are my pictures. But for me, I realized that being controlling is also robbing me of my happiness. It’s robbing me of my sanity. And it’s robbing me of time with my family.
I hope you find all of this encouraging! I love sharing what’s working in my life and business to help you find what works in your life and business.
I dive so much deeper into these topics on the episode, so listen in above to get all the details!