If you missed yesterday’s post with the beginning of Nancy Ray’s process on time management, check it out here.
3. Plan out each day by the hour
I love Whitney English’s Day Designer and Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner for this reason: You can map out your day hour by hour. Talk about making the most of your day! Every morning, I sit down and write down my top 3 priorities for the day. Then, I write out what I’m going to do hour by hour in order to accomplish those priorities.
Here’s my example for today:
No. 1: Blog Organization in Time
No. 2: Clear emails before the weekend
No. 3: Pack for weekend away
6:00 – Up! Coffee and Scripture and Prayer
7:00 – Read current book
8:00 – Prep studio / email clean up
9:00 – Consultation with Callie + Bride
10:00 – Blog
11:00 – Google Hangout with Amber Housely
12:00 – Lunch + UPS store + library (errands)
1:00 – Emails
2:00 – Emails
3:00 – Emails + Prep equipment for session
4:00 – Take care of Winston / ShootQ maintenance
5:00 – Drive to session
6:00 – Engagement Session
7:00 – Engagement Session
8:00 – Dinner / Pack for weekend
9:00 – Pack, catch up with Will
10:00 – Bed!
When I sit down and plan out my day at the beginning of my day, it keeps me on track to accomplish what I need to. Tomorrow, we leave early for a family wedding. I want to make sure everything is planned and accomplished before we leave! For example, I am confident I’ll enjoy my weekend and be fully present with my family if all of my emails are caught up, and if I’m packed tonight instead of rushing around in the morning.
4. Become an Email Ninja
Call me crazy – I don’t care! It really helps me knock out some emails, y’all. I call is my Email Ninja game. Here’s how you play:
Step 1: Grab a colorful post it note. Write the current time and number of emails in your inbox, then put the sticky at the bottom of your computer screen so it’s constantly in front of you.
Step 2: Put on music (Soundtracks only: no words! The Pride and Prejudice Soundtrack is my favorite email and blog writing music). Turn off all social media and distractions. The only reason you are allowed to get up from your chair is to use the bathroom. THAT’S IT.
Step 3: Answer as many emails as you possible can. Delete all junk mail without even reading the content. Be efficient and as fast as possible. Once you answer an email, FILE it so it’s out of your inbox.
Step 4: Grab that same post it note, and write the current time and number of emails in your inbox at the end of your email ninja game.
If your inbox is at zero, you WIN!
If you reached a goal you set for yourself in a certain amount of time, you WIN!
If you got distracted with social media, you LOSE.
If you got a snack, then started folding laundry, then decided to vacuum, you LOSE. (Been there, done that.)
If your work is simply too much, it’s time to outsource. This is why I love Indie Film Lab! They take care of scanning our images and making them beautiful, which has cut down on our editing time substantially. As my business grew, I knew I had to hire some help. Here are a few ideas on ways you can outsource in your work and your personal life to make the most of your time:
Use a wonderful film lab like Indie Film Lab
Outsource your editing to a photo editor like Indie’s Post. service or one of my faves, Marissa Lynn
Hire an Intern (Not sure if you’re ready? Download this free guide.
Childcare (nanny sharing / day cares / baby sitters / “mama’s helper”)
Laundry (yes – there are local laundry folding services!)
Hire a virtual assistant
6. Work hard, Rest well.
This last point is the WHY behind all of this. It is the most important point of all, actually. It’s the reason I’m passionate about managing my time and resources well! I believe we were created to live life to the full, to give our everything to our work, then to throw ourselves into good and true rest. To be face to face with family and our loved ones – not distracted with work undone or iPhones or Instagram. This can be so difficult in today’s world, but it’s worth fighting for!
Work Hard! How often do we say we are “working,” when really we are distracted, trying to tackle too many things at once, and looking at Instagram or at an online sale during work hours? I’ve been there, friends. It’s still a struggle! But one thing I know to be true: I love the feeling of coming to the end of a day, knowing that I worked hard, stayed focused, and accomplished all that I could for that day. Working hard allows us to truly appreciate good rest.
Rest well, friends. That means taking a weekly Sabbath, turning off social media, reading a book, getting outside, allowing your mind time and space to think and relax. Its good for the soul! This is not always easy to do, especially for entrepreneurs like myself, because there is always work to be done. Can I get an amen? It’s so hard to shut everything down for a day, but when I rest well, I can accomplish more fulfilling and focused work. When I work hard, I can rest well and be 100% present with those I love.