Time Management Strategies

Time Management Strategies

I have been asked recently by several folks if I could talk about the time management strategies I use to get so much accomplished. I don't really have any strategies per say, but I do have a really simple system to get things done.

As a small business owner (real small - just me!) I have 6 basic groups of activities that need to be addressed every week:

  1. Studio Time. This includes studies, paintings, commissions, material preparation, purchasing materials, etc.
  2. Workshops and Travel. This work includes scheduling flights, hotels and rental cars as well as soliciting venues for workshops and teaching the workshops themselves. And of course the ever present travel time to and from venues.
  3. Content Creation. This includes creating videos, blog posts, video blasts, social media posting, developing online courses, writing books, etc. I keep a "Content Calendar" that I use to record my ideas for videos and blog posts 6-12 months in advance.
  4. Marketing Activities. This includes developing lead magnets and sales funnels, EBooks, email automations, online advertising and finding and nurturing collectors. 
  5. Financial Management. This includes general accounting, tracking painting sales and inventories, weekly and monthly financial summaries, etc.
  6. Continuing Education. This includes reading blog posts, researching artwork, taking webinars and seminars, listening to podcasts, taking online courses, etc.

I cannot address each of these groups everyday, but I can address them every week. I utilize blocks of time to accomplish tasks. I split my time up into a morning block (8:30-12:00), an afternoon block (12:30-5:30 - sometimes this block is split into two blocks) and an evening block (7:00-9:00). I almost always schedule my studio time for the mornings when I am rested and fresh and the most creative, and computer related activities in the afternoon. 

A typical day for me might look something like this when I am not traveling:
Morning Block : Studio Time. In the studio working on studies and paintings. A brief early stint on social media postings.
Afternoon Block: Financial management and marketing activities. Or this might encompass soliciting and contacting workshop venues and scheduling travel related activities.
Evening Block: Continuing Education. Watching webinars to increase my knowledge of business or marketing activities.

Or another day might look like this:
Morning Block: Content Creation. Batch filming 4-6 videos for blog posts, social media posts and video blasts.
Afternoon Block: Content Creation: Editing the videos filmed in the morning and posting them to YouTube as well as putting together the associated blog posts, social media posts and video blasts and scheduling them for publication.
Evening Block: Content Creation. Complete any tasks with the videos that were not completed in the afternoon block.

Key to my staying organized is list making. I keep a running list, simply written by hand on a pad that helps keep me on track with my activities. My system, like most everything else I do, is simplified so that it works easily for me. There are lots of folks that use very sophisticated systems and software that help them with time management. I believe you just have to find what works for you. There are tons of resources online and in books that can assist you if you need help with time management.