Life has been life-ing! And some weeks, it feels like my days are a whirlwind of to-do lists, deadlines, and creative brainstorming sessions. Running a small business means that no two days are ever the same. There’s always something new popping up – products, opportunities, ideas – you name it! To keep up with what’s going on with Effie’s Paper, head to the work tab on the blog or see it in real-time on our IG feed.
I am sure that many of you can relate to this entrepreneurial juggling act, where every day seems like a high-wire act without a safety net. But guess what? I learned a while ago, that none of us are alone in this world of smoke and mirrors. The truth is, we’re all trying to figure it out as we go.
So, I thought I would share some of the time management techniques I use to keep my balls in the air. Just remember, nothing is perfect and this adage also applies to your time management skills. Things will fall through the cracks, getting comfortable with the 80-20 rule is the hard part. Do you know the saying that done is better than perfect? It’s true.
My Most Used Techniques
I am constantly organizing chaos. Managing this delicate balancing act is what I like to call my secret superpower. It keeps the crazy at bay and lets me embrace each day with confidence and grace. Honestly, in this fast-paced world, finding balance is essential for our well-being and overall happiness.
Below are the top 10 techniques that have helped me tremendously over the years.
1. Prioritize Your Tasks
Start by listing all your tasks and goals for the day, week, or month. Then, prioritize them based on importance and urgency. A simple to-do list can work wonders in helping you stay focused and organized.
Pro-tip: Find a planner that helps you prioritize your tasks! Effie’s Paper has an Undated Planner as well as Undated Planner Inserts that make it easy to see what you gotta do, what you did do, and encourages you to roll over whatever didn’t get done on a particular day.
2. Time Blocking
Allocate specific time blocks for different tasks or activities. This technique helps you avoid multitasking and promotes better concentration. Make sure to include breaks in your schedule to recharge and refresh your mind.
3. Utilize Both Digital Tools and Paper Products
Embrace the best of both worlds by combining digital tools and stylish stationery. Use digital calendars and apps to set reminders and deadlines, and complement them with chic planners and notebooks for jotting down ideas and reflections.
My Organized Chaos Planner has been a game changer for getting my life together! The layout combines a monthly calendar and brain dump, your daily to-dos, your daily schedule, daily wins, and an area to list those things that can roll over to the next day.
4. Learn to Say No
As tempting as it may be to say YES to every opportunity that comes your way, sometimes it’s essential to say NO. Just because an opportunity presents itself, it doesn’t mean it’s the right opportunity for you or your business. Focus on your priorities and avoid spreading yourself too thin.
I’ll be writing an entire blog about this topic soon, so make sure you are subscribed so you’ll know when it goes live!
5. Set Realistic Goals
Be kind to yourself and set achievable goals. Unrealistic expectations can lead to burnout and disappointment. Celebrate even the smallest victories and progress you make along the way. Those little celebrations force you to slow down and look at how far you’ve come. They definitely make the journey more rewarding and memorable!
6. Create a Morning Routine
Kickstart your day with a morning routine that sets a positive tone for the hours ahead. Whether it’s meditation, exercise, or journaling, dedicating time to yourself in the morning can significantly impact your productivity and mindset.
I’ve been trying to be more intentional with my morning routine lately and it has made such a difference! You can read about the changes I’ve made here.
7. Minimize Distractions
Identify common distractions in your environment and take steps to minimize them. This could mean silencing notifications, setting boundaries during work hours, or finding a quiet space to focus. To avoid the temptation of social media and text messages, I usually leave my phone in another room and close the email tabs on my computer (I have a bunch of email addresses … as do all small business owners!)
Word to the wise, you do not have to answer every notification right away. It’s okay to set do not disturb hours and silence your notifications.
8. Delegate and Collaborate
Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to a team member or seek collaboration with others when appropriate. Teamwork can be highly effective in achieving goals and lightening your load. No one is an expert at everything; building a team of individuals with strengths in areas where you’re lacking is key. I’ve been very lucky, I have a great team – click here to read about how I’ve built Team EP.
9. Practice the Two-Minute Rule
If a task can be completed in under two minutes, do it immediately. This rule helps you tackle small tasks efficiently, reducing the buildup of pending work.
10. Reflect and Adjust
Regularly assess your time management techniques and their effectiveness. Be open to adjusting your strategies as needed to find out what works best for you. Not everything on this list will work work for you and that’s okay. Find a technique or two that makes a positive impact on your day and stick with it as long as they fit your needs.
Find Your Balance
Remember, finding balance in time management is an ongoing journey. Be patient with yourself and allow room for flexibility. With the right mix of determination, focus, and a touch of stylish stationery, you can create a life that is both fulfilling and balanced.
P.S. If you also work from home, I’ve also shared some tips on how to navigate that work situation! Check them out here.
This post contains affiliate links and I may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Please see my disclosures for more information. Thank you so much for your support!