If you’re a student or working full time whilst trying to juggle a small business, then you probably already understand the lack of spare time you have left. That’s not even including those little tasks that get in the way – cooking dinner, cleaning the house, walking the dog, commuting, etc.
As a little insight, here is where my time goes:
- Running the PaperScribblesCo shop and this blog
- Working full-time
- Studying to become a lawyer
I can’t remember the last time I just crashed out on the sofa and shut off my brain for a while. I can’t even remember the last day that I didn’t work. But you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing.
I love being busy. It encourages me to be productive and work towards new goals each month. However, it’s also super important that I find time to fit everything in, without neglecting other aspects of my life. Sound familiar? Here are my five tips for adjusting your work (and home) life to fit everything in.
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USE A PLANNER
I can’t stress how important it is to allocate your time sparingly. I used to use a paper planner but more recently I’ve moved over to a digital planner by using an iPad and syncing it with my iPhone. That way I can access my planner on the go. But how you prefer to plan is down to personal preference. What is important is making the most of your planner.
Some like to time-block which is great for those who need a structured day to remain productive. Personally, I prefer to just jot down appointments and tasks as a reminder. I hate feeling restricted by time, so this works perfectly for me. Planning is definitely not a one size fits all situation so play around until you find out works best for you. As long as you’re writing down important appointments and tasks that need completing, you’re on the right track.
TIP: If you’re new to planning, then start off by using a simple to-do list. Print off 7 copies – one for each day. Now, write down what you want to complete each day – your main goal. Next, breakdown your main goal into small, achievable tasks. Check off each task as you complete them throughout the day – this will provide you with a visual representation of how productive you have been. Perfect for seeing where your time is spent.
BATCH YOUR TASKS
I’ve noticed that by batching similar tasks together, I have more time to spend doing other things. For example, every weekend I take all of my blog and social media photos together rather than each day. I also put time aside to schedule all of my posts for Tailwind for the entire week so that I can forget about it for the next 7 days.
If you’ve not yet used Tailwind, then it is a HUGE Pinterest time saver. You can read more about my love for Tailwind by reading my blog post, How To Use Pinterest to Make More Sales on Etsy.
Keeping everything in one place is crucial if you want to be organized. Do you know how much time I’ve wasted in the past, rummaging around trying to find something that I’ve just chucked in a drawer.
All of my planners are on stored on a shelf and my photo props are kept in the spare bedroom. If you know where everything is then you it’ll save you SO much time.
Keeping everything together is also another reason to use a planner. Rather than storing your notes in separate notebooks, they can stay together in your planner and if necessary, separated by tabs.
CREATE A ROUTINE
My routine isn’t set in stone (hate of feeling restricted and all that) BUT I do have a pretty good idea of what I am going to do each night when I get home from work.
It’s something along the lines of:
- Get home and walk Millie (my fur baby)
- Do whatever cleaning needs to be done – sweep the floor or put a load of washing on
- Prepare and cook tea
- Wash the dishes
- Complete orders/create new listings or revise
- Go to bed
As boring as my evening routine is, it basically helps me to get shit done! However, I do leave room for flexibility and so should you. We all have goals we want to achieve and often feel like time is running away from us, but life is honestly too short to turn down plans with your family/friends for the sake of a new blog post. Which takes me on my next point…
SELF-CARE IS NUMBER ONE
It’s easy to get carried away. I’ve been there. When I first started PaperScribblesCo, I literally wanted to stay in and stare at my computer all day. I was so excited about my new business venture. I honestly don’t know how my partner put with me (and still to this day)!
Burning the candle at both ends is not good for your health so as difficult as it is to switch off, make sure you don’t neglect your personal life. Now, I make sure to make plans with friends, go and see family or just spend a little time with my boyfriend without talking to him behind a computer screen.