This is a blog post I’ve been wanting to write because I feel like this year, and even more so recently, I’ve been much better about staying organized and managing my time. I figured I’d share some things that have worked for me, especially as this year a lot of us are working from home and so being disciplined with our time is extra important. I mean, I always WFH but you know what I’m saying lol. I’m first going to share some tools I utilize and then share about how I structure my day as a whole as that makes a big difference as well.
Time block Time blocking is one of my favorite tools when it comes to managing my time and IMO it is incredibly efficient, especially when you have a busy day and need to get sh*t done. If you’re unfamiliar with time blocking, it’s basically setting aside a specific time during the day for a specific task. You don’t necessarily have to do it for the entire day, but I find that again, it is a super useful tool for staying on track. You get so much more done and you can’t afford to be as easily distracted when you’re on a time table. Here is an example of a day that I use time blocking:
5:30am Alarm goes off
5:45 Get out of bed, get dressed, have water w/ lemon
6:45-7:30: shower, get ready for the day
7:30-8:15 glance at emails, breakfast & read
8:15-11: write remaining blog posts for the week + plan remainder of weekly content
11-11:30 eat & check emails
11:30am-2pm Meet Cassie to shoot photos
2-3 grocery store
3-4 Post to IG and answer DM’s
4-4:30 take dogs on walk
4:30-5 check emails again
5-5:45 read book
5:45-6:30 get dinner ready
6:30-8:30 eat dinner, relax w/ Stephen
8:30-9:30 get ready for bed
Okay, so this is a very detailed day of time blocking and you may only need to time block part of your day, but you can see that every minute of your day is accounted for. When you put yourself on a schedule like this, there is very little time to get off track or get distracted. Of course, things may come up during the day, like sometimes I’ll end up having a call that wasn’t scheduled, and so things need to be adjusted etc. But you get the picture! It really forces you to be disciplined with your time.
Notes in iPhone an oldie but goodie. I always have a running note in my iPhone that is a running to-do list of items for the week. So for example, this week’s says: “WEEK OF DECEMBER 1st”
Then the rest of the note has the days of the week outlined, and basically before I go to bed each night, I add to the following day the items that must be done (because before I fall asleep is of course when I remember all the things haha). It can be work or personal. Maybe it’s things like:
-make appt with groomer for Fritz & Oz
-announce giveaway winner
-create reel on XYZ
-order birthday present for Stephen
These are typically things that don’t necessarily go on my calendar because they aren’t “appointments” or “tasks” per se but more so little reminders of things I need to do through the day.
CRM stands for Customer Relation Management (System) so while it can be used to manage customers/clients, it is also a great scheduling and task management system. There are a ton out there (Monday, Asana, Hubspot, HoneyBook, etc.) and it has been a game changer for keeping my business organized. Basically all my brands, deliverables, due dates, payments, etc are stored and organized here. It makes it incredibly easy to see what my upcoming month(s) look like regarding my brand partnerships, when I’m going to be paid, details about the campaigns I’m working on etc. It’s also integrated with my google calendar so everything is streamlined.
Google calendar Earlier this year (or maybe it was last year…everything really is a blur these days lol), one of my friends said to me “you need to live and die by your calendar.” Maybe a little dramatic but honestly, she is right and it’s made my life so much easier. I used to never put anything on my calendar and that is why half the time I would remember an appointment or phone call last minute and be like “oh sh*t, I totally forgot!” So now, everything goes into my calender: reminders, phone calls, appointments. Even phone calls where it’s just catching up with a friend, it goes in the calander. Otherwise, I’m back to having one of those “oh sh*it I forgot” moments, which isn’t fun for anyone involved.
Okay so those are the main tools I use but I wanted to talk about something else that has been life changing recently and that is my sleep schedule. Granted, this new schedule is still relatively new (like 3 weeks lol) but it has made the biggest difference in my daily schedule so far.
Let me first share my old schedule. Basically, I would go to bed around 11/11:30pm and then wake up around 7:30am and get my day started. There isn’t anything wrong with this schedule but basically every single day I always felt so pressed for time. I would work until around 8pm and half the time would still feel like there was more for me to do. Then we would have a later dinner around 8:30 and relax for a couple hours, then I’d go upstairs and read some before bed. Finally I’d go to bed around 11/11:30 and the same thing would happen the next day. Don’t get wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with that schedule. In fact, I would argue that it looks pretty normal. But I literally felt like during the day I was always trying to keep up with work and managing everything else, I’d barely make time to sit down and eat, etc.
So when Stephen originally said he wanted to start getting up earlier (5:30am) and asked if I wanted to also, I was hesitant. I was like, I mean I feel like I’m just going to end up working even longer hours than I do now but I’ll do it with you for a little while to be supportive. (I feel like new habits are always easier to stick to if someone is doing it with you and holding you accountable).
Fast forward now to 3 weeks of this schedule and OMG is has made the biggest difference. I’m not kidding guys. Most days, I now feel like I have extra time during the day that doesn’t necessarily have to be allotted to work, or I can actually just sit down and have breakfast without simultaneously trying to get work done, etc. Even though I am still working about the same amount of hours (waking up 2 hours earlier, but going to bed 2 hours earlier), the fact that the first 2-3 hours of my day are uninterrupted allow me to get so much more done right off the bat. The result is I’m not then scrambling the rest of the day trying to get everything else done. Basically, every morning now looks like this:
5:45 actually out of bed
6:45-7:30 breakfast & reading
7:30-8:15 shower and get ready for the day
So by 8:15 I’m actually fully ready to start my day and since I’m on the east coast, I usually can work for about 2 hours straight without any interruptions (ie. emails start coming in, phone call that is scheduled, etc). All that being said, I know that everyone is different and some people genuinely operate better at night but if you haven’t tried waking up earlier I highly encourage it! The first week is a little rough because your body isn’t used to it, but then (for me at least) feels so much better and I actually feel like I have more energy through the day.
Alright guys, I think that sums up everything! Any other tips, please share below! xxC