This week’s guest blog comes from ANA Founding Member, Salena Knight. Salena is the founder of award winning, flower child baby boutique.
With stores located in Sydney, flower child is dedicated to offering the best for baby, best for you.
The emails are coming in
You have orders to pack
The kids want some lunch
You were supposed to go grocery shopping
You need to update social media
Oh, and add products to your website
Oh, and send some orders.
Sheesh, there are only 24 hours in a day. How the heck are you going to get it all done?
That was me (though it was me who wanted lunch, not the kids).
You’d think after 5 years, I would have time management down to a fine art. With teams to supervise and two B&M stores, along with an online store, you’d think I would have aced this.
But no. Until a few months ago.
When I was listening to a podcast on my way to work (my new favourite thing, but that’s for another blog post) about time management.
I am pretty good at making to do lists. And getting frustrated when they aren’t crossed off by the end of the day.
But in this podcast, Amanda from Wellpreneuronline, described her way of managing time.
Simply, she put set groups of tasks into a day
So Monday – podcast goes out (pre recorded)
Tuesday – newsletter goes out, project management admin
Wed – see clients
Thur – admin/accounting/invoicing, afternoon scheduling social media
Bazinga! This was where personally, I was going wrong. I was flitting from one task to another, trying to cross off my to-do list, rather than getting in “the zone”.
So I’ve changed my work week.
Mondays – social media planning, coordinating window displays/store features/website promotions & images and scheduling these into our teamwork calendar
Tuesdays is my out & about day. If I need to see people, pick up/drop off stock etc, I plan it for Tuesdays. If I’m not out & about, I’ll do a batch of videos first thing in the morning.
Wed is my admin day. I hate admin stuff, but it’s where I upload my invoices to Xero, read all the mail that’s piled up, organise invoices that need paying, checking stock levels, meeting with the store managers, go over analytics, all that nitty gritty stuff.
Thursdays is when I create images for the website (based on Mondays scheduling), schedule social media and do ordering
Fridays. I love Fridays. At Neely’s insistence, I started taking Friday mornings off. I go for a walk, and then to yoga (next door to the shop) so I don’t come into work until lunch time-ish. I’ll do a run through of what needs to be done over the weekend, and then do bill paying. I generally do bills twice a month, so on the alternate Friday, I usually do website stuff. Working on resource pages, updating our media kit, tweaking, making sure there is fresh content.
But, I’ve also implemented another time management skill, which has helped me when I’ve become completely overwhelmed. In fact, I’ve been known to have a 2m piece of brown paper on the back of the office door, to help me with this.
One I’ve written my to-do list, I break it down further. For example, create social media images. I broke this down to images for week 1, images for week 2, week 3, and week 4.
Then, and here’s the kicker.
I allocated a TIME next to each task. The time is how long you think the task will take to be completed. This way, you can work out WHAT IS ACHEIVEABLE. If you have 30 mins, don’t choose the 3 hour task. Choose the 30 min task, or three 10 min tasks. And, break that 3 hour task down. No task takes 3 hours. There are always pieces of the puzzle. And each of those should have a time commitment.
This way, you can actually get stuff done. If you have an hour, work out what tasks you can maximise that hour with. Don’t put 12 hours of to-do tasks on your list, and get annoyed when you only get 3 things done, because you only had 4 hours.
Allocating time also helps you in future planning. Did you drastically underestimate the time it would take? Or overestimate? Log it, so next time, you can be more accurate.
Remember to take time out. Don’t book in 8 hours of work, for an 8 hour day. Schedule in meal and toilet breaks. It’s all about being time accurate.
So as a take away from this post
I’d love to hear your ways of increasing productivity, so please let me know what works for you.