The time management tips you probably haven’t heard

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When I first started my online business I had no idea what time management was.

I had no idea what I was doing, and I was always feeling overwhelmed, stressed and short on time.

I didn’t have any systems in place. I was so used to working for someone else that I realised I didn’t know how to maximise my time whilst running my own business.

After a few years in business though, I have picked up some time management tips that I have found surprisingly useful. These tips have helped me not only manage my time better, but also avoid the overwhelm.

Why should you bother with time management?

If you are an online business owner, there’s no one paying you a salary. No one paying you while you sneak a scroll through social media on your phone, or take an extra long toilet break (we’ve all done it).

Every minute counts.

You may also not have the funds to outsource anything at the moment, so you’re doing it all on your own.

Managing your time is important so that you can make the most of your short hours. Produce your best work. And also avoid burning yourself out.

1. Focus on one thing at a time

This may sound counter intuitive, but think about how you feel when you are trying to get many things done at once.

Are you focused and producing your best work? Or are you spread thin, distracted, and making small mistakes because your mind is always elsewhere?

I have found that if I pick one thing to focus on that week, I get it done not only quicker, but better.

Choose one thing you want to focus on for the week, be it blog posts, social media posts, or learning a new skill.

Spend the whole week on that task. Write a few blog posts, schedule all of your social media posts for the month. Whatever it is, focus all of the time and energy you have into it until you have completed the task you set for yourself.

And if you happen to finish your set task, you will have the headspace and time to move onto the next one.

2. Take an hour lunch break

Have you ever been sitting at your computer working, looked up and realised it was 3pm and you hadn’t had lunch yet?

I sure have.

I would power through and work all day, and although I would be getting everything done, the quality of my work suffer. I was burning myself out, and denying my body the things it need to function at 100%.

I would have trouble focusing, and things would take double the amount of time that they usually would. Does anyone else find it hard to concentrate on work when they are hungry?!

So I told myself that I would start making sure that I took a lunch break. An HOUR lunch break.

I start my lunch break with a 30 minute walk outside. Walking does wonders for your health, and energy and I would strongly recommend adding it to your lunch time break. This article covers 5 reasons why you should walk on your lunch break.

I listen to podcasts while I walk too, so anything from Kerwin Rae, to Melyssa Griffin. Listening to business podcasts gets me motivated to put out my best work when I get back to my desk.

I then make sure I eat lunch AWAY from my work desk. I like to sit and eat on the floor (sitting on the floor cross legged is great for your back if you are sitting on a desk chair all day), but you could sit outside or even at your dining table.

Just make sure you are away from your desk to give your mind a chance to refresh.

After spending an hour away from my desk, I find that I’m more focused, and way more productive. And the more productive I am during my time, the more tasks that I can fit into a day.

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3. Say no to more things

Working for yourself you may feel like you need to say yes to everything. Because saying no to money seems crazy right?

But what if saying yes to everything means staying up until 2am, bleary eyed and stumbling through your work hoping you don’t make a type in tomorrow’s Facebook post?

You don’t need to say yes to every job if it means you are spread so thin that your tasks are not getting the full attention that they deserve.

Or worse still, your tasks aren’t getting completed and you are moving nowhere.

If your plate is already full, it is ok to say no (or ‘not right now’ even). You will feel better for it, and you will be able to manage your time better without having to squeeze in extra work.

4. Be satisfied with 70% perfect

So I recently redesigned the Origami Collective website, and I’m embarrassed to say that it took me a whole YEAR to do. Yes, 1 year to redesign my website (update for 2020, I’m in the process again of rebranding my site however it has been a much quicker process this time around as I’ve been following my own advice).

And it was because I wanted it to be absolutely perfect. So I kept tweaking and adjusting, and then also getting side tracked at all the things I could do instead of xyz.

But it got to the point where I thought “I am never going to feel like it’s perfect”, and I launched it anyway.

Related post: Why your website design needs to do more than just look good

My need for it to be perfect was holding me back, and also taking up all of my precious time!

I could have launched months ago, and I have missed out on potential income because of my need for everything to be 100% perfect.

Have you ever spent hours and hours creating the ‘perfect’ social media post, to not be happy with the final result anyway? Or have you spent hours trying to make one thing on your website look right, when you could have been working on bringing in new clients?

You are your own worst critic! Being satisfied with 70% perfect doesn’t mean putting out something that is shit. It just means putting out your best work, and if it’s not the right shade of green, or doesn’t have 1587 characters exactly, it doesn’t matter!

Because majority of the time, 70% perfect to you, is actually 100% perfect to your audience as they don’t see the imperfections that you see. All they see is the value you can provide them.

If you give any of these tips a go, or have any time management tips you would like to share, feel free to drop a comment below and let me know!

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