Time Management Tips

My Blazer: Old, Similar | Jeans | Top | Flats | Sunglasses | Bag, Similar, Similar | Watch [c/o]

Photography by: Angie Garcia


I wish I had a dollar for each time I’ve said, “Well, I just need to get through this season of life and then things will slow down.

I’d have a lot of dollars and supposedly a lot of free time.

Neither has happened. I mean, can’t we ALL relate to that?!

I enjoy being busy {as much as I try to avoid it 😉 } but I think I enjoy it all because it’s such an opportunity to thrive! You can learn what systems work for you and how to best divide your time and resources. It’s a continual game with yourself on, “How can I best balance this?

I’m thrilled to be sharing my time management hacks with my girlfriend Ashley Robertson today! We taught a class on this at the rS conference and today we are both blogging our key takeaways and what we implement in our lives. We’ve taken the hacks that can be most relative to other careers so whether you are a SAHM or student, you can hopefully find one or two tricks to try. Now blogger babes, don’t you worry. Soon I’ll be sharing 5 blogging hacks specifically for you!

So first off, let’s address the whole time management thing? Why is it so important? Why can’t we just work when our creative flow is best?

Time management is a key asset that allows you to stand out.

No matter your role in life, you don’t have time to lose your day to your to-do list and neglect your customers or the people that depend on you. Typically, female workers are always doing 3 to 6 tasks at once. And in 2018 when everyone has a digital resume and can impress a new employer with a simple Instagram profile, markets are saturated. Strong time management is a tactic you can use to stand out to not only clients but yourself.

I know for my job specifically, bloggers bring things to the table far more impressive than numbers. They bring loyalty, they bring a voice, they bring flexibility. If a brand is going to implement a campaign and they are choosing between blogger A & B with similar audiences, agencies will look at things like time management to see how they would be to work with.

Now even if you don’t have a set salary, your hours are still so valuable and should be treated as such! A study by Mavenlink showed that one hour of work for a small-business owner is valued at upwards of $500. Make that hour count.

Time Management Hacks

  • Watch the Clock

    • This one is always easier said than done, but try your best to spend 2x the amount of time on administrative duties as you do on your actual work. Let’s face it, we ALL could spend an entire day answering e-mails, following up with clients, scheduling work commitments. But are we getting “true work” finished? For some jobs, yes. But I know for mine, that’s not my bread and butter. I recommend tracking your work for a week. List out everything you do and log the times. At the end of the week highlight organizational/communication tasks as administrative work {the things that you need to stay on top of your job, but not doing your actual job} and then compare it to the work you get done. When I do this it always scares me to see I can sometimes spend 70% of my week on admin duties! That’s not creating blog posts for ChroniclesofFrivolity.com and it puts me in check. When scheduling your day give yourself those set times to do administrative duties but don’t get stressed if they don’t get completed each and every day. An empty inbox can give a feeling of peace, but a well-executed work project will give a feeling of accomplishment.

 

  • Scheduling

    • Blocking your day is my favorite hack of all! Decide if you want to day-block or time-block your schedule and then give yourself tasks. Studies show if you work for yourself and don’t have outward distractions you should only give yourself 7 work-related tasks a day. If you are a work-from-home mom, care for another individual, or work another part-time job you should only give yourself 3 work-related tasks a day. Now, of course, that’s not going to always happen, but I find it to be a great goal to obtain! This is because you’re always going to be putting out fires you didn’t plan for and this allocates some flexibility in your tasks throughout the day. When you list your tasks, you don’t have to be concrete. For example, my 3 work-related tasks yesterday were: shoot for the blog, prep content {this includes going through my editorial, reading contracts, and running errands to style shoots}, and finalize content. Finalizing content can be anything from editing posts to sending drafts to my manager. Those are pretty vague tasks so it can fill up your entire day.
    • Decide which hack you’ll want to use. Day blocking is a great method for those that lose their creative flow when switching back and forth between different tasks. With Day blocking you’ll dedicate specific days of the week to specific jobs. This method does require a lot of discipline so you don’t’ unintentionally overlap in your schedule. It definitely is in vain if you overlap so much because that is just time blocking! I also recommend giving yourself a “flex” hour each day at your least productive hour, so you can attend to tasks that may fall in another day’s slot. I also really recommend day blocking for moms! This has been a lifesaver for me and truly allows me to feel like I’m fully absorbed in Maxi when she is awake. However, time blocking is a wonderful method if you get bored doing the same thing for multiple hours at a time. If you have a hard time concentrating for longer than an hour, definitely use time blocking. This will allow your brain to function best and you’ll find more success in your work! Of course, with time blocking, you could naturally have a bit of day blocking as well. On Mondays, you may “always” have client meetings, etc. Many people find great methods by doing a hybrid of the two. I’ll share examples of what Ashley and I do below so you can find what is best for you.

Here’s a sample example of each so you can get a better picture:

Time Blocking:

This would be an example of my schedule before I was a mom. 

5 am: Awake, Devotionals, Workout
6 am: Shower, Breakfast, Get Ready
7 am: Work on E-mails
8 am: Head out to Shoot for BLog
8:30 am: Shoot Blog Content
10 am: Home, Unpack Items, Post to Social Media
10:30 am: Work on Tomorrow’s Blog Post
12:30 pm: Lunch
1 pm: Conference Calls with Brands
2:30 pm: Work on Administrative Duties & Accounting
3 pm: Work on Another Blog Post
3:30 pm: Post to Social Media
3:45 pm: Respond to Messages on Social Media & Blog Comments
4:30 pm: Book Times with Photographer, Work on Shoot Styling, Review Contracts
5:30 pm: E-mails
6:30 pm: Stop Working

Day Blocking:

Mondays: Administrative Days
Tuesdays: Content Creation for Blog, Shoot with Photographers
Wednesday: Rough-Draft a Week’s Worth of Blog Posts
Thursday: Brand Meetings
Fridays: Finalize Week’s Worth of Blog Posts

I’m still fitting the same amount of work in each week, I’m just allocating my time differently. I ask to meet with brands on specific days of the weeks and work on answering more e-mails and questions on Mondays when my mind is fresh after the weekend!

  • Delegate

    • I’ve gotten a lot better at this hack since having Maxi. The saying goes, “If someone can do something 80% as well as you can, hire them!” For perfectionists, this can be extremely difficult. I’ve found that it doesn’t necessarily mean I have to give away my work tasks. I mean, I could, but if you e-mail me for a question you’re not wanting an assistant to secretly answer it. I’ve learned to delegate in other areas of my life! My husband is so wonderful and will always help by running to the grocery store to pick something up or by helping with folding laundry. I have absolutely no guilt if I get take out for a meal and I have learned that it is okay to have my babysitter come over if I have to run 20 errands and I just know I can’t get it all accomplished with a toddler. So even if you can’t necessarily hire someone at your company, treat yourself to take out for dinner when life gets chaotic. We can only do so much ourselves!

 

  • Prioritize Communication in 3 Sectors

    • This may not apply to every job, but it is a rule I have to strictly follow. Being a blogger, you have such a unique opportunity to have different audiences on different platforms. I LOVE to be connected to women. It’s one of my favorite parts of blogging! But with this great blessing, I had to really understand where I’m going to put that time into connecting. Being a blogger, I want to prioritize my website and I recognize I could probably only pour myself fully into 2 other platforms. I choose to prioritize blog comments first, e-mail second and Instagram comments third. On my admin days, I schedule hours accordingly to each sector. On my daily “flex hours”, I check in on direct messages and answer what I can! However, I can usually only answer about 40 minutes worth a day. There’s a lot of guilt that goes along with it because I wholeheartedly believe is someone is kind enough to read your content, you should give an answer. However, in whatever job you have and especially in life, you must recognize your limits as one person. So if you are a SAHM and have 3 kids, understand that it is OKAY if you do not respond to all your text messages. Your job is to answer your 3 children, they are your 3 communication priorities! You can’t pour yourself into 27 other humans on your phone each and every day, it would be impossible. So give yourself that goal of 3, and then be at peace with what you don’t get done. This hack of prioritizing 3 platforms has truly changed my life. I would feel sick to my stomach if I missed a blog comment or e-mail. I’d literally cry if a reader followed up. I’m overly sensitive, I know! But doing this trick, I realized that this is just life and I’m just one person. I do my best, I’m grateful for what I can do, the platform I have and I go to bed knowing those truths!

 

  • Productivity

    • Ashley tells each and every person that if they want to be productive, they’ve got to get a miracle cube timer! If you can easily trail off on another task or get lost in your inbox, grab one! This is great if you choose to time block, but it’s also great if you’re going to be doing tasks around your house. If I tell myself I’m going to do laundry for 15 minutes, I do that and the timer reminds me to stop!

 

  • Have a Non-Negotiable List

    • If you are a people pleaser and notorious for biting off more than you can chew, give yourself 3 non-negotiables in a list. Some people don’t do coffee meetings as a rule of thumb. They tell others, “I’m so happy to do a phone call, but right now with XYZ going on I am unable to do that.” Your 3 non-negotiables may change depending on your season of life, but stick to those 3! You’ll find your life opens up for more fruitful opportunities.

I hope one these hacks help you in whatever stage of life you are in! Of course, I couldn’t end a fashion blog post without sharing some options for work wear below!

Katey’s Favorite Work Wear


You can also read Ashley’s post on this here.

Thank you so much for reading!

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6 Comments

  1. I used to be the worst with time management! I’ve really gotten the hang of it, though. I think scheduling really helps, and blocking my time for different tasks. It keeps me focused. 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Published 07 Jun 18Reply
  2. Such and excellent post Katey. I loved attending this seminar with you and Ashley at the rewardStyle conference.
    Thanks for sharing all of your hacks.
    xoxo- Tanya 🙂
    http://www.tanyafoster.com

    Published 07 Jun 18Reply
  3. Maya Taylor wrote:

    I love this so much! Thanks for sharing!! I work from home as well & have an 11 month old so I totally get that if you don’t manage your time wisely nothing will get done. Hehe

    Published 07 Jun 18Reply
  4. Madelyn Greene wrote:

    Love this post! You are always are so thoughtful with your content 🙂

    Published 07 Jun 18Reply
  5. Nicollette wrote:

    Katey this is amazing! I live for your tips – it always makes me feel a little more put together after reading.

    Published 07 Jun 18Reply