Time Management For Interior Designers Is About Discipline
A question I get a lot is about time management for interior designers. It feels like we have a bunch of things to do and never enough time. Good thing that's not true. If you want to get back your day all you need to do is get yourself some discipline and follow these steps.
Step #1: Track Your Day
Figure out where you spend your time. You probably spend more time on lots of time-wasting activities. You know how you do. You went on Facebook to check only yourself find yourself trolling some drama-infested post with the Michael Jackson eating popcorn gif. There went 45 minutes you're never going to get back.
Write down everything you do for every 15 minutes of your day for one week. Yes, it's tedious and annoying, but you will get the true story of where you're wasting time.
Step #2: Pick Your Top Three
For the next three months, pick out your top three goals you want to achieve. Grow your Pinterest account, a higher monthly income goal, grow your email list, finish your website... whatever those goals are you need to write them down so you can break down the tasks to complete the goals.
Goals without action are dreams left undone.
Step #3: Outline Your Month
Block out your days. Which days will you meet with clients? Which days will you blog? Which days will you do your bookkeeping? Which days will you send out your newsletter?
Step #4: Sunday Planning
Prioritize your tasks that for the week on Sunday. Set aside 30 minutes or less to list the tasks you need to accomplish for the week.
Then go through and prioritize them with the letters 1, 2, and 3. 1 for must get done, 2 for the items to get done after the #1's are complete and 3 for the cherry on top tasks you don't necessarily need to accomplish this week.
Step #5: Check Your Email Less
Your inbox is not the emergency broadcast system. When someone emails you, it is not a time for you to stop and drop everything you're doing.
You may even be in the habit to check your emails first thing in the day. Don't. By checking your email first thing and responding to the "important" ones, you're letting someone else's agenda trump your own. By now, you should know what you need to be working on and someone else's to do list will keep you from achieving your goals.
Check your email mid-morning and late afternoon.
Unsubscribe from the newsletters that you always end up deleting.
Create filters so emails are filed automatically as soon as they hit your inbox. Hire a VA to respond to emails with a template that are the same questions you end up answering time and again. Or better yet, create a page on your website to direct those inquiries to.
Set a time limit on dealing with your emails. Decide which ones need to be responded to now, which ones can wait and take care of them accordingly.
The only time you're allowed to check your email outside of your twice per day schedule is if you know that someone is emailing you something specific that you must check out.
Step #6: Streamline Your Tasks
Batching is my go-to activity I use to get more shit done. Multitasking is some bullshit lie some "smart" person made up. It doesn't work because it takes more time to mentally switch between tasks. That's why batching is fabulous.
Batching is grouping similar tasks together and finishing them all at one time.
We have an entire Batching Masterclass in the Society about batching that will help you get your processes in place.
Here are some tasks you can batch that I detail the processes for in the Society Masterclass:
Blogging: Write 4 posts for the month
Image Create: Create your blog and social media images
Email Marketing: Write and schedule your newsletters
Admin: Organize your inbox, bookkeeping, digital organization
If you'd like to master your time and get more shit done with Batching, then you should join us in the Society.
If you want help with just getting started, I've created a spreadsheet for you to download to get you started on discovering where your time is spent.
I swear that your eyes will be opened and you will see where you really need to focus your attention to get more shit done!
Alycia Wicker is an interior design business coach specializing in online marketing strategies.Her clients land more of their own dream clients and make more cash, period. Celebrity gossip whore. Elvis-obsessed.