By Hilary Rushford, of Dean Street Society
On a recent post, Karina of Beach And Dress asked: “How do you manage your time?”
This is a common conversation amongst entrepreneurs. No one is blogging as much or growing as quickly as they’d like. Everyone feels behind and as though they should be able to do more.
The myth is that if you just try harder, you’ll feel you’re doing enough. But it will never be enough. Because you’re a creative. You’re passionate. And there will flat out never be enough hours in the day for you to accomplish everything you can dream up!
Even if I discovered a magic formula for myself, it wouldn’t work for you. I might spend 2 hours in Photoshop on what you could do in 20 minutes. You could spend my 4 hours on marketing and get only 25% of the results. Meanwhile my goal might be income and yours traffic. Our brands are too unique for one communal “perfect schedule”.
Instead, I’ve found two words for my sanity.
1. “No” We all have to say it more. Which isn’t easy, because what we’re saying “no” to are fabulous posts, events, partnerships. We have more brilliant ideas then there is time to make them happen. It’s disappointing. But it’s not because you’re woefully lacking — (if only you could manage your time better!) — it’s because you’re marvelously incredible — (all those ideas!). You’re so rockstar you’d blow right past 24 hours in a day if you could! Guilt be gone. You just gotta say “no”.
2. “Accountability.” I’ve started freelancing for more brands & have multiple deadlines. Paradoxically, having that structure makes me feel more free: I get things done on time and suffer under the weight of less guilt. I post this column on Wednesday, with part 2 on my blog on Friday. That means by Tuesday I’ve knocked out two posts, and suddenly find I’m cueing up next Monday’s while I’m on a roll.
This accountability could be to your readers if you put out your weekly calendar, a buddy system with fellow bloggers, or asking your boyfriend to inquire nightly what you checked off that day. Find a few signposts you can plant in your week to keep you on track. Once you’ve said “no” to enough things, and committed to the important “yeses” each week, the picture looks less overwhelming.
One more word applies if you’re at a certain stage with your brand:
3. “Delegate.” I’ve written down every little area that has to be taken care of in my business and in 2013 I’ll be looking for more interns and freelancers to be a part of Dean Street Society. If you’re not yet in a position to hire help or have enough experience to offer an intern, this is another part of saying “no”. You can’t tackle 25 areas a week. So find 10 either to delegate or put on hold & come back in 6 months.
Is there one of these keywords that’s helpful for your time management in 2013? What are your tricks to getting things done?
About the Author:
Hilary Rushford is a blogger at Dean Street Society.