Today we are going to talk about a subject that will either make or break any entrepreneur … TIME MANAGEMENT! At Seven Summers we believe that #firstcomestime. The way we use time will affect every other aspect of our lives and whether or not we can be successful in them.
Managing our time is something we all struggle with, and are all constantly having to balance and adapt as our life situations change. My time, and the demands on it, are constantly changing as the seasons change, my kids schedules change, wedding season comes and goes, and all the other little things that affect my time each day. Being able to adapt is absolutely necessary! There are so many different things I do to manage my schedule. But I thought for today, it would be great to cover just one of my favorite tips.
Managing my schedule isn’t just one magical trick (sorry everyone). There are so many different things I do to manage my schedule, clients, kids, and time. I developed a system of how to streamline my business and how to work smarter not harder. Two of my favorite topics are: saving money and saving time. I love analyzing how different things in my business work and how I can do them better and smarter.
Because I have taught a lot of these topics in my past workshops, I took the time to sit down and figure out the exact impact that my system had on my life…get ready to have your mind blown!
By completely changing how I run my business and the systems that I use, I now save 20 hours per client. So for me, multiplying those precious hours by 60’ish weddings totals about 1200 hours of work each year! That is 50 full days everyone! 50 more days I now take off to be with my family!
So for today here is one of my favorite tips…
#1 – YOU MUST HAVE A MORNING AND EVENING ROUTINE
I do the exact same thing, every single morning. Absolutely every single morning, no matter what, no matter where I am at. Well, except when I am on vacation with my family. I usually send out a mass email to my clients and let them know I will be unavailable. For me this includes answering and sending any emails (for both my businesses), doing all my social media for the morning (Facebook, Instagram, etc…). For years, I have been getting up at 5am to do these things and I can’t tell you what a HUGE difference it makes. I am absolutely 110% NOT a morning person, but by getting up a few hours before my family I have been able to have that time completely uninterrupted that I can just barrel through my work. It makes it so that once they are up and ready to face the day, I can be there to help them. On days when I just can’t get out of bed, because let’s be honest, there are days that I sleep in, I try to do this while my kids are eating breakfast and are busy. I also organize my “to-do” list for the day so when I get back from taking everyone to school I can get right to work. Then I can get through a big chunk of what I need to do before I have to be available to kids.
For my evening schedule, it’s the same thing, I the same thing every night. I plug in everything that needs to be charged. Respond to all emails and send any important emails that I would like to deal with the next day. Back when I was doing my own editing, I would pre-edit all of the sessions that I was going to edit the next day. And cull any sessions that I may have shot that day and send out needed proofs. I don’t like to go to bed with unaddressed things, it makes it so that I lay in bed worrying about them. For me, because most of my clients are late night people, if I make sure to touch base with them before I go to bed, then generally when I wake up in the morning, I have the response from them that I needed instead of having to email them back in the morning and wait around all day for them.
It is incredibly important to commit to a routine that works for you and your family. You can build a framework for the schedule of your dreams but if you can’t to commit to changing your habits and abiding by your own rules, the best-laid plans and ideas just won’t work. And keep in mind that you may have to adapt your schedule every few months as things in your life change, and that is just how it goes. Welcome to parenthood and running your own business. And I will mention, the one part of my schedule that never has to be adapted to is getting up early. It’s amazing how no one needs me from 5-7 am, ever. But for the rest of life, this is where having accountability and self-control come into play so that you are able to jump in and make needed changes so you don’t lose momentum.
And if you are really serious about finally being the master of your minutes, I invite you to check out our 7S Living Community. Here you can have access to the full 24-Hour Work Week Course, Dealing With Digital Distractions, Unplugged Summer, “Almost” Unplugged Family and tips for every person in your family! Get all the details by CLICKING HERE.