One thing I have learned in my 10+ years as a creative entrepreneur is that you have to get organized. You need to focus and create a system or schedule that works for you. Otherwise, your days can get away from you so fast. Also, you’ll look up at the end of the week and think, what did I actually accomplish? I know, because I’ve been there.
The lure of setting your own schedule, sleeping in everyday and non-traditional hours is great. But, what I’ve found is that I need structure, even if it’s untraditional, if I want to accomplish real stuff.
It can be so easy to get caught up on the little things, the easy things. But then we get stuck on the big stuff. The stuff that actually pushes our business to the next level, completes big projects, and allows us to truly grow.
How to Be More Productive and Plan Your Week as an Entrepreneur
Plan in Advance
I used to get major Sunday scaries at the end of the weekend. So, I worry about everything I needed to do and thinking I may have forgotten something. But then I implemented a really simple technique that helps get me organized before my week ever starts.
I take a little time on Sunday and I write down ALL of the things I need to do that week—big and small. This includes weekly tasks like writing and scheduling blog posts and email newsletters, writing and scheduling Instagram posts, shooting content, scheduling time for painting, and scheduling time for those bigger project that won’t get completed by the end of the week, but areas I still want to make progress. Things like ongoing education, building out future products for my audience.
It sounds like a lot when I write it there, but I put it all in a list and then drop items in throughout my week
Instead of spending an hour shooting an image, writing a caption and then posting, only to repeat the same thing again tomorrow and the next day, and the next, I batch similar tasks and knock them out at the same time. So, for this, I’d spend 30-45 minutes writing captions for the WHOLE week! Then, I’d spend an hour taking photos or creating a reel.
Batching tasks is one of the most efficient ways to get your work done. I do the same thing with my emails for my list each week, and blog posts as well. It’s wild how much I can accomplish when I’m organized, focused and batch items like this.
The best part is that it frees up a lot more time to focus on areas that are more big picture, or more time for creating and painting!
Do What’s Most Important First
Most days I have more than 3 items on my to-do list. What solopreneur doesn’t, right? But, I like to go throw the items and put the most important, must-do items at the top of the list. I start with these first in the morning when I’m in my most productive mood of the day.
Focus on What Moves Business Forward
It’s so easy to fill our days with things like checking emails, working on freebies to grow our newsletter, making updates to our website, scrolling Instagram and brainstorming—but, ask yourself, are these things pushing your business forward? When you’re short on-time, it’s best to focus on the things that actually move your business forward and that make sales. There will always be slower times when you focus on those other items!
Don’t Fret If It Doesn’t Happen
There is ALWAYS more time. Let me repeat that—there is always more time! As entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get caught up in working literally around the clock.
But, isn’t that why we decided to work for ourselves?
So we could have more time flexibility and freedom in our lives? My enneagram type is a 9, but I’m a close 3 (Achiever) behind that, and it’s so easy for me to get obsessed with doing more. It’s funny because I dream of this peaceful life, but then I put more on my plate—the moment I have free time, I do this. It’s a learning process for sure, and I’m getting better, but breaking old habits is hard.