Once you are working for yourself, working from home whether that is as a freelancer or as a coach or any other self-employed person you will need to have a super organised time management system in place otherwise you get scattered, demotivated and you won’t achieve your goals.
Group Your Tasks in Buckets
Most likely you will have to answer some emails, get back to some DM’s on Instagram and maybe you want to write copy for your Instagram account or for a client’s Instagram account. You also need to gather some pictures or maybe even create a graphic in Canva.
These are all completely different tasks and need different parts of your brain. You want to do the same tasks at the same time. This means you first look at all the tasks you do on a consistent basis and then give similar tasks the same color.
Time Block your Buckets in Your Calendar
(And don’t Forget to Use a Colour Scheme!)
Once you’ve created the different buckets you want to map them out in your calendar. Some buckets like emails might happen several times per day while others might only happen once every two weeks like filming videos.
Instead of answering emails and DM’s whenever they pop in you block out specific time slots in your calendar to answer these messages. In that time you won’t have any other tabs open. All you do is replying to these messages. Usually this takes between 45-60 minutes depending on how many messages you’ve received. You might want to have this time block 3 times during your day so mornings, lunch and evening. The rest of the day your DM’s and E-Mails are closed!
Depending on your to-do list you will have different buckets that you add to your calendar. However you don’t want to mix too many different ones in one day. Here are some ideas of other buckets you can add in your calendar:
- Copywriting ( blogs, email newsletters, captions
- Graphic creation (editing canva graphics or editing a picture in adobe lightroom)
- Calls (do all your calls in one day (use a system like Calendly or Acuity Scheduling so your clients can book in without having to message back and forth with you)
- Filming videos
- Finances & Statistics
Lead Generation Time Block
One bucket that a lot of people, especially freelancers, forget to do on a consistent basis is lead generation. Maybe you are fully booked, which is great, you have 5-10 clients or you’re a coach who is fully booked but at some point those clients will either finish working with you or quit their contract and when you are looking for new clients from a place of “need” you usually end up not converting these clients. You want to consistently one time per week block out a time block for lead generation. This means actively looking for new clients. Whether that be on LinkedIn, cold emailing, on Facebook groups or on Instagram, you block out that time in your calendar.
Once a week you also want to block out time to review what is going well in your business and where you need to improve. This bucket can involve reviewing your statistics, your lead generation conversion rate as well as planning your future task.
Extra tip: Create a folder in your email system called CEO-Days and transfer all the newsletters with relevant information from your business (not the latest shopping updates) you get during the week in there and then read them on your CEO-Days. This helps you to stay focused when you are answering emails.
Watch this video to see my time management process in action!
The most important part in your time-management process is that you are hyper focused during your time-blocks. For that to happen you most likely want to turn off your phone and escort it into another room. There are also apps like Cleverest and Fliped that help you stay focused during this time.
I also love Focus Lock that actually deletes all your apps temporarily and puts it back on once your timeblock is finished.
If you prefer to have your taks written in a physical planner you can get your The Social Shells planner here and if you join the social shells course you will get it for free!