I was supposed to write this post yesterday, and as much as I try to stick to my daily work schedule life happens. I have been asked about my work schedule a lot lately so I thought I’d share my tips. Being an entrepreneur for over 7 years now (crazy!) here is my #1 tip… Make a daily work schedule and stick to it!
Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way. I was only 23 years old when I started my digital marketing company. I had no idea what I was doing but I did have the passion. After a while, I was so stressed out with doing “anything and everything” for my clients that my “to-do” list each day was never completed. That’s why I decided it was time to make a daily work schedule and increase my productivity.
MY DAILY WORK SCHEDULE
6:15 AM // I never used to be a morning person. For real…don’t talk to me until I have my coffee. But, I’ve learned that my most productive hours are between 7-10am. This is extremely important because whatever time you are most productive block it off every day on your calendar.
Normally, I wake up and immediately look at my phone to check emails. In the past few weeks, I’ve been trying really hard to change this habit. I know if I look at my phone first thing it’s just going to make my mind start thinking about everything I need to do that day. SO…instead I’m trying to get up, get coffee, have some quiet time, and give myself a minute to actually wake up.
7:30/8:00 AM // This is the first time slot I block of to check my emails. Yes, I block out time just to check emails. Not saying I don’t look at emails on my phone, but blocking off a specific time to answer emails helps me actually respond everyone.
Before I start checking emails, I make a “Top 3 To-Do List” which is probably the most productive thing I do all day. Yes, only 3 things!! I used to make crazy long “to-do” lists, and I never accomplished everything which just stressed me out even more. Then my therapist told me the brain actually can’t comprehend more than 3 things at a time. So write down the 3 most important things you need to do, get them done, and then write down another 3 things to do. You’ll be shocked how much more you accomplish.
10:00 AM // This is when I try to schedule all of my meetings or photoshoots. Once again, I’m that person where my mind starts to go-go-go as soon as I wake up. So if I schedule a meeting too early then I get stressed because I haven’t had a chance to complete my morning routine.
If I don’t have meetings, I use this time to run any errands I might need to get done. As an entrepreneur, I don’t really have a normal lunch break so I need some time to do a few personal things.
12:00 PM // I’m usually heading back to my house for lunch or grab a quick bite while I’m out doing errands or meetings. I try to take some time to eat lunch away from my computer. Your brain needs a breather.
12:30/1:00 PM // I prefer to work from home in the afternoons. I block off about 2-3 hours to write my blog posts or work on whatever needs to be completed. This is my actual “work work” time slot. Sometimes I’ll put my phone upstairs or somewhere I can’t see it so I’m not distracted. If you know you’re going to get distracted by a text or email then the best thing you can do is put it away. Log off your email and even turn off your phone. Out of sight, out of mind!
4:00 PM // This is my second-time slot during the day to answer my emails. Raise your hand if you get stuck for hours answering emails? Don’t we all… There are some days I could spend almost the entire day being distracted by emails so I’ve learned to block off specific times that are dedicated to answering emails. Believe me…people will understand if you don’t get back to them immediately. But if they don’t…well they will get over it.
I’m not saying don’t answer an email that is uber important. If there is a project deadline or imperative question that needs your answer then reply. If it’s something you are working on with other people and they can’t move on without your response then okay. Just be careful not to fall into the email trap!
5:00 PM // This is when I call it a day. I told you all that my mind is “on” as soon as I wake up so I have to workout in the evenings. It helps me unwind, and release any stress from the day. I always always always try to workout or do something to shut things off.
This is also one of the most important things you can do each day. A few years ago I made a rule where I do not answer emails after 6pm. Again, it created too much stress and affected my sleep. The world will go on if you don’t answer an email until the next morning. Be sure to tell people this is your rule or set an automated responder on your email if you have to. I swear people will understand.
Obviously, every single day does not always follow my daily work schedule. However, if I create a schedule whether I write it down or block off sections in my iCal it always helps me be more productive!
Below is an example of my calendar in a couple of weeks. You’ll see not every day is the same, but I have color-coded blocks so I stay on top of it!
I’d love to hear any thoughts or tips you all have for your work schedule or productivity!! Share below 🙂