I now have about 75 sites as clients for my blog advertising business. Even though I can run some sites out of one email address since they are owned by the same person, I am still keeping up with about 50 different email addresses and closing 2-3 big deals a week out of my own address as well. In short, I spend at least 6 hours each weekday handling emails…just emails.
I then have to find the time to write my own blog posts, staff write, comment (which I have been stinking at), and fit in any of the other freelance tasks that I am hired for. It would be even worse, except I have outsourced my social media and only put in about an hour a week on answering any of those messages meant for me or retweeting posts I liked. In short, time management has become very important to me and up until last week, I was failing.
My Steps to Time Management
Now I am trying something new and it is working like a charm:
- Step 1- Write for BFS and Staff Posts.
- Step 2 – I start answering all of the ad emails I received at my own address followed by all of the ones at my client addresses.
- Step 3 – I then respond to the rest of the emails I personally received.
- Step 4 – Handle any freelancing tasks I need to do.
- Step 5 – That is followed by finishing up any other little tasks that have low priority but need to be done.
- Step 6 – Rinse and Repeat. If I successfully made it through the steps above, I go through the list again.
This new batch of steps has led me to wasting a lot less time on repetitive tasks and getting side-tracked. No matter what, I get all of my ad emails answered every weekday (I force myself to since it is my main job now), so that means I am staying on top of my writing now too (well, for BFS and staff writing…I am not doing as well as I’d like here or at my other sites that fall into Step 5).
Knowing that I will at least have the basics covered has led me to actually spending weekends with my husband and friends again. It also means that even though I am working 10-12 hours a week day, it is by choice after the first 6-8 hours. I do have flexibility in my schedule again.
In short, I would highly suggest prioritizing the things you need to get done every day. Then look at your list and make sure to schedule the highest priority thing a little after the other important stuff so you are driven to accomplish it all. When I don’t make it through all of my steps, I at least know that the business end of things have been handled and I am back to sleeping better at night.
What time management tricks have you learned to use?