I constantly get asked how I do everything I do. I run a creative agency with about 13 projects that are active at any given moment, I’m the editor at FanBolt, I have this site, and I’m in the midst of creating a new startup. Did I mention I’m also attempting to have a personal life?
It’s a lot. I’m not going to lie. I have to prioritize my workload and make sure that any work that is due for clients is delivered ahead of schedule and ready to knock their socks off. Behind my creative agency and FanBolt, everything else I have to carefully build into my schedule to fill in any openings. I do manage to get it all done, and get it done in a way that I’m proud of and excited to show off.
So what’s my secret?
Well, I’m rarely ever not working. If I’m at home, the closest I get to not working is writing articles or doing design work on my laptop in front of the TV watching the latest screener for FanBolt. I like a fast-paced and busy life. If my life wasn’t that way – I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. That being said. I do have a few tips for time management.
7 Time Management Tips To Accomplish It All
What content do you need to produce daily? Weekly? Even monthly? Create a schedule for yourself that is realistic. For example, with this site, I do all of my content on Sunday for the following week (takes about 5 hours). And during the week, I give myself one hour a day to comment on other blogs, tweet, take photos, create content and answer emails.
I know that when I wake up on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings – I’m heading to the gym for a hour, coming back and grabbing a protein shake, answering emails for my creative agency, then answering emails for FanBolt, then taking a shower and heading into the office. At the office, I’m focused on the creative agency from 10am to 6pm (I even take lunch at my desk and work right on through it). From 6pm – 7:30 I’m focused on FanBolt, and then I’m headed back home. Dinner, social media for FanBolt and this site, a little TV watching – and then I’m crashing.
If it’s a Tuesday or Thursday morning, I wake up and head straight into work, and when I get home I’m going to work out for 30 minutes.
If it’s Saturday, I’m going to sleep in and go the gym for a hour in the afternoon – and the rest of the day is my time to be social and recharge.
I still go out on Friday night – and even go out to a few events throughout the week, but this is the basis of my schedule.
My planner is my bible. I can’t function without it. While so many people use Google calendar or some sort of online scheduling tool, I’m old school. I have Weekly/Monthly Planner from Blue Sky with my appointments and tasks handwritten. It’s worked for me since 2006, and it hasn’t failed me yet.
Boomerang is one of my favorite tools of all time. It’s my backup to my planner that catches anything that falls through the cracks of my memory – and it allows me a little bit of breathing room. I can write an email now, and schedule it to send at anytime in the future. And if I don’t get a reply from someone in a certain period of time, I can have it remind me to reach back out. This is a huge help on creating a schedule of follow-ups for me.
If I don’t get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, I can’t do it. The day in general, I just can’t. I push too hard to not get a full night’s sleep. The days of going to bed at 2 and 3am have long past me. Now, I’m up by 7am and in bed no later than 12am. Unless it’s a Friday or Saturday night – those nights are about me and just having fun.
Sleep is incredibly important to our body in order to heal from the day. For our bodies to rest, or brains to have a break and our energy to recharge. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re not performing at your best.
I’m big on rewards. It’s my way of self-motivating myself. If I have a particularly stressful day at work, I’ll text my fiance and see if he wants to grab dinner somewhere nice – or if he wants to do a wine and cheese night when I get home. It gives me something to look forward to when I need a little extra push.
When it comes to the gym, I’m much the same way – though I don’t reward myself with food. Whenever I meet my next fitness goal – I’ll let myself buy a cute outfit or one of those Tory Burch accessories I’ve been obsessing over. It keeps me motivated to get out of bed early through the week – and put myself through what feels like hell – because there’s something super cute waiting for at the end of the tunnel!
This is the hardest one for me. I truly want to do it all, so accepting that I can’t is something that is hard to digest. Sometimes I have turn projects down or skip events – or even miss out on a dinner with friends.
This is the most important thing. If you don’t love what you’re doing, you will get burnt out and you’ll resent your work. If you’re not truly passionate about what you’re doing, ask yourself why. Life is too short to fill it tasks that don’t inspire you, excite you and challenge you.
I hope these tips helped you! If you have any please share them in the comment section below!
Emily Sprinkle, also known as Emma Loggins, is a designer, marketer, blogger, and speaker. She is the Editor-In-Chief for Women's Business Daily where she pulls from her experience as the CEO and Director of Strategy for Excite Creative Studios, where she specializes in web development, UI/UX design, social media marketing, and overall strategy for her clients.
Emily has also written for CNN, Autotrader, The Guardian, and is also the Editor-In-Chief for the geek lifestyle site FanBolt.com