Let's talk about our schedules!!
But first, a quote: "Either run the day or the day runs you." That may sound crazy, but it is so true when multitasking, trying to accomplish chores or tasks, and raising children. It is so easy to get side-tracked and never accomplish anything on our agendas.
This season of life is a busy one! However, I'd like to think it was more productive than just busy. This year I have been more aware of how I spend my time doing tasks. I can check an e-mail then click on my Facebook app and then spend fifteen minutes on the app without accomplishing a thing. I have moved my Facebook and Instagram apps off of my homepage on my cell phone. I just keep my business apps and e-mail app on the main screen. This has helped so much. I also try to watch my screen times and create little goals of decreasing the screen time each week. I use my phone A TON for business so I won't even tell you how many hours are spent on my phone per day to save your jaw from dropping into your lap. It's a lot. And that is okay because that is how I feed my family. But, I think it's so easy to create this habit of checking our phones and wasting a few minutes here and a few minutes there. Don't get me wrong, I still do this. I just need to remain aware and I thought that sharing this with you all would hold me more accountable and possibly help you in some way, too.
If you are a business owner, I would highly suggest a dry-erase calendar in addition to paper calendar. I have a new plan to write in my paper calendar in pencil so things can be erased. This month got extremely out of hand and I marked so much out that Matti, my right hand, could not even read what was happening. The paper calendar allows us to write things out, see the entire month, and change things as needed. I suggest to keep these calendars every year to remember events, promotions, donations, fundraisers, and compare things each month of each year. We even have a calendar going for next year to get ahead on planning for events as those usually require registration in advance to secure our spot. This year, we have finally gotten better at scheduling ahead. We aim to plan at least four months into the future with promotions, giveaways, photo sessions, collection releases, and family time. This has helped tremendously. I will say that up until this year, we were in that crazy building stage and I didn't feel quite as organized or that I had the "groove" of things locked down. So, if you are in the building stage of business as we are, do not feel bad if reading this sort of gives you a little anxiety. You will get there!!! I just want to share so maybe you can get there quicker than we did. I also have Matti and I know there is only one of her in the world, but get yourself someone like her! She allows me to verbally bounce all of the ideas off of her, she helps with scheduling, has the best ideas, and organizes our wall calendar in our shop. It takes teamwork, for sure!!
Delegation in our businesses is imperative. Personally, it has taken me a while to let go of certain business tasks. We have recently hired someone to assist in production which will mostly consist of printing apparel. This is something I should’ve done sooner, but it all happens the way it’s meant to happen.
Abbey is our newest T+T member and we could not be happier. I will be able to spend more time elsewhere whether that be working ON my business instead of IN it, or spending quality time with my family. I could create a separate blog post about quality over quantity when it comes to being with my family, but no point in stressing on that when I’m striving to improve the quality. My friend, Mrs. Brenda has been helping us for almost a decade in our home. We brought her in to assist in business and household tasks last year three days per week. She always helps with my kids and anything we need. And Matti is basically my other half. She is the best assistant on the planet and she handles shipping, boutique orders, and basically our entire operation. She also draws and plays with the kids and listens to my thoughts most days so she is definitely doing work!
We also have help with our marketing and this is a HUGE weight off of my shoulders.If you know me, I mention Brandon quite frequently. He has been working with us for about a year and a half and he is always teaching us something! Without his guidance, I probably would not have been on such a great schedule. (He may not think it's that great, but it's definitely improved over time.) Brandon has taught me how to schedule social media content and helps me with that, too. Social media could suck the life out of you if you allow it. Delegation is always a necessity within a growing, thriving business. One person cannot do it all! And if you think about it, without marketing, your business would not grow. Budgeting in marketing for your business is something I honestly did not think about when we began our brand. Marketing is a huge umbrella term, but when we break it down into social media, e-mail marketing, text blasts, FB ads, Pinterest, and rewards programs, you can understand that this is a huge responsibility that we cannot skip out on. Arvay Media is the company we use and I would love to connect you with Brandon and his team.
And I know some of you have heard this from me before, but put yourself some ZEROS on your calendar! You deserve multiple days per month to shut off any to-do lists, obligations, or meetings several days per month. I will tell you that hustling until we drop is not the way to sustain our sanity or our businesses. I find that the balance between work and leisure is very difficult as a business owner and when you truly love what you do. My brain rarely shuts off business ideas, but it's not all necessarily bad. I just have to literally make myself slow down. A business owner on a podcast I heard recently schedules 200 days per year for time for herself and her family. This is what her mental and physical health require for her to thrive in all aspects in life. Everyone is different. Every business is different. Don't schedule too much on yourself just because you feel like you need to be keeping up with another business.
I am constantly learning ways to maximize my time. In a way, we create businesses to have more control over our time, but those of us who do not put forth the effort to always improve that work-life balance, will never truly have longevity in their business. Hustle hard, but don't hustle too hard.
Photos: Eventide Photography by Carrie Cantrell