Have you mastered time management? If you’re not sure, ask yourself if you have set aside enough time to work on your own business (hint: you need more than you think).
My guest today is Amanda Warfield, who is here today to talk about the realities and the struggles of time management as a service provider.
Amanda is a simplicity-focused time management & business strategist, and host of Chasing Simple – a podcast to help creative entrepreneurs uncomplicate their life and biz. She traded in her classroom lesson plans for speaking and educating creatives on sustainably enjoying work/life balance, and her clients and students have gained back time, energy, and mental clarity. Her mission is to help overwhelmed entrepreneurs take back their time and energy, so that they can stop trying to fit it all in, stop feeling guilty for spending time not being “productive” and stop feeling worn out and defeated at the end of each day. If her nose isn’t in a book, you can find Amanda annoying her husband by slipping Disney into every conversation, or forcing her cats to snuggle.
One of the biggest problems she sees is that service providers fill their schedules with clients so they can make the money they want, but then they neglect their own businesses. This means they aren’t growing, and they’re stressed out.
A lot of times she hears people say that you should treat yourself as a client, but no matter what you do for your client, you are only doing one small part of their business. That is not enough time, and it leads to stress, overwhelm and burnout.
Four Steps To Time Management
1. Write down every single task that you have to do as the CEO of your business. Brain dump everything and make sure you include the things you outsource. Do this seasonally, because with every new season of life you have to have a new schedule. Give yourself a week or so to work on it.
“Whatever routines and schedules you create have an expiration date because when a new season of life comes along, they aren’t going to work for you.” – Amanda Warfield
2. Group like with like. Take the whole list and start categorizing things. What tasks are similar enough to put you in the same brain space? The brain loves repetitive tasks, which puts you in a groove.
3. Pull out a blank schedule. Write down when you are available to work. Instead of asking how long a task will take, ask yourself how long you have to work on the task.
4. Plot those categories into your schedule block. Are you working all day every day for your clients? How much time does it leave for you to work on your own business? Go back to your goals and realistically judge how many clients you need to have to meet your income goals. Compare it to your schedule and see if you need to raise your prices or reconfigure your packages in order to raise your prices. If you are spending more than 3 days a week working on client work, you aren’t going to have enough time to work on your own business.
One of the most common things that creeps up on us as entrepreneurs is marketing. We get overwhelmed with our podcast, blog, or youtube channel and experience burnout. If you can keep your client work to half of your work time, you will have time to work on the behind the scenes tasks. These are the things that will move the needle forward for you such as networking, administrative work, marketing, and visibility.
“Clients bring in the income, but they aren’t actually moving the needle forward in your business.” – Amanda Warfield
Taking on too many clients and then burning ourselves out is a challenge. How have you been able to navigate this?
- Uses her 4 step system and decides when she can take on clients
- Got really clear on when she was setting aside time for clients, what her current packages looked like, and how many people she could take on
- Asked herself “Did that get me to my goal?”
- Do expectations meet reality? So many of us expect to grow our businesses a lot faster than realistically possible
“Are your goals realistic, or are they just going to stress you out?” – Amanda Warfield
What are your tips on serving clients who require communication every day?
- Know when you are most productive
- Utilize your energy and arrange work blocks to your advantage
- Set aside 30 minutes a day to deal with email (and make sure to set expectations with your client)
“Give your best self to your own business.” – Amanda Warfield
“No one is going to take care of your growth in your business but you.” – Natalie Gingrich
Any additional thoughts?
- When are you most productive during the week? During the day?
- Match your most brain power consuming activities to your most productive times of the day/week
- Work according to your energy levels; you don’t need to be a 5am person if you are more suited to working into the night
Weekly Ops Activity
Do the exercise that Amanda shared, and let us know in the Facebook group: how many clients does your schedule allow for?
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