I don’t have enough time. Neither do you.
How do I find the time to do it all? is the No. 1 question I’m asked in my social media seminars.
My answer? Prioritize.
The way I see it, social media is the easy part. The way they see it, social media is the hard part. Really, it’s all the other stuff that is hard to fit into a day.
Outside of writing blog posts, it takes only a few moments to check in and share thoughts, photos, and ideas within your social media realm.
Assignment production, processing, bookkeeping, meetings, returning phone calls, mail, website updates, paperwork, taxes, banking, grading assignments, and returning e-mail are what fill my days. These things keep me afloat.
But how do we get ahead?
I’ve been fine-tuning my morning routine for years. I’m happier than ever with my regimen and its results. Following a daily routine helps me stay focused, get work done, achieve goals, and get ahead.
I begin by reserving some quiet time to sit and relax before the day’s work. I actually purchased a big, comfy seat — which I dubbed the thinking chair — to achieve this goal
Sitting quietly sounds easier than it is. It’s hard. I want to get to work. If I dive right into e-mail or review a pending project, the next thing I know it’s noon and the opportunity is lost. Without that start, that focus, my days amble along without solid direction. Often, I’m so absorbed in my work that I will not take the 10-20 minutes I need to refocus on the big picture.
I make sure I spend the first 10 minutes during work time in silent reflection and in meditation. Sit in silence, meditate, quietly think, or pray; do whatever works for you.
My base time is 10 minutes because I can rarely make the excuse that I don’t have time to sit for just 10 minutes.
In addition, I write in an 8×10 black sketch book, my journal, since I was introduced to them in art school. I write down the ideas and thoughts that cross my mind during the silent period.
Next, I write down three things I need to do that day to complete projects and achieve my goals. I want to deliver, complete, or close on at least one important thing by the end of each day.
Don’t pick more than three items. Three is manageable. Life happens and your day will change. If you pick more than three things the chance of failure increases. Of course these three items don’t represent your entire work day.
You will be amazed at what you accomplish.
On the occasion you don’t compete all three important items, carry over the unfinished activities to the next day.
I also have three standing items I do daily as part of my routine. These are items that I need to do every day, but are not habit. For example: updating my books, exercising, or domestic chores. Once they become habit or under control I replace them with something else needing attention.
Nothing works perfectly.
If your plan stops, is interrupted or veers off course, don’t panic, feel bad or quit. Just start over. Make adjustments that fit your life.
We will never get everything done. As you move forward and find success, you will have to learn how to delegate. This is easier said than done, but it is necessary to move forward and get off the treadmill.
Many freelancers and small-company owners encounter a ceiling in their business because they feel they have to do everything. You don’t.
Take one item at a time and figure out how to do it more efficiently or hire someone else to do the task. Little things will keep you from doing the big things.
Don’t fear routine.
As creative people we want freedom. The word routine is frowned upon. It could lead to a predictable, boring and stagnant life.
If you give yourself time to think and use your imagination, if you begin your morning with a little structure, learn to delegate, and then let your day happen, you will accomplish more than you ever imagined.