This weeks Hot Topic Tuesday comes directly from our online community focusing on one very important question as shared after Thursdays “Marketing Tip of the Day: Striking a Balance, When To Engage and When To Work”.
Question submitted by singer Michael Egleton
This is right up my alley! I tried handling email every few days and with the amount of emails that stack up in a few days, it seem like it’s even more work. Yes, it has cut deeply into my creativity time and my personal life. Sometimes other areas of my life go lacking and I do hear about it from my wife!!!!! lol With this said, I handled the wife part by agreeing to a certain block of time for the computer, which can take up time and included her in what I’m doing to allow her to see first hand, what’s going on. Now she understands a little more about this part of things. Now I’m working towards cutting back the other time, which I have let get away from me. How do I get it back? I haven’t fished in so long, I’ve forgotten how to even set up my pole! lol – Thanks Ms. Jax
I hear your struggle and I experience it myself all the time. As my ideas for projects flow, my brand grows and the weeks get more demanding, I find that my time gets divided more and more until I have to stop the process for some reflective evaluation.
Over the years I’ve tried many balancing methods, organizing books and time saving tips but even if you perfect the art of time saving, it really comes down to is this, one simple statement… Stop competing with yourself and start factoring in the things that allow you to relax, recharge your batteries and leave you feeling inspired…..
When your building your own brand and marketing your projects online it’s really easy to focus on the short term while loosing sight of the whole picture. Let me give you some key points that may help to ease your stress and get you back on track.
Be realistic: Learning how to market and build a brand is a commitment. It takes focus, passion, determination and time. Although you may have the first three traits in order, the time factor isn’t what you think. By time I mean you must consider your brand as a business that will evolve and strengthen over time with your consistent steady effort. It’s important to be realistic about your goals. If you set really challenging ones that don’t leave you with any time to enjoy your life, then your just being way to hard on yourself.
Thanks for the great question and honest comment. Jacqueline Jax – Host of www.AvALiveRadio.com
Top 10 Tips For Better Tip Management
1) Prepare: Being prepared for the day ahead is key to staying focused and not loosing your mind. Creating a task list for the next day the night before will help you relax, sleep better and clear your mind so you can get some much needed rest. I start to prepare my task list at 6pm before I stop working and after I’ve finished email. Keep you task list handy so you can add things before you go to bed or in the morning while your getting ready for you day.
2) Schedule Your Time: Use a day planner to schedule in time to live your life. Your day planner should have time blocked out for each of your tasks as well as appointments, social media and email. Most importantly don’t forget to schedule in breaks, meals and free time. By creating a schedule you’ll not only feel more in control of your time, you’ll feel more in control of your life. This is what my typical day looks like: 7-8am wake up coffee and email :: 8-9am get ready workout :: 9-10am breakfast with my family :: 10-12pm work :: 12-1 pm lunch with friends :: 1-3pm work :: 3-4pm break, walk :: 4-5pm email :: 5-6pm work :: 6-6:30pm Make my schedule for tomorrow :: 6:30pm on free time… (Dinner, social media, play time) 10pm get to bed.
3) Start Early: Have you ever noticed that successful people all tend to go to bed early and wake up early? To be on your game, calm and thinking clearly you must arrange your life so that you get enough sleep. Typically I need 8hours for my best self to shine through but you have to do what works best for you. Just keep this in mind, your head is clearest and able to handle the most difficult tasks early in the day when your rested. Late risers tend to be sluggish and slower at accomplishing tasks over the coarse of the day so consider that fact if your playing or working late into the evening. Eventually that schedule will catch up with you.
4) Get Organized: Being organized helps you to find things, think clearly and stay focused. If your looking for things all the time and unable to remember what your supposed together done, you’ll drive yourself crazy and waste a ton of time. Get yourself a system that works for you and stick with it. I use a day planner for details and daily tasks, huge monthly calendar where I can write an over view, and legal pads or my iPad to write my articles, interview questions, and stories. To keep everything organized I have a filing cabinet and files that hold my papers on previous or future topics and projects so when I need to refer back to my notes like “Top 10 Twitter tips” I can find them in an instant.
5) Prime Time: Its really important that you get in touch with your most productive time of day. If mornings are your most productive, then schedule your most difficult tasks in the mornings. By Scheduling your most difficult tasks during this time, you’ll breeze through it and be able to stay focused. Just be careful to consider the accessibility of others if they are required to complete your tasks. You don’t want tone held up waiting for others in order to finish what you started.
Watch the Clock: Even if you have to use a timer, it’s important to take breaks when your supposed to in order to avoid project fatigue. My best example for this is during video edits. Video editing is always a task that takes longer than expected so even if I can’t finish, I always put it away when I’m supposed to so that when I can come back to it, I’m fresh and more productive.
6) Social media time: Handling your social media postings is supposed to be fun but if you have really popular pages it can get to be a time consuming task getting back to everyone and keeping your pages updated. I recommend checking on your pages during the most active times and on specific days. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays join in on Twitter and add new content to Facebook for 15 min mornings or evenings. Tuesday and Thursday respond to blog comments 30 minutes. Fridays: spend 1 hour analyzing your traffic at your blog or website.
7) Auto posting: This is such an amazing way to automatically feed valuable content to your social media pages. Most blog builder sites like WordPress and tumblr have an auto post setting that will share your posts automatically to your social media feeds. Be sure to make sure that you pages auto feed to at least one other social media page. For instance, when I post an article on my WordPress blog I have it set so it automatically sends that post out to my Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, tumblr and reverbnation page. This is a terrific way to make sure that you are keeping all your social media pages up to date.
8) Keeping Notes: one of my best time saving tips that I use constantly is keeping notes. I have a legal pad that I keep by my side and of coarse my phone for jotting down ideas. It really helps when I’m ready to update my social media pages with content, when I need to remember ideas I had for articles, and especially when I need to remember those amazing ideas I have lying in bed at night. LoL
9) Relax: I saved one of the best for last. Incorporating the word “Relax” into my thoughts and actions is very important to me. When you have a very busy schedule and lots of people in your life, it really helps to know yourself and recognize when it’s time to relax. Keeping your calm is essential to staying productive because if you have a melt down, consider yourself out for the count. Melt downs cause your brain to freeze and slide your body into an intense exhaustion that kills your creativity and renders you incapable of making good decisions. So do yourself a favor, remind yourself that your life is not a race, your building a life you’ve always dreamed of and you are in total control of your schedule. It is only as busy as YOU allow it to be.