If you feel like their just aren’t enough hours in the day – you’re completely normal! Sometimes I feel like I’m running a flat-out race against the clock! We all want to make the most of every single minute we have, whether it’s in our office schedule or a design project’s timeline. It’s taken me a while to find the most effective ideas to keep my office running like a machine, but I’m finally in the groove! Here are the most efficient things I do to keep that clock from winning every day.
Create blocks on your calendar for everything – and I mean everything! Block out time for email, for personal errands, for design time, and for accounting. Be sure you give yourself a set time to take care of everything you need to do for your business and your clients. But also block out your vacation – at the beginning of the year! That way you can give your team a heads-up and make the right preparations for when you’ll be away. Planning like that keeps things running smoothly.
Plan for Overtime
Things go wrong – that’s just the nature of our business. So don’t schedule every single second of your day or you will be off track in no time. Give yourself a little wiggle room, like 15 minutes on either side of one of those blocks. That will keep things on track, even when it feels like it’s all going crazy.
I like to have project timelines for small, medium, and larger projects. I will use them as templates and adjust them as needed based on what I know about a specific project. The great thing about timelines like these is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you’re creating a schedule. You know what each step will be and about how long it will take. That makes you much more efficient – and cost effective!
Get Rid of Those Distractions
You know what I’m talking about – you don’t need to work in front of a TV. You don’t HAVE to click on that latest cute puppy video. And you really don’t need to answer that call from a friend when you should really be creating a design presentation. Am I right?! Get a handle on the things you KNOW will distract you – and that includes employees knocking on the door. Set rules for yourself and others so you can stick to what needs to be done.
Two Lists Are Better Than One
I like to use TWO to-do lists. If that sounds crazy to you, hear me out! I have a super long to-do list that has everything on it, grouped by project. And then I have my daily to-do list, and it only has a few things on it. Let’s be honest, no one can check everything off in one day – unless you don’t have enough to do. So it can be overwhelming to look at that MASSIVE list each time. It will make you feel like a failure. Put your most important items on that shorter daily list, and your sense of accomplishment at the end of the day will spur you on!
I have a FREE Design Project Schedule that you can download here to get you started! Use it to make your business as efficient and effective as possible!