Consider this the “kitchen sink” of blog posts. When it comes to my blog and my business, there is a lot a I share and a lot I don’t. The stuff I don’t share is typically the stuff I find pretty boring on the backend. However, I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about how I manage my business and thought I’d share a few behind the scenes tidbits. Whether you’re a blogger or an entrepreneur or a working girl at a 9-5, hopefully, you can find a little something to relate to in this one. Get ready for a breakdown of my business hours, the things that scare me the most and a few things I do every single day no matter what.
Spoiler: running a business is hard af.
When I decided to go full time with LaurenElyce, I had no idea what I was getting into. Surprise surprise – it’s not all free products and selfies. One of the things that I learned right away is that being a business owner means you’re wearing several hats. I’m the creator, the editor, the accountant, the lawyer, the negotiator, the manager, the intern – I’m every position and I’m only one person. All of these jobs surprisingly come with a lot of tasks.
Over the years, I’ve learned a few tips for keeping myself on track and organized so I don’t get overwhelmed or let anything fall through the cracks.
No. 1 Use Task Lists
Yes. To-do lists are nothing special. I know this. I used to make one long to-do list and would cross things off as I got them done. It worked but it wasn’t super proactive or as effective as it could be. A little over a year ago I started breaking my lists into the following categories: a) things I need to do every single day, ) things I need to every week, and c) things I need to do every month. I love using Asana to keep all of my tasks organized. I use the desktop version when I’m working but love that I can add things when I’m on the go with the app. Here’s a sample breakdown of soem my daily, weekly and monthly tasks (note: there is a monthly to do and monthly done so I can cross things off without removing them completely)
I take it one step further and have task lists for every weekday as well. These are the lists for things that need to happen on specific days, deadlines for projects, etc.
At the end of each week, I go through my lists, add any upcoming tasks/deadlines and then drop all of my tasks into my GoldenCoil planner (more on this soon).
No. 2 Set Business Hours
So now that I have all of these things to do, I can just do them. Right? Nope – not that easy. On top of these tasks that are pretty much ongoing, I also have a life as well as a ton of other stuff that just comes up. I like to get in my cardio in the morning and my weight training in the afternoon. I have coffee meetings and conference calls. I have photoshoots and grocery shopping.
I just started doing this recently and it is a major game-changer. I set myself some business hours. I block out chunks of time every weekday that are strictly for getting work done and won’t schedule anything during that time block. It’s amazing. Not only does this give me some time to dedicate solely to my task lists but it also gives me some structure which is key for a girl working from home for herself. It’s also important to note that these dedicated blocks of time aren’t the only times that I work on business stuff. I spend the majority of my day from 8am-9pm(ish) working. I wish I only needed to work 3 hours a day! But having the set time just helps me mentally ensure I am prioritizing certain tasks each day.
Note: these business hours change every week or so depending on things I can’t change but here’s an example schedule!
No. 3 Have your daily must-do’s
And I’m not talking about the business-y stuff. I’m talking about the things you need to do every day to stay sane. For me, my list is simple:
- I start each morning with 20 push-ups when I first wake up and 10 minutes of meditation (usually right after breakfast)
- Take a 10-minute work break to catch up on The Skimm
- Read a few chapters of my current book (started putting screens down at 8 or 9pm every night and reading until I fall asleep)
- I write a few sentences in my journal before I go to bed