Vittoria emailed me for the first time on March 1. She had just signed up for my free email course on time management because she knew she wanted to launch her online business, but she could never seem to find the time.
Fast forward three months, and Vittoria emailed me again.
She still hadn’t launched.
Life, and client work, just kept getting in the way.
“My schedule is not organized in a way that suits my life,” Vittoria wrote.
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Time Management Pitfall: Letting Other People Set Your Priorities
I asked Vittoria about her schedule, here’s what she said:
“Every Sunday, I like to write out my weekly schedule in Trello: important meetings, client due dates, website developments projects, all the perks you have when you are trying to run a business. And on top of that, maintaining my sanity.
“Every night, I look at my weekly board and list out what I need to do for the following morning. It’s literally a continuation of what I didn’t accomplish that day. The list gets longer and longer by the time Friday comes around.
“I say yes to client work even if it throws my launch into temporary turmoil, which happens a lot.
“Plus, I keep delaying my website launch because I’m exhausted at the end of the day. I’ve given unknowable hours to executing every request and task for my clients, diligently delivering them in neat and complete packages, no matter the sacrifice.
“As Greg McKeown would put it oh so nicely, “Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.” Well, I’m putting off my own launch because I don’t schedule it into my daily routine. Clients pay me to prioritize them and their launches, but I’m not able to do that for myself.”
Vittoria’s situation is so common. Whether you’re a parent, a freelancer, or work a 9-5 job, other people are always going to demand your time and attention.
But you can carve out space for your own project or business. Here’s how Vittoria did it.
Creating a Schedule to Prioritize Her Business
At the end of May, three months after she first emailed me for time management advice, Vittoria emailed me again. She still hadn’t launched her business. And she was curious about how my new product could help her. The product? A set of 6 done-for-you blogging schedules to help part-time bloggers get their work done in the fringes of their day.
Vittoria and I emailed back and forth, and she eventually bought the schedules. Then she combined information from three of the schedules to create a custom plan for herself.
She uploaded her schedule into Trello, so she could see her workflow in one place. Here’s how it looks:
Vittoria also started timing herself while she worked. Here’s a peek at her process:
“Using the schedules in the e-book as a guide, I use the Trello app Pomello to track how much time I am actually spending on each task. At the beginning, it was hard to set a limit on each task. But I soon realized that setting a time limit for each task really helps me focus on one thing at a time. And most importantly, timing myself means I don’t let my distraction get the best of me, or overthink a task too much. I’ve gradually increased the task length by 10mins. I am now up to 35-45 minutes of focused work without a break.”
With her schedule in place and a disciplined approach to her task list, Vittoria was well on her way to launching.
I sent her my newest ebook, a guide to productive habits and routines for bloggers, to see what she thought of it.
Better Blogging Habits and Routines
The Done-For-You Blogging Habits and Routines book includes 8 easy-to-follow routines for common blogging and marketing tasks and 10 strategies for creating better blogging habits.
Vittoria has implemented many of the things she learned in the book.
First, she tweaked several of the done-for-you routines to create her own customized master to-do list in Trello. Here’s what it looks like:
“In this master list, I summarized my process from start to end. I cannot pass this list to the next day until I check off one item on this master list. This way I can pick up where I left off the following day, and make sure I get something done every day to get closer to my goals.”
Vittoria also used the habit chapter of the book to create more productive blogging habits for herself. Here’s how she used just one of the 10 strategies from the book to get more done:
“The biggest help in not feeling overwhelmed in blogging was the if/when statement checklist. I like to actually write out my daily checklist in this format:
“When I sit down at my desk, I will open up a Photoshop file and create a 3 blog posts graphics (Top, Middle, and End) for 10 mins before I even check my email.
“This helps me actually see my accountable action ON PAPER when I do it in this format.”
Mindset Shifts That Will Transform Your Biz
As many experienced bloggers know, your mindset can make or break your business. One of the key features of the Done-For-You Habits and Routines ebook is that it includes 3 keystone habits you can start implementing today to improve your mindset.
These habits, and the accompanying mindset shifts, have had a huge impact on Vittoria’s business.
“The biggest mind shift experience was actually letting go of perfection. In the ebook, I love how you wrote: “Treat your blog and your business as one giant experiment.” It helped remind me a) my true meaning behind Creative Halcyon: to leave some positive impact on the world, and b) it’s not about how to get more things done, it’s about how to the get the right things done. Greg McKeown explains it as, “it doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.”
“What I took from these 2 e-books is don’t think that your goals are out of reach. I used to go about life thinking these things I wanted to accomplish were things that would never happen in my lifetime. I didn’t think that they weren’t actually possible or that they only happened to other people.
“Now I just have a completely different mindset about what I love to do (helping creative entrepreneurs to achieve branding + web result-driven success). If I want to write a book, I can write a book. If I want to launch a course, I can launch a course. If I want to run a million dollar business, it’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of when.
“With the routines and schedule advice you laid out in your e-books, I can proudly say that I’ve launched:
- Creative Halcyon’s website
- Newsletters campaign (with all the graphics and relatable content)
- The Ultimate Branding Ladder Planner (with it own blog post to accompany it)
“This whole process took about 3 weeks with keeping up with the same amount of daily client’s demands on the side.
It only took 3 weeks of focused work for Vittoria to launch her site! She reached the goal that she hadn’t been able to reach in the 3 months before!
YEAAA!!!!!! is right!
If you’d like to learn more about the two tools that helped Vittoria reach her goals, just click here to check out the Done-For-You Blogging Schedules and click here to check out the Done-for-You Habits and Routines guide.
If you’d like to learn more about Vittoria and her design business Creative Halcyon, read on:
“I’m Vittoria, the brand + web designer behind Creative Halcyon. I started Creative Halcyon because I’ve always had this core desire to be helpful in a mass world in the creative industry. #AGirlCanDream.
“In Creative Halcyon, I help creative entrepreneurs ditch the brand and website shame and step into their role as a CEO by crafting a brand that will capture their ultimate goals in their business. That is why I developed a great guide to developing what your brand’s future will be like in 6 easy questions: The Ultimate Branding Ladder Planner.
“When it comes to “branding” (doing colors, fonts, and other aesthetic choices), my approach focuses on what matters most — results that not only look beautiful but really work. The Ultimate Branding Ladder Planner will help you achieve what you REALLY want when it comes to your brand.
On to you, dear reader: What is one BIG goal you’re struggling to reach?
Leave your answer in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!