By Christine Scalera
There aren’t enough hours in the day to finish your To-Do list — in fact, it probably keeps getting longer and longer. As a creative entrepreneur, saving time is probably #1 on your wish list because you’re handling everything by yourself.
Check out these time-saving hacks that every creative business owner should know:
1. Write things down.
When you’re doing everything, you tend to keep a ton of info in your head. Create a habit of writing everything down: your tasks for the day, the ideas that pop in during your morning shower, even how you feel at the end of the day.
If you don’t jot things down, you’re likely to forget and/or push it to the back of your mind after an unexpected distraction. Writing everything down can help you gain clarity and focus (and set goals for the year!)
2. Set your priorities for the day.
Every morning you should mark down your Daily 3 — the three things you’re going to accomplish before the end of the day. One of those things should involve working on your own business. You only have to accomplish one thing a day to move forward + make progress on your goals.
3. Batch your tasks.
Product based businesses usually excel at batching tasks (if you’re going to spend all that time setting up your workstation, it better be for more than one item!) but service businesses tend to overlook this trick.
Set aside blocks of time to get similar tasks done: email/correspondence, writing blog posts, bookkeeping/invoicing. You’ll get more done in less time than if you do the tasks individually as they come up.
4. Create graphic templates for EVERYTHING.
If you have a blog, you’ll need blog headers, featured images, and social graphics (square for Instagram and Facebook, and vertical rectangles for Pinterest and Google+).
You should also have a template for everyday social updates. You’ll save so much time if you combine templates with Hack #3.
Templates aren’t just for graphics. You can download one of my contract agreement templates, format it for Honeybook, 17 Hats, HelloSign, etc. and use it over and over. All in less than 15 minutes!
5. Up your Gmail game.
There’s a reason so many people use Gmail for their email service. It’s easy and user-friendly and also comes with so great (but little known) features like Canned Responses, which lets you store frequently sent messages so you don’t have to copy/paste from Evernote, Word, or Pages.
Also, don’t forget to enable “Undo Send” so you can take back that unfinished email that accidentally sent.
6. Start a newsletter.
Your followers on social media may love you, but are they buying from you? If you can only focus on one thing to grow your audience, make it your email list, not your Instagram followers.
7. Work at your optimal time and take breaks.
Some of us are morning people and others work until the wee hours of the night. Whatever your preference, own it! If you’re useless in the morning, don’t schedule client calls or other important tasks. If you write better after the gym, block time out of your day to do just that.
Which of these hacks do you plan to use?
Christina Scalera is the attorney and founder behind TheContract.Shop, a contract template store for creative entrepreneurs, wedding professionals, and coaches. When she’s not staring at a computer or awkwardly standing on cafe chairs for the perfect overhead latte photo, you can find her in the woods doing things that are sometimes dangerous but always fun, like riding horses, skiing and reluctantly camping.