The allusive response everyone gives to the question, ‘How are you?’ is – ‘Busy!’
It could be that we don’t know how to sum up how we actually are doing, or we are so exhausted by the amount of things we have put on our plate. Yes, we are the culprit of our busy schedule. I am also guilty of thinking I can get more done in a day than humanly possible. Of course, we have commitments with our family and our finances, but somehow this business you are suppose to run is running you! Been there!
I want to share with you HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME for your Interior Design business.
STEP 1 -TIME MANAGEMENT FOR INTERIOR DEISGNERS – PLAN YOUR YEARLY & MONTHLY GOALS
Plan out your intentions for each area of your life for the year ahead and then monthly give yourself a list of the things you want tend to within that month. Put time in your calendar to work on those things. I like to use Power Sheets by Cultivate what matters. Late Fall is the perfect time to get one ordered. It is a very thorough walkthrough and deep dive into what you really want and then how to work on your goals regularly. I highly recommend it!
STEP 2 -TIME MANAGEMENT FOR INTERIOR DEISGNERS – USE A PROJECT WORKFLOW CHART
At MLI we use a Workflow chart to help us know the amount of hours to set aside for each client. Before putting together a client proposal, we decide how long their project will take. We have a start and stop date that relates to the scope of work. For those of you that do not do flat rate projects, you can still send a proposal with the estimated hours, your hourly fee, and most importantly – the timeline! This is sooooooo important! You need to know how many projects you can take on at a time and a workflow chart will let you know how booked out you are. It also helps you to map out your week, month, etc.
STEP 3 -TIME MANAGEMENT FOR INTERIOR DEISGNERS – TIME BLOCK YOUR WEEK
Time blocking in a digital calendar is the most efficient way to stay on track! If you are one of those who love a planner that you write in every day, I get it! And there are ways you can still write out goals and daily intentions, but I promise there are some things that will work better in a digital calendar. Here are some of the reasons.
- A digital calendar can be linked to your schedule app so you don’t double book. We use Calendly for our client’s to book appointments with us. We send them a link and if we have other appointments or time already blocked on my calendar, it will NOT let someone book during those times.
- Your digital calendar can send you appointment reminders to your phone or watch. You can set it up for how ever many minutes ahead you want.
- You can look back at your week if you forgot to track your time on something.
HOW TO TIME BLOCK
What you need to do is plan your week a day or so ahead. Grab your goal planner and your computer. Make sure you have appointments blocked in for the week. Have important weekly or daily tasks already blocked in and set on repeat! Next, plug in family & friend commitments. Then, block time to work on each client’s project. Finally, block time for the things you want to work on from your goal planner.
The way to think about Time Blocking is that when the time is up, you move on. A task will fill up the time you give to it. Just like when you were in school and the bell rings. You have to move on to the next class.
**Make sure to NOT overcrowd your calendar! If your calendar is linked to a scheduling app, block off times that you need to rest, eat lunch, etc. You can also make sure your scheduling app will only let people schedule time with you on certain days and times.
STEP 4 -TIME MANAGEMENT FOR INTERIOR DEISGNERS – CREATE CERTAIN DAYS FOR MAIN TASKS
We like to have repeatable tasks on certain days. This helps you to keep a good flow in your routines. So for our team we meet every Monday morning to review the week and plan together. I like to work on finances on Friday mornings and I might take one day a month to do business development or marketing.
Whatever works for your schedule is good, but having set days or times for certain tasks gets you in a rhythm and helps you to be consistent with what you are working on.
STEP 5 -TIME MANAGEMENT FOR INTERIOR DEISGNERS – USE A PROJECT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
You want a simple project and task manager that allows you to set due dates & assign to people on your team. We LOVE Asana! You can use whatever software you like. There are a few out there. Digital is the way to go! You need to be able to see what everyone is working on within any given project. We go over our projects as a team in the beginning of the week and then daily, I look at the calendar version and make sure it lines up with the time blocked in my google calendar. If I haven’t blocked the time for a task, then it probably won’t happen! I need to either move it, delegate it, or delete it.
STEP 6 -TIME MANAGEMENT FOR INTERIOR DEISGNERS – 15 MINUTE DAILY WRAP UP
Take the last 15 minutes of your day to look over tomorrow’s digital calendar and project management software to plan the next day and move anything around that needs to move. This simple but effective time hack helps you finish your day and be ready for the next one.
STEP 7 -TIME MANAGEMENT FOR INTERIOR DEISGNERS – SAY OUT LOUD -WHAT WENT WELL
Choose to say out loud either with your team or in the car -but review what went well for the day. This is simple but helps you to focus on all the good things that you feel good about from the day. This practice of gratitude will give you so much clarity and peace! We can get so focused on the things we didn’t get done when what we did get done was amazing. This helps you to feel more centered and present as you move into the next part of your day – whether that is family time, hanging out with friends, or simply winding down to relax – you deserve to go into the next thing feeling great about the work you do.