Let’s talk about how to prioritize your projects and time! I’ve got a download that you can check out, at the bottom that will help organize your to-dos and weekly plans, so definitely check that out after we dive in!
Okay, so when I added enamel pins to my shop, I was just coming back from maternity leave. I had a six-month old that I was taking care of at the time. so I had about 10 hours tops to work on my business per weekl. Sometimes it was five hours, it just really depended when and if he napped. Time was so precious to me then! You might be a parent, you might have a full-time job, you might go to school full-time, there are a million reasons why you have limited time to work on your business, so let’s get into how to maximize that time.
The first thing I do is prioritize my projects. I pick my project priorities based on what brings in the most money and requires the least amount of time to complete. So, for me, that's enamel pins. They are my bread and butter. A lot of people want to diversify, and I absolutely think you should. But, when it comes down to it for me, if have very limited time, I'm going to spend that time on my pins, because that is what pays my bills.
Another big priority I have is Instagram and social media. I put YouTube in there because YouTube is very important to me, and I love being able to disseminate information. But Instagram is where I get most of my customers. It's my main marketing platform, so I spend time on that platform. Since Instagram gets me a lot of attention, eyeballs, and ultimately sales, I'm going to spend my time there, for sure.
And at the moment I also have my e-course that I'm working on, Enamel Pins 101. I'm getting ready to open the doors for that again, so there's a lot of preparation that I'm going through with that. So, that is next on my priorities list. It's not my main source of income right now, so it's not up at the top with enamel pins. But it's also something very important that I'm working on on the side, and you'll see where I incorporate that in a minute.
The last thing on my main priorities list is events. I already have the stock, I already have displays. The only thing I need to do to prepare for shows and and events, is to pack up my inventory and promote them. So that's on the back burner at the moment.
Put it on the calendar
So those are my big, main projects and now I want to show you how I break down my time. I like to look at the month as a whole when I start. I like being able to see that at a higher level, and then I can plan out my weeks. Then, I can fit in my Instagram plan, YouTube stuff, any launch information for pin launches, my pin club reminders, anything like that.
So, let me show you what I've got going on for this week in particular. In the video, you’ll see that I have a whiteboard where I put all of my weekly plans. One side is my Instagram topics and the other is what I've got going on during the week. The dates go on top and I only do Monday through Friday because weekends are my own.
So these are the things that I want to get done this week. These are non-negotiables. I base my to-do list each day on these things. So, if I haven't gotten my Instagram schedule done yet, and that's fine, because I just have to get it done by the end of the week. I'm not going to beat myself up if it's Monday and I haven't gotten everything on this list done. I think that was the mindset shift for me because I'm very to-do list centric. Before I implemented this plan, if I didn't get things done on the exact days they were planned, I would just throw the whole thing out and not get anything done. So I give myself a lot of grace with my weekly goals, and I think that's the biggest tip that I have, beside batching, but I'll get into that. As long as anything isn't time-sensitive, I don't worry about not getting it done on the day that I write it down.
Besides my whiteboard and daily to-do list, I like using Asana for project planning. I use it for larger things, like planning out my YouTube content so I can check off all the little things that go into making videos. But right now, honestly, it's just a white board and a piece of paper. I have a tendency to go down rabbit holes with new product ideas, and if I don't put that idea out on paper then and away from me, I will spend an exorbitant amount of time on it. If I need to snap myself out it, I refer to my daily to-dos, and say, "No girl, you need to settle down, these are your priorities."
My biggest, number one tip of all tips is to batch everything! Batching, it's just everything to me. It is how I get anything done. So, let's say you have five hours to work in the week, you have one hour a day each weekday. Take that Monday and use it to shoot your instagram photos. If you take 21 photos, you’ll have three weeks worth of Instagram content done! 21 photos doesn't seem like that much when you think about it. Your plan for that Monday then looks like this:
Take 21 photos on your phone
Edit them in batches using A Color Story
Pop them into Planoly and schedule them out
That one hour will save you so much time over the next three weeks. And you can just have that running in the background so you can spend the other four hours designing pins, or getting ready for a YouTube video, or whatever it is for you. I love taking one task, completing it, and then moving on to the next thing. That works so much better for my own mental health.
In the beginning, I was doing things piecemeal. I would make a pin and order it and be done. I would take a new photo each day for Instagram. It took so more time and so much more energy than designing a whole bunch of pins at once and releasing a collection, or taking photos all at once and scheduling them out. Batching your tasks will seem like it’s taking longer at first, but once you get it done then it's done. And you don't have to think about Instagram posts again for three weeks, it's amazing.
So, whatever it is that you're doing, I highly recommend batching. And I mentioned before to give yourself some grace. This is why I love my method of using a weekly to-do, with an overall monthly vision. Because your to-do lists are not set in stone each day. As long as you have those larger goals that you're working toward, those things that you know that are going to further your business, like designing that new pin collection or writing an email to your list, then you’ll have a bird’s eye views of your business and your to-dos will be a lot more flexible during the week.
Stay Flexible, but disciplined
Give yourself some grace when you are setting your to-dos for anything in your business. But, while you give yourself grace during the day and during the week, stay disciplined. When you set hard goals for yourself, keep them. You have to hold yourself accountable to move your business forward, especially with pins, because you have set deadlines that you have to meet. If you know want to launch on a certain day, you have to order your pins by a certain day. Which means you have to design them by certain day and have your backing cards ready by a certain day.
You only do yourself a disservice if you don't hold yourself accountable for those things. So, a healthy bit of pressure is good. Don’t bog yourself down with the day-to-day. But when you have those weekly goals and hard deadlines, keep them for yourself because that is what's really going to propel you forward and keep you one step ahead of the other business owners who don't take it as seriously.
So you want to make the most of your time and hold yourself accountable for the goals that you set for your business.
Okay, so that was it. I think the idea of prioritizing your projects based on return on investment with your money and your time is very important. Be sure you enjoy doing that that thing, but I think when you're picking projects to spend your precious time on, definitely prioritize those things that will bring in the revenue you need to keep funneling into your business and growing it.
The idea of having the top-down monthly vision, weekly goals, daily to-do list is a good way to hold yourself accountable and keep everything going. You're prioritizing the necessary things in your business for growth instead of just kind of floundering and spinning your wheels on stuff that doesn't work. So, check down below, I have a freebie that mimics my white board, my favorite thing. I've also got a little daily to-do list for you too, that you can download below.
I love making pins, I love being a business owner, I love doing it part-time and getting full-time money for it. And enamelpins101.com has more information on the e-course that I'll be opening the doors for later, which you can tell is on my to-do list!