Truth: Life moves quickly and if you're not at the top of your game, you'll get trampled by the bullish (but essential) to-dos. Don't run away from the challenge. Tame that bull like a boss. Here, 16 time, life, and content management tips you can use this week to own your wild schedule.
See the rest of the list after the break!
Source: Flickr user infrogmation
- Automate your life — Ever wonder why Steve Jobs wore the same thing to work everyday? It was so that he could focus on what needed to get done instead of worrying about what he wore to the office. Planning a week's worth of wardrobe, meals, and workouts ahead of time save you stress and precious minutes (not to mention money). Sure, it may seem a little OCD at first, but at least you know you won't have to stand in front of your closet for 20 minutes trying to piece an outfit together. And think of all that cash you'll save by bringing your lunch to work!
- Start an email detox — Who says you have to be at the beck and call of your inbox? Nobody. If you jump to your keyboard every time you hear the "ding!" of Outlook, put yourself on an email diet and only answer messages during designated times. This will help you stay focused on other tasks and by setting aside blocks of time to answer everything that comes in, you'll actually feel like you got more done. And that, my friends, will save your sanity.
- Get up earlier — Just look at every successful female CEO, and you'll find that she gets up at the crack of dawn for an invigorating sweat session, to answer emails, or to brainstorm new, juicy and delicious ideas for her company. Emulate her by getting up an hour or two earlier than you normally do. This is an excellent strategy if you have a day job and need more time to work on your side biz. If this sounds ridiculous, ease into things by setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier every week until you hit your target. I started getting up an hour and a half earlier to work on this blog and develop upcoming products and let me tell you, I go to bed feeling exquisitely and elegantly satisfied knowing that I'm working towards something real. Something that's mine. I am full-blown, hard core, crazy in love with 4:30 a.m. and what it has enabled me to do.
- Work in blocks of time — An organized schedule is essential to keeping a busy day from snowballing into a runaway train. Sectioning off your time for work and rest is a great way to keep from getting overwhelmed. For every 50 minutes of work time, take 10 minutes to get up, walk around, stretch, have your own office dance party with your favorite tunes (this comes highly recommended), or simply zone out. Be unproductive. A desktop or smartphone timer can come in handy for this.
- Devote certain tasks to specific days — You can set up your week like Twitter and Square CEO, Jack Dorsey, where every day is devoted to accomplishing tasks in different areas of your business. If you're running a side hustle, thematic days will keep you on track during your "off the clock" hours as well. For example, Tuesdays can be devoted to the design of your businesses website, Wednesdays can be all about writing a weeks worth of blog posts in one day, so on and so forth.
See the rest of the list after the break!
- Get your content goals in order — Athletes don't decide to become Olympians without a plan to get there and neither should you. Have a content and business strategy in place. Cover the how, when, and why's of content creation, and what you'll do with it after its created. Why are you creating this content? Who is it for? How often will you create it? How will you market this content? What social networks will you use to amplify the content's message? What does success look like to you — is it more sales or visits to your website? All of these questions need to be answered before you begin so you don't get off track down the road.
- Brainstorm with other businesswomen in your niche — There's no reason you can't cultivate a strong network of fun, feisty, and fierce businesswomen who get together and discuss content topics relating to your industry. If you're worried about competition, don't be — there is plenty of Internet traffic to go around. Why not build a link partnership around the different areas of your industry? Example time: if you're in the food biz, grab a baker, a chef, a restaurateur, a fitness expert and a cookbook author, and you have a pretty amazing subset of women who love to talk about the same things (likely over a few cocktails). Brainstorm content ideas together, touching on all of those ideas in your own way, then link to each other weekly. You'll be sharing all that new traffic, and this ladies, will help you grow faster.
- Plan your content ahead of time — Having an editorial content calendar will save you time. That's a fact. So plan your content (blog posts, videos, interviews, and accompanying social media marketing) ahead of time. Start with a broad overview once a month that includes upcoming holidays, themes and events in your niche, then revisit each week and revise with current events.
- Set a time limit for your social media marketing - Nurturing your community should be a top priority while you're in blog start-up mode (since it can lead to more sales in the long run), but it can yield epic levels of stress if you don't manage it. Try setting aside ten minutes every two to three hours to engage on Twitter, check Facebook for activity, and respond to any blog comments. I'm a huge fan of completing tasks in chunks of time instead of trying to stay on top of everything as it happens. Cause really, stacking rocks is easier than fishing in a river with your hands. That analogy right there? Yeah, I just made that up.
- Rescuetime — Do you have a problem with procrastination? A serious addiction to surfing the web when you should be working? Rescuetime can help you figure out how you're spending your time online so you can make the most of your day. This program tracks what you're doing on your computer (don't worry, it's all very private and secure. No Big Bro here.) giving you a reading on if you're working, surfing, screwing around, or idling. If you're serious about amping up your productivity to 11, check this program out.
- Taskrabbit — When shit starts hitting the proverbial fan, you may not have time to be "everywoman" and run your biz, do the laundry, make dinner, and clean up the house in one day. That's where Taskrabbit comes in. This site gives you access to thousands of vetted and reliable people that will do odd jobs, chores, and tasks that you don't have time to do. Want someone to put together that Ikea bookshelf you bought last month? Done. Need someone to enter data for you? No problemo. How about getting someone to stand in line for you for a Saturday night showing of The Bourne Legacy, or when the next iPhone hits shelves in September? That can be arranged.
- Hootsuite — My go-to tool for scheduling, monitoring, and engaging with my social media channels, Hootsuite does it all in one fell swoop of it's adorable wings. Forget jumping around from Twitter.com to Facebook.com, to your company's Google+ or Foursquare page, you can do it all right here. And now coming with the ability to auto schedule tweets at peak times, you don't need any other tool for your social media efforts. Just use this. No really. It's free.
- Google Apps For Business — Did you know that you have a wealth of collaboration tools at your perfectly manicured fingertips and probably didn't even know it? Google Apps For Business offers up all of Google's cloud services — from Docs to Calendars, to files storage, even your own personalized Gmail email domains — for free for up to 10 team members, so you and your employees can work on projects and keep up to date files in single streamlined environment. Consider it like your own private VIP party, except, you know . . . at work.
- Evernote — Available on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows, and — shocker — WebOS devices, Evernote (Free) is my must-have app for capturing reminders, whether in webpage, photo, or note form. It's like a little assistant that you keep in your Marc Jacobs at all times.
- DivvyHQ — This content calendar service acts and looks a lot like a Google Calendar, but your work is stored on their servers and seems pretty easy to use. It's free for one user, but paid plans go up to $150 a month and beyond.
- Contently — A service that not only helps journalists feature and find work, Contently has built a content calendar platform that helps you organize and plan.
Source: Flickr user infrogmation