If you're like the design professionals I know, you're working your butt off and putting clients first. Monday through Friday is non-stop GO GO GO. And when Friday rolls in, you feel overwhelmed again with all the tasks and to-dos.
So, what's the best way to get stuff done when you're feeling too busy?
Here are three steps that help my clients stay sane and end the week feeling ready for relaxation...
#1 - Get it Out of Your Head
Thinking about everything you need to do is EXHAUSTING! Carrying all of your to-do's around takes up valuable mental energy. The most crucial time management habit is "to download" everything from your mind into a project management tool. When you have the right team and PM tool, these thoughts can quickly become tasks.
Pair that habit with assigning tasks to people and setting deadlines, and boom…Now your mind is free and clear to do what you do best.
PRO TIP: Don't email your brain dump list to your assistant or junior designer. Trust me, it stresses them out, making tasks less likely to get done!
Pro Tip: Don't email your brain dump list to your assistant or junior designer. Trust me, it stresses them out, and tasks are less likely to get done!
#2 - Focus on money-making tasks
When faced with a mountain of to-dos, ask yourself this simple question: What are the money-making tasks?
As the business owner & CEO, you need to prioritize the money-making tasks. Focus on the tasks that will bring money into your design firm and get them done FIRST. So then, if your day goes off the rails, you know you've done the work that matters. When you prioritize the money-making tasks (not the busy work), you will feel fired up & focused.
#3 - Delegate, Delegate, and Follow Up
Take a look at your to-do list right now and ask yourself: "Do I need to be the person to do this?"
By default, you may think you should do the task at hand because you know how to do it, and it would save time overall. Believe me; I know this story well. But there comes a time when that isn't sustainable and not what's best for you and your business.
Quote: "When you do the work, the capacity of your team nevers scales beyond you." Todd Henry, Be the Leader that Creative People Need (2018)
Remember that running a business is also about teaching. Empower those who support you with the right direction and tools to complete the work. Once you have delegated the tasks and set a deadline, follow up and review it with your team. It might feel like you just swapped one task for another, but I promise you will see better results and progress along the way.
Hey there- if we haven’t had a chance to meet yet, I’m Kirstin, a former corporate gal turned small business owner who virtually supports female entrepreneurs. I believe it is possible to design a business that prioritizes your well-being.
In a complimentary 30-minute call, we can discuss your challenges, and I can share some suggestions. Maybe we'll decide what working together might look like. I know that taking time to reflect on your business and gain an outside perspective will make a huge difference.
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