Weekly planning blog, never a blog I thought I would write about. I am not the most organised, following a schedule just feels restrictive to me. My fellow creatives will understand. But I am also very self-aware and I know my strengthens and weaknesses. So, with this in mind, I always made being organised and scheduling a priority. It doesn’t come naturally so it is something I have to work on weekly, daily!
When I think about it now (hindsight) I just wonder why this didn’t click earlier. I think as the communities I was in and any courses I did I was always told TIMEBLOCK, TIMEBLOCK, TIMEBLOCK! The wonderful stories about how productive people are now they started time blocking hooked me in big time. I would be so good for a few days or even weeks sometimes. But then it would go! One phone call, an unexpected issue would throw me off all day. Also, a lot of the time I would get to the end of the day with a little bit of each thing done. Feeling so unproductive, stressed and with a bigger list for the next day!
And wow did I find it! My new weekly planning schedule saved me stress and gave me back time! I am guessing I read about this idea somewhere, really not going to try and take credit. But the idea popped into my head that for now while I research I will do one thing a day. So marketing one-day blogs another etc. I will break this down properly below don’t worry. From my research, I soon realised this is a thing for lots of creative entrepreneurs. The one article that really resonated with me was about how we can either have a Maker’s Schedule or a Manager’s schedule.
It talks about how we are taught to have a schedule like a manager from a young age with school and work. Scheduling hours, meetings working with hour slots. The thing with creative people who have creative tasks to complete is that they take longer than an hour and actually being focused for longer than an hour is more than possible when doing something creative. Also, how some people just have this creative mindset and like me, a call, a meeting in the middle of the day just throws me off. Bad or good news unexpectedly usually even throws me off as my focus just goes!
I honestly believe changing my weekly schedule was the best business move I ever made! I will have to adapt this as I go with more wedding meetings and life getting back to normal. But I will always keep a similar structure, especially for my creative days. So it is a similar idea to batching your workload. This is batching but also themed days.
The tool I use for this is asana. I use to have a paper diary and I do still use pads for note jotting but sharing a business and hiring people asana is for me the best tool to plan. I have a board for each month and tasks for each week and work through them on a coordinating day.
I try to also focus on 1 or two platforms also. So I will do a whole day of Pinterest. This means I can usually get a full month of pins for all 3 websites. I do between 5 to 10 pins a day for each site. Easier for Urban as this has older content to repin.
Or I will do Instagram and Facebook. Again try to schedule a full 1/2 weeks for Instagram and usually I can get a month of Facebook done. At the moment my content is being made only a week or 2 ahead. I am in the process of getting 2/3 months ahead so planning and scheduling Instagram and Facebook will be easier to batch.
I know blogging is technically marketing also. But writing blogs to me is more creative and I need to be in the mood and flow. When writing a weekly blog was on my to-do list I would always put it off and find ‘more important things’ to do instead. I would say blog writing and me actually falling in love with the process is all down to this batch daily working. Giving myself an hour to write a blog is just to stressful. The number of times I start my Tuesday and I just start writing and the first blog may never make the cut. but once in the flow I then write good quality content and can batch out 3/4 blogs. Some days only one if a big one.
I also break up days into research days. Days where I just go back over old blogs for urban. Updating content, SEO etc. Some days it is all SEO, research for key words, updating seasonal content for key words and optimizing sites.
This is when I work on weddings. When back to normal I will book clients in for meetings and consultations. Right now things are little different and I am using the day to streamline my client onboarding. Working on client experience and how to make this feel more personal and higher end. While at the same time not taking a large chunk of my time.
I schedule calls for this day with my couple when possible. I work on couples design briefs. Research suppliers and supplies. I also do design training on these days. I love to be always doing some sort of learning, whether it be business, SEO or design.
I work on creating digital products and updating Etsy. Again I break this up so one week I will work on designing and then next week on mockups. Then uploading on to Etsy or website. I have just hired a VA so I can focus more on the design side of things and she does all the uploading for me.
I am working on a wedding and event design course at the moment. Slow progress as I want it to be perfect and cover everything but I also use Thursdays for this.
I leave Friday open for meetings. To catch up with any bits needed in the week I didn’t finish in the week. It is also great for when things pop up I wasn’t expecting I know I can get it sorted on Friday. I also use Friday for filming youtube videos if needed. Or content creation for socials.
I like to keep it open as much as possible and not make my workload to big on a Friday. That way I can hopefully be done earlier afternoon ready for the weekend ahead. We also loan a horse so I have to be done to go see Archie.
If I don’t have a wedding I will have the day off. I sometimes also film on Saturdays. Sometimes I am not in the mood to film on Friday or I have some left to film of that week’s video. If I am working I try to do it early and be done by 12 at the latest. I am getting better at taking time off, workaholic over here!
Again another mainly day off. I look over my week and add any important bits to do that week on each day. Also, I like to learn on Sundays so will do some reading, watch a webinar etc. I usually, listen to at least one podcast a day anyway and youtube on in the background with certain tasks. I am a big believer in learning and always developing my knowledge to help me grow as a person and business.
I hope you found this blog post useful. If you are struggling with scheduling your week or feel you are just not getting anything done. Give this a try and see how you get on! I think others think I sound a bit dramatic when talking about this but it has honestly changed my life! I would like to hear your thoughts, any scheduling tips you may have. Let me know in the comments below.