Time and energy: two of life’s most precious resources when it comes to running a business. Whether you’re a creative freelancer, an entrepreneur, or a small business owner, knowing how to manage these elements is crucial. It can feel like balancing on a see-saw — you either have time on your hands but no energy or enthusiasm to harness. Or you have a fantastic burst of creativity but are bogged down with day-to-day business tasks.
How can you strike that happy medium?
Read on for some top tips on managing your time and energy so you can grow your creative business.
Why is time management tricky for creatives?
You can’t force creativity. Trying to design, write, or make when you’re running on empty simply serves to drain you further. On the other hand, when you do feel inspired, you might find you need to try different things out — and that trial and error approach can be time-consuming. Likewise, once you’re in the creative zone, it’s easy for time to slip away, and you can be left with a long to-do list of essential (albeit dull) business tasks.
So, what can you do to get the best of both worlds?
To get jobs done, you need to know what needs doing. Writing a to-do list can help you organise your thoughts and visualise your day’s work. You may wish to do this in a traditional way, with a pen and paper or look at project management software.
Once you know what needs doing, you can focus on the most important areas. This will mean you waste less time and energy on low-value tasks and make progress on high-value ones. In turn, this can provide a motivation boost — once you’re on a roll, you’ll only get more and more tasks ticked off.
Have you heard of the Pomodoro method or the Eisenhower matrix? These tried-and-tested time management techniques can help you work out what tasks need to be completed and in which order.
Don’t be afraid to say “No”
Do you find yourself taking on more work than you can handle and then experiencing burnout? Working freelance or running your own business is very different from employed work and you may feel pressured to say “yes” to every potential client. But if you feel exhausted or you’re working long hours every day to fit all the work in, it can be detrimental to your wellbeing and your output.
Don’t be afraid to let clients or customers know you’re at capacity right now.
Take a Break
Just as working too much overtime can leave you feeling drained, focusing for a solid eight hours can be exhausting. If you find your enthusiasm waning, step away from your workspace. Whether you go for a short walk, sit down for a coffee or do some stretches, a change of pace and scenery can help revive you and reignite your creative energy.
Another way to avoid burnout is to share the workload. Once you’ve prioritised the tasks on your to-do list, you’ll likely find that you can’t fit them all into one working day — and nor should you need to. Are there any jobs you can outsource? Delegating to another team member or hiring a virtual assistant can really take the pressure off, allowing you to focus on that all-important creativity.
Support from a virtual assistant
Embracing your creativity while navigating the world of business can seem daunting. But with the right tools and habits, you can find greater balance and manage your time and energy more effectively.
If you need a hand with everything from admin and research to customer service and lifestyle management, a virtual assistant can offer valuable support. By taking on daily tasks for you, a virtual assistant (VA) can help you focus on the creative work you enjoy — and ultimately achieve better results.
For VA services in the UK, contact Erin at Bizzybee today.