A few months back I sat myself down and made a plan. I wanted to be releasing new design projects more often and creating content more regularly. I needed structure and a routine that worked for me the problem was I couldn't visualise it. I had tried bullet journaling which I really like but I got preoccupied in making it pretty and I was never far enough ahead with my journal that it actually helped. I have very limited time, being a mum, that I needed something that I could plan months ahead, I needed every month to have a similar layout that could be tweaked around school holidays, the school run and sick days. I want to be more present on social media without feeling like I am struggling for ideas and I wanted to be able to edit and view this both on my computer and on the go, with notifications to keep me on track.
STEP ONE: CREATE A FAMILY/PERSONAL CALENDAR
Your personal calendar impacts what time you have to work on your small business, so the first thing I did was create a visual family/personal routine.
First I wrote down a list of all the tasks I need to do on a weekly basis, such as school run, D&D sessions, term times, etc.
Second I put these onto my calendar, which could be a paper one, email calendar or phone calendar as repeating events with no end date.
Now I could see what my time looked like visually.
STEP TWO: CREATE A WORK WEEK
First I made a list of all the reoccurring tasks I do weekly, plus tasks I could do that would help my business run smoothly, such as weekly inventory checks, check ins with myself to evaluate what I have been doing.
Then I wrote down a list of weekly goals, things that I would like to accomplish each week, this could be a social media post every day, a blog post a week, a reel a week, things that would push me to create regular content.
Lastly I added these to my calendar at scheduled times and set them as reoccurring events.
Putting these goals and tasks into my calendar helped me see all the tasks I needed to do and by when giving me a better visual of my week, you can also add in monthly tasks. The lovely thing is I can move these tasks around if one takes longer than expected or I suddenly have the kid home sick.
STEP THREE: BREAKING DOWN PROJECTS
First I wrote down a list of big goals, what would I like to achieve, this could be a new line, a new product, a new design collection or something like setting up a vlog, joining a new social media platform or creating a podcast.
Next I wrote down everything I would need to do to achieve that goal all the smaller tasks, no matter how small I wrote them down.
Next I looked at these smaller tasks and worked out based on my previous completion of them how long I felt each would take, plus if there were tasks that needed others done first in order to complete them. Writing them down in an order of priority helped me to group them and organise them.
Lastly I added them to my calendar as smaller week long events with an overview of what would be done that week or as individual events if they were specific special tasks. I also listed all the rest of the tasks into a task manager under the weeks header, this gives me a repeatable tick list of tasks related to that week.
Breaking down my project into separate weeks or stages and tasks really helped me to create a monthly based project that I could repeat every month and made it feel a lot more achievable.
STEP FOUR: HOLDING YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
WHAT PROGRAMMES OR APPS DO I USE?