Time Management

My to-do list on iGoogle seems to be getting longer and longer.  Being self-employed does not mean I sit at home in my pajamas all day.  I have only done that twice since the new year and I will only allow myself to do that once a month!  But, even in pajamas, I’m working like Santa’s elf day dreaming, building, and cultivating my skills.

I also check Facebook.  I read creative and photography blogs.  I tweet.  And, I answer emails.  A lot.  In fact, probably too much during the day.

After the first month of being self-employed I realized this: I drive like, everywhere now.  No longer is it just to and from work – I’m driving all around the Phoenix Valley.  Client meetings, networking lunches and coffee, errand running, the list goes on and on.  It’s amazing how much maintenance life requires, right?  My first month I found myself spending twice I normally do in gas.  Ugh.

So, I have created a list to help you, my fellow self-employed, ambitious ADD business friends some help to be more efficient.  Even if you don’t run a business but you find yourself with never enough time, here are some pointers.

  • Get Google Reader. It will save you so much time when you subscribe to blogs – you can see all the latest updates in one feed opposed to checking and clicking every blog.
  • Limit your Blog stalking. When it comes to reading blogs, don’t do it every day (unless it’s mine of course – heh) or if you do, only do it once a day.  You will see the latest blog posts the next day if you’re checking, trust me, you won’t miss it.
  • Run your errands on designated days. The post office, dry cleaning, grocery shopping, appointments in one day.  That way you can do multiple stops and save money on gas.
  • Take an OFF day once a week. I do this as often as I can and especially after a big trip (like WPPI or a wedding).  I designate a day as “OFF” and put it on my calendar. I don’t schedule anything on that day.  But, if an opportunity comes up, then I decide to book that day as I get closer and realize I don’t need it off.
  • Blog ahead of time – do it a week out.  Don’t blog every day and schedule your blog posts.
  • Stop checking your Facebook feed or Twitter. You do know that the info will stay in the feed right?  It won’t vanish.  And, Facebook gives you notifications when you log in for all the updated news if someone logs into your Facebook or comments.  So, stop checking every minute.
  • Check email twice a day. It’s hard with the cell phone access to email, but if you check and answer all just a few times, you’ll be absolutely amazed at how quickly you tackle your inbox.  No one needs a respond ASAP, this isn’t corporate anymore. Even if it were, if it was an emergency, you’d get a phone call, not an email.
  • Establish some work hours. 10 to 4?  7 to 6?  You’re the boss, you set the hours.  Then, turn off the computer and step away!

Diana Elizabeth has created sheets of paper with days listed at the top for her week for any errands she must run in between her client meetings or shoots.  She finds it helps a lot, or she can do all her errand running on a random day like Tuesday which makes things easier.

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.


  • Nicole L

    I needed that. You are amazing by the way!!! I am only doing photography part time, but I also work a “normal” full time job and do the accounting and book-keeping for my family’s businesses, and sometimes I feel like I am on the go from 6:30am ’til after midnight . . . I finally took 3 days off (ok, so I checked my e-mail and FB once a day, but that is a significant decrease) and took a trip, and I crashed!!! It was fabulous!!! I will make it a point to rest more often!!! It was kind of fun ;-)


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