As an online entrepreneur, you might feel overwhelmed with all there is to do and you might feel desperate for some time management ideas that actually work.
- social media
- blog and website stuff
- content creation
- tech things
- management of your team if you have one
- and many other tasks
You also might:
- be distracted by interruptions or the bazillion courses, webinars and free offers that try to get your attention
- have a to-do list that’s a mile long
- and feel like you’re being pulled in 47 directions at once
Probably you also have lots of other things in your life, too :).
And if you’re a non-structured personality type, you might struggle even more to find organization and time management tools that actually work for you.
We’re all unique and we all have different personalities.
Some people are more structured and orderly, so the more structured time management systems fit for them.
Most of the stuff that’s out there is suited for people who like that structure.
Which is kinda the problem :). ‘Cause not everyone has that personality type.
Some people are more spontaneous and random.
If you’re more like this, you love freedom and color and stuff out everywhere in your environment. You go a bit crazy with the typical time saving tips. Those tips and strategies make you feel confined or stuck in a box that you wanna escape from. You need some sort of freedom and flexibility.
The time management ideas and tools you’ve tried just don’t work for you.
It’s possible that you feel:
- that you suck at the whole time management and organization thing
- that you’re a failure because you just can’t fit into the box that seems to be necessary in order to manage your time and get organized
- judged as disorganized, messy or chaotic
- or guilty or bad for not wanting to use file folders or binders or plan everything out in minute detail
The truth is that you shouldn’t have to fit into the box.
And you’re not a failure.
You just function in your own way. You’re organized in your own way that works for you. And your way is just as good!
The structured way isn’t the only way or the right way. It’s just the way that’s out there and known about, so everything is judged from that viewpoint.
Luckily, there are different types of time management that you can use that might fit your nature better.
What are these other types of time management?
Here are a few suggestions based on the qualities listed above (preference for random, spontaneous stuff, color, more stuff out and about, freedom and flexibility).
1. Gotta Love Sticky Notes
Make a sticky note planner (click for a pic) but make one for each day, instead of for a week. Put a sticky of the day at the top (so it would say, “Goal List for Monday” or whatever day) and each day, decide what you’re going to do that day. Post those things with colorful sticky notes. Move them around if you want. Ha! You get to do that with sticky notes :).
2. Random-ish Task Lists
Put your tasks for the day on colored note paper and stick them in a basket or some other kind of container on your desk. Pull them out randomly one at a time and do whichever one you pull out. Keep going until they’re done.
You still get everything done, but it’s more unstructured and a bit more fun.
3. Boards Aren’t Boring
Use a whiteboard and write stuff in colored markers. Write it randomly, write it as mind maps, write it however you want :).
Use a bulletin board or cork board and post sticky notes or index cards with stuff to do written on them.
Put up that stick-on-the-wall chalkboard stuff and write your tasks all over it or paint a wall with chalkboard paint and do the same thing.
4. Piles, Piles and More Piles
Use piles. Piles let you have all your stuff out there in front of you where you need it, but they keep it organized.
Have one pile for writing ideas (that way, you don’t HAVE to keep all your blog post ideas in that one annoying notebook that you don’t write them all in), one pile for financial stuff, one pile for social media stuff, one pile for products, etc.
Keep your piles on your desk, on your floor, on a table, on a shelf or pack them around with you. Or use different colored bins to put your piles in. Clear ones are also cool because you can still see all the stuff.
You can even mark important papers with sticky tabs so they’re easy to see in the pile.
5. Unique Planners
There are some planners now that are designed with creative people in mind. Leonie Dawson has a great one that I love using. You can see it here (affiliate link).
6. Break It Up
If you have to be more structured when you have appointments and deadlines, you can plan for a completely fun and frivolous break during your more structured day.
Get away from the rigidity for a bit and do something you love. At least you get the feeling of freedom and flexibility this way!
7. Decorate It
Use a blank sheet of paper for your daily plan. On the paper, randomly write down what needs to be done that day. Even decorate it so it’s fun and colorful. Keep it on your desk or somewhere accessible. Cross the items off with a highlighter or colored pen as you complete them.
This keeps you on track and gives you organization without being rigid.
8. Color It
Use colors with whatever other tool you use.
Incorporate color coding into your Google calendar.
If you print hard copies and keep things in binders or file folders, print blog stuff on pink, financial stuff on white, social media stuff on green, product stuff on purple. Whatever. That way, you can tell what’s what at a quick glance. Or if you don’t want to use colored paper, print in different colors of ink.
Use highlighters, markers, dry erase markers, colored chalk or colored pencils to write on whatever surface you like.
Makes it more fun :).
9. Themes Totally Rock
Have theme days.
You could do blog posts on Monday, social media posts and scheduling on Tuesday, client work on Wednesday, admin stuff on Thursday and newsletters on Friday. Or whatever works for you.
Or give the themes more fun names like Media Monday, Team Tuesday, Writing Wednesday, Tech Thursday or Fun Friday.
10. Work to the Beat of Your Own Drum
Go with your body’s natural rhythm.
It’s not a rule that you have to get up early or work in the morning. Work whenever you have the most energy. Maybe that’s late at night.
Also, you might prefer to write in the morning but work with clients in the afternoon.
Whatever works for you is cool.
So, what do you think of these different types of time management? What do you do if you hate structured schedules? Please share your ideas in the comments.