If you’re in the creative space, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and like EVERYTHING on your to-do list is urgent.
Where do we start if we want to find balance and decide what things take priority?
I was able to sit down with Renee Marie at Bridal Beauty Confidence Podcast to talk about some tips for better time management for creatives. Check out the episode here, or read on for the strategies we discussed!
If you’re searching for balance in the chaos of life, the first thing you need to know is this: Work-life balance is a feeling – not a formula. Work-life balance feels different for everyone, and you have to decide what it means for you.
Typically we know when we’re off balance. Life feels out of whack, we’re exhausted, and we feel like we’re being pulled in many different directions. But you have to decide what balance feels like for YOU.
That being said, we might have seasons of preparation and rest so we can have other seasons of work. We shouldn’t be in a season of growth and work all the time… if we are, we are risking burnout.
Balance is not a 50/50 formula. You’ll have to decide what percentages make sense for you and your life, because you’ll know it when you’ve got it.
The first strategy I like to implement in moments of overwhelm is a mind sweep.
You might call it a brain dump, but honestly, I think that sounds kind of gross! So I call it a “mind sweep” instead. I take out pen and paper and write down everything swirling in my head. Then, I break it into 4 different categories:
- Things you must do
- Things you should do
- Things you want to do
- Things that you could do
Every single thing on your list falls into one of those categories. We have to be careful with our categorizing. Not everything on your to-do list is a “must do” – when we think it is, that’s when we get overwhelmed.
When you’re able to decide what you MUST do, that’s what you tackle first. Then, you move onto the rest of the things.
My next strategy involves categorizing tasks on your to-do list by priority level. You can categorize your priorities in 3 ways: boulders, big rocks, and pebbles.
Boulders are the things that are important, but not urgent, so they tend to fall on the backburner. For example, a weekly routine where you go through your notes and take action from those notes, or a weekly planning session, are boulders. These tasks aren’t urgent… but you’re not going to show up as your best self if you don’t do them.
Big rocks are things that are important AND urgent. For example, client work, project work, and anything with a deadline are big rocks. These are the things that really move the needle in the progress of your work.
Pebbles are little tasks that take up small amounts of time here and there. Making a dentist appointment, going to the Post Office, or prepping an Amazon return are examples of pebbles. We can easily get distracted by pebbles if we’re not careful.
After you’ve categorized your tasks, schedule your boulders first, followed by big rocks, and lastly, pebbles.
Stay Organized in ONE Place
Finally, as far as staying organized, find one digital place to capture notes and ideas and one low-tech place (like a notebook) to capture notes and ideas.
If you have all of your notes and ideas scattered across many different platforms, you’ll waste time and mental energy and feel frustrated trying to manage it all – so choose ONE place for digital and ONE or low-tech. And then start incorporating those in your weekly routine just like it’s a boulder!