Time Management and Knowing When to Go to Bed.

Susan: How do you know when to go to bed at night when operating your own, handcrafted business? The Husband? The Dog? A smartphone alarm?

Ah, the question about time management and life priorities… How we as business owners know when to stop working and get some rest.

Benjamin Franklin once said “Leisure is the time for doing something useful. This leisure the diligent person will obtain the lazy one never.”

I am a diligent person. I enjoy work.

This used to be a huge problem for me. In fact, I really struggled with drawing lines around work and play time. But no longer.

And the reason is simple: I don’t sweat it.

That’s right, if I want to stay up super late working, I do that. If I wake up at 3:00 in the morning in a panic because I have to get a newsletter out or update the website, I do that. If I want to drink a bottle of wine and binge-watch Amy Schumer, I do that.

I’ve been experimenting with the “oh whatever, flip it” time management program for the last few months and it’s working out ok.

There are a couple exceptions:

  1. Orders must be processed, no matter what. If I’m tired and want to have a glass (bottle) of wine, but I have orders to process, I process the orders.
  2. If I have an event or show coming up in less than 24 hours, I do not mess around. I prepare for the event. There’s way too much at stake at these events for me to work on anything else except for preparation.
  3. Now that I’m doing the blog challenge, if I ever have a spare moment, I work on a blog entry. Even if I don’t want to work on it, I have to work on it. For example, I was working on an AWESOME blog post about how we make our scent blends, but the browser crashed and I lost everything. But here I am, writing another post because I freaking have to.

People marvel at how much stuff we get done. But keep in mind, we don’t have regular day jobs. This means that, whereas most people have 8 - 10 hours of work for someone else every day, we can have 15 - 20 hours to work on our own projects for our business! And 15 - 20 hours every day is A LOT OF TIME.

When I worked at Oprah, my biggest complaint was that of the 8 - 10 hours I was expected to be at work, I only had 1 - 2 hours of meaningful work. The rest was just mucking around on email and in meetings.

Do you feel that way?

Well, imagine if you replaced those 6 - 8 hours of organizational stuff related to working closely with other people with 4 - 6 hours of PRODUCTIVE time (and 2 or so hours of mucking around on the internet).

Imagine if you focused on productivity and efficiency… you could get twice the things done in half the time. And more importantly, you’d feel FINISHED when you got to the end of a work day.

And that’s what causes a good night of sleep. Sweet dreams! You earned ‘em!

Side note: I recommend reading anything written by Benjamin Franklin. He was pretty amazing.

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