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How to Get More Done

Lesson 12 of 17

How to Make Your Time More Effective

Tara Swiger

How to Get More Done

Tara Swiger

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Lesson Info

12. How to Make Your Time More Effective

Lesson Info

How to Make Your Time More Effective

Now, if you just need more time, that thing you khun dio to get more time without the working this space time continuum is to make it more effective. Make how you're spending your time more effective towards reaching your goals. So I love this quote, this is from ten paris in the four hour work week, and its effectiveness is doing things that get you closer to your goals where efficiency is performing a given task, whether important or not, in the most economical manner possible, super important distinction effectiveness is doing things towards a goal. Just being efficient, like machines are efficient, they can just do something over and over with no sense of purpose, with no sense of, like taking you closer to your goal stirred so people always ask me like, I want to get more efficient, I want to be faster, faster, faster and doing things. What matters more is that you work on the things that matter. What makes the changes in your business business growth comes from being effective wi...

th your time, not necessarily doing everything really fast. So, like, I'm not really ah person does things really fast, I have to like, think about it and ponder it and like, maybe sleep on it, and so I'm not extremely efficient, basically. Anything but, but I could be effective at moving towards my business by taking the action that I need to take. So when we talk about making time or effective that's, what I'm talking about not doing, ah, bunch of something that doesn't matter, and this goes back to internal rules. Sometimes we say, I need to have done fifty of something in order to have have been productive today, when in fact, if you do one really important thing, that's enough, if you did one really important thing towards your goal each day, you'd be so much closer than if you did fifty of something, it didn't matter. So we're going to talk about how to make your time more effective, and this is in your workbook on page sixteen, I'm going to ask you all kinds of questions, I might explain what I mean, and then I want you to write down how you can do this for yourself. It is important that we apply this to your current situation, and I hear your examples to sow the first way to make your time more effective is to make it sacred, and what I mean by sacred, sacred, just means set apart, so I want you to set apart the time and keep it just for the thing you're setting it apart for. Right that's the whole part of the system we're talking about right now is setting aside time, but you're set aside time needs to be like special right? Maybe you turn on the music and you light the candle or you sit at the place that's most productive for you to sit we're doing something to make it just this and you don't let other things infringe on it now that said, sometimes the chunk of time you're making sacred is like ten minutes while somebody else does something else that's fine not everything is going to be like a two hour the candles are lit, the music is going from like getting all romantic with my work that night is going to be just like fast, but in that fast time you're doing the thing you're doing not fifty other things goes back to having all the tabs open the back like clicking around too much the time that you spend working keep it very whether it's small or big keep it focused and then so that is the first step to making an effective is making and other things not like infiltrate into your work time and the second thing is the batch tasks and by that I mean do similar things at the same time so instead of making one wallet and then tomorrow making one wallet if it makes sense uh cut the leather and I'm guessing here what the steps are cut the leather for two or three well it's at a time so your matching the cutting process and maybe matching the sewing process you batch emails which we're going to talk about in a minute females are a big time suck batch answering all your emails supposed to answering one email when it comes in and another email when it comes in which will just keep you answering email and forever you want teo put it all together do it at one time and there are so many things you can match it back to block post match email newsletters kind of every kind of bit of marketing you khun batch tasks within your making in that shipping you know what we do is we print all of the shipping labels and then I sit down and I put them on all the packages then I sign all the books and I put all the books and all the packages I batch each section that way if we stop at any point I know I can just go back into the next thing also it's helpful if you run out of packaging we ran out of tape I know what part of the kind of assembly line I'm in so batch task I want you to answer the first question was on page sixteen when will you work this week identify one chunk of time so I'm asking you guys to set aside the time is what we've been talking about how to set aside time I want you guys to pick a time and set it aside and then be specific about what you're going to do in that chunk if you guys have regular working times, you can write that down and write what you're going to dio and then look at which of your tasks can you bench? What could you batch now that maybe you don't match you do it a bit here a bit there a bit here, but could you batch altogether and then use what works? So we talked in segment one about everything that you know works for you to be productive, so now's the time to put that into play to use what you know works for you and apply it so if that I forced myself to work at this location but I know I'm more productive at this location or I forced myself to listen to this music, but I know that this music makes more productive going to take what you know works and apply it when you work and then the last thing to make her time effective is to do what matters and that means you're identifying what your goal is and the steps that will get you there and then you're working on those steps you are ignoring all of the eleven steps to make instagram or awesome you're ignoring all the extra border post all the other things you could be doing everything else and you're focusing in on what matters to you and your goals it's the best way to make your time effective because if you're chasing everything else you could possibly be doing in your business, then your time might be efficient you might get a lot done, but I won't be effective as and it's not moving you towards your goal. So then I want you guys to answer the questions on uh sixteen and you can start to move on to page seventeen and then tell me what in everything we've talked about could you do to make the time that you have more effective? Where do you feel like you you could improve or what are the things that you want to do when you go home to make your time more effective? Would you like to share? I have one in terms of a project or task that like to do you want to get back is to create a outreach plan. So in terms of, uh how could make my time more effective? I think perhaps one of the first things would be teo like really perhaps develop a customer profile because from there I can figure out then who's that I'm looking for versus randomly I'm really good at randomness on to it just, you know, be on linkedin or just continue to scroll or look a directory, so maybe that's, probably. Yeah, you know exactly who you're looking for that when you do the task it's effective towards your goal, you not just random. I like that. I like that a lot, and I think you're going toe. Yeah, I definitely think that, um, email checking that on very specific times throughout the day would be great. I have this, I don't know, I just have this tendency to think someone needs something someone's changing something someone has to request, and to be honest, it doesn't, you know, waiting to three hours, not a big deal, even with facebook groups, there's a lot of creative facebook groups, I belong, teo, and so I always feel like I need to keep up with what they're talking about and what's been posted in what project, and, um, I'm not sure why I haven't done that. I do this, I do this so efficiently with snail mail, who are only my mailbox is twenty feet from my front door, but I on ly take it in on tuesday because the recycling bin goes out on tuesday, I'm so visually distracted by things by catalogs and magazines that I pulled the bin out open the mailbox and its church nothing goes in the house and I come in with like letters otherwise that or the bills will constantly distract me, but I'm horrible at doing that digitally because it's so accessible right in front of me yes and that's such a great realization because you're taking what's working in one system in your life on applying it but totally digitally you can do the same thing and a key to that is you might want to turn off notifications if facebook is telling you every time that somebody posted a group you're a member of then that is like bringing the mail in your house you know you're saying hey facebook, fill up my the life with all of your notifications and the same thing with emails so I make it so that your email doesn't get you nothing alerts you know numbers pop out at you you want you want to go collect it when you're ready to collect it on dh not have it jumping towards you all the time I'm coming in and then let us know a swell here so we have kita who said I matched my block post for the first time the other day and it made a world of difference so plan to do the same with my mean newsletters two excellent hatching and somebody else said that they were also doing that let's say we have christine veiled woman who says from eight a m to nine a m I will gather a product of a certain type to photograph and prepare the backdrop. Nine to eleven I will shoot eleven, take a lunch break eleven thirty to twelve, gather another product group, prepare the backdrop and twelve to two. Two shoot. So getting out of that down into down to the details. And we're going to talk about that segment for the the show, which sounds like she likes things super scheduled on. I just want to let you guys know, what do you think about your time for working? You do not have to super schedule it if you're not a scoop or scheduler, so I like things more free form, and so I couldn't work that scheduled, but I have a client, uh, who wants everything on the calendar, and I'm actually going to tell you guys about how she made it work in the next segment. But I that is key to know how much you want to be scheduled and also what will make you more effective and what will make you feel bad about yourself? So if you were a person who needs it more free form and you make it like a really tight schedule and you can't stick to it, you're gonna feel awful about your work today at the end of it because you didn't stick to it. But that's an internal rule no one else is making you sick to that but yourself. So she mentioned matching dog posting that reminded me the thing I loved the batch is social media and people have various opinions, but I know that you and teacher mentioned later, graham, and that lets you batch instagram posts so you can schedule more than just posting right now. You khun do five or six, so getting ready for this class I put like pictures in there that said, like one week laughed and yeah, I'm going to create a five and I did them all at once and but I didn't want to put them all on my feet at once, so I scheduled them to go out over the next week or two, and I also like to use buffer you mentioned sweet, which is another social media scheduler I liked he's, buffer, it's just something very similar, and what I try to do is on mondays or tuesdays I look att I find links to share with my people that I think they'll enjoy, and I scheduled them in buffer so that I'm constantly sharing on twitter and facebook things that I think will help my people but without me spending all of my time like just reading the internet and being like that's interesting that's interesting that's interesting is very easy to just click around, so when I see something interesting, I can add it to buffer right then or I can save it for later. Now another thing I batch is reading the internet, so on I realized I didn't I didn't have this in my notes, but then I used it yesterday and I thought, why didn't I put that my notes? Because so there's app called pocket and you can save kind of anything articles on the internet to pocket and I have pocket on my phone and my ipad, and you don't have to be online to read it, but so when people e mail me interesting links, when twitter shares interesting links and I open them and all the different tabs, what I do to get rid of them all as they save them all to the ap pocket, you can also save them to ever know you concerned them to yourself an email every email inbox isn't scary like mine. And I close the tap so I batch instead of reading things whenever they come to me whenever the world thinks I need to read them, I saved them all for later and then I batch all my reading and then usually what I do at that point as I also share them and buffer so I'm reading articles sharing at reading it, sharing it and I have a specific time where I'm allowed to read the internet as part of my work but it's not just other ways of a takeover there's so many great things to read social media is giving you so much good knowledge so that's another way of matching tasks how'd you guys do you have any things you currently dio to make your day effective that you're proud ofthe I also want to hear that people always have better ideas and I have yeah, well, I can be kind of intermittent with this, but I do always go back to it and it started way back in the nineties with uh the artist's way and I do morning pages just stream of consciousness writing in the morning and then after that I do it a short meditation or visualization and then after that right again and for me it is time consuming, but for me it sort of keeps me in touch of what what's the overall goal oh for the day or for the fur you know what I want to accomplish during the day and it seems like the things that arise for me about my to do lists or my priorities are much easier to navigate and to prioritise if I do that when I don't do that, everything goes to hell. I like that part of your system for shifting through what? What matters yeah, we worked on yeah, because that's always a problem since I was little is prioritizing what's the most important thing? Yes, yes, we'll talk a little bit about that segment for two is how to do what matters had a pick what matters so did I. I didn't know if somebody else's handles up to share a matching or effectiveness than you do in your business has the chat room well there's a photoshoot abuser who says, I like the idea of matching my block posts but also khun do that for photo shoots as well and the different tasks that go along with that just really matching them and then releasing at certain times those well, I like that and that's taken batch all parts of your shop, including on dh this is something when I kind of just the smartest thing ever she made a template for her descriptions and so when she goes in and she lists them she's also kind of automated that process so she just filled in the details of this thing she doesn't have to reset and rewrite and rethink from the beginning each time that's one way of catching it well we were thinking it could be interesting to do a hot seat with siding arata is perhaps wesley teo teo talk through how we might be able to help him is an example uh really does that work okay okay so how can I help? Um I need help with loosening up my social media presence and marketing I really haven't gotten too many sales as faras um oetzi s o I need to do something to help I guess maybe batch my products yeah so I already you already talked about how to set up a template in there so that's one of the things I'm definitely going to try out excellent so I'd recommend also batch ing your production so then he can match your photos so then you can put it all in with the template instead of doing it like I'm not quite sure how you're doing it now but you could do it five or ten at a time and it doesn't necessarily mean I'm fairly sure you guys will have to tell me if I'm right here I'm fairly sure you can put things in etc and not make them go live you can save the west and in that way you khun dio five or ten at once, but then the drip them out, which is what I would do I wouldn't the luger shop, I would spread them out and do one a day or two it air three day even, but by spreading them out, you're letting them be new on different days, people have said that they found that more effective than doing do you? You patched the actual making it, but not the releasing it. So I did that batch all of those pieces making, photographing, template the description and then write it and then for social media. Um, the question is who you want to identify, who you're talking to, who your shop is selling tio and then share things that they're gonna like. So I'm a big fan of instagram for makers because you can take pictures of each step of your process and those pictures and your process and you're finished goods are going to speak to the people who will buy it. I have a trouble I have trouble with that because when I work, I like to just work through yeah, I had to stop and take a picture it's like, kind of disturbing, like like, let me finish first in that, but the process is what people like to see, so I have to kind of train myself, too. Okay, let me stop take a little picture and then go back because I feel like I need to stage it because I'm a graphic artist too so I want to stage my my my hammer my my stitching a put my leather and a cool direction have a nice background you know and that would be distracting forever you know? So I can it's like I have to you know, balance that and that's one thing I have to work on yeah so I think a b b realise that people want like well, I mean it kind of depends on the kind of feed you're trying to create but people like seeing behind the scenes not edited because you can tell when someone's like stylized their photo and there are popular feeds that are super stylized of everything they dio you can create that but it takes more time, you know to do it. The other thing is that you could even batch that so you khun dio you can make one work session maybe every two weeks be flash photo session so like this is my work session that I'm going to photograph everything beautifully at each step and take multiples like here I am at this step here it is two seconds later you're not going to share them all back to back you're going to save them and schedule them to go out over the next two weeks because there's like there could be like now I'm cutting it and then hears I'm cutting a wallet in here I'm cutting the something else and and then I'm like folding it over and take a couple pictures you know and then here I'm stitching it and so you wouldn't necessarily d'oh share them all that minute because that would be like just overwhelming but if you have a couple versions of each like one of the photos that I have regularly is like my coffee cup in my hi I'm planning my day and my laptop and uh I mean those pictures are usually just took off the right then but there that's just showing you my work day remember days not photographic just a computer and coffee but but you have so many cool things you could also like line up your tools and take pictures of your tool all's you can when we're in your end that this is a photo shoot feeling it will be easier for you to come up with more photo shoot ideas you like look around his studio you can do this shot but you can also do like down here and and that the same picture but a different angles you post one one week and one the next week and then that way you patched it and then also he's later graham actually schedule them and how it works though is that you have to go in you created it you write the description if you want teo you schedule a time it doesn't post it for you it'll give you a pop up that says you wanted to schedule this now and you have to go in and actually post it so it doesn't automatically schedule it where's everything else we've talked about does it you schedule it, it happens so does that I feel like you asked another question I'm not sure if we covered way talked about instagram is there something out of about social media social media tool you want to use or no I use instagram so that's my I don't really I do a little bit of facebook but usually it's my instagram and just you know, share it on facebook absolutely so I heard twitter could be another where you can share it on twitter but it's you have to always balance the impact is going to have with the amount of time it's going to take advantage and learn and all that and I'm a big fan of getting one platform really right before you move on to another and because what that will do is you're so although you're scheduling the post, you still want to go into instagram and interact so you'll look at your comments and you'll reply to comments and you'll also I'm do a little research on uh there's there's lots of creative live instagram crosses that will go deep into this, but you do a little research on what kind of hashtags like maybe it's, men's fashion or leather wallets you can use that people who are searching for that we're going to be able to find you and start following you. I probably need to create a better time to do that to, like, actually answer like, you know, going, they're like stuff and actually comment I every once in a while, you know, you go through the feet and you like something, but I don't really comment too often, so commenting is really big because then that person's followers you and if you have a great little photo in your profile, you like that's interesting, so I think yes, I'm glad you brought that up because they talked about batch in social media, but I didn't say then each day has a little, many work session of, like in this session, I'm goingto go in, be on social media, and I usually do that when I'm standing in line somewhere when I'm waiting for something like just the replies people, because it doesn't have to I mean, unless you're audiences do enormous, it doesn't have to take a lot of time to reply, and by doing that a couple times each day, you're it's more like your life having a conversation so I hope that helps definitely gay. That was very cool before. Before you step off stage, can you tell everyone at home, wesley, where they confined you on instagram, and then also you're an underscore fountain at instagram and went on, and it just it found on great. All right, well, thank you, thank you, yeah, thanks.

Class Description

Stop fretting over the limited number of hours in a day and get to work – the smart way! In How to Get More Done, Tara Swiger will lay out a simple action plan that will help you manage your time, your business, and your family life more efficiently.

When Tara's online yarn shop replaced her day job, she fielded a lot of questions about the secret to her success. One thing led to another and now she is devoted, full-time, to helping other crafty entrepreneurs realize their dreams. In this class, she’ll help you take control of your calendar and build your business. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Implement a simple system for managing your time and tasks 
  • Prioritize time with your family 
  • Balance business, life, production, and marketing 
  • Strike the perfect balance between “studio time” and “admin time" 

You’ll identify your time-sucks and unproductive distractions and overcome common scheduling pain points by developing an action plan that works. 

Learn how to create a workday you'll love - no matter how (little) time you have. You’ll make the most of your time, keep track of your to-dos, and get the things that matter done in How to Get More Done with Tara Swiger.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Kickstart Your Profits

Bonus Materials

Get More Done Resources

Get More Done Workbook

Ambitiously Forecast Your Sales Calculator by Tara Swiger.xlsx

Improve Your Holiday Sales Sketch Note

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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a Creativelive Student

A really great class. As a newer creative business owner I have had trouble with always feeling like no matter what I worked on it wasn't the right thing or it wasn't enough. I think the advice in this class will help me feel better about my accomplishments and keep me focused on the things that will help my business. Thanks!

Jacqui Kelly

I loved it! start to finish really packed full of sensible easy to follow advice - great workbook and extra materials. Highly recommended. Tara does continually mention STARSHIP and MAPPING with out any background info on these topics which began to niggle at me but guess the answers are on her website. This was my first full class after purchasing my Creator Pass and it gets a 10/10