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How to Get More Done

Lesson 14 of 17

Task Buckets: Make Your Own System

Tara Swiger

How to Get More Done

Tara Swiger

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Lesson Info

14. Task Buckets: Make Your Own System

Lesson Info

Task Buckets: Make Your Own System

we are now going to make your system. And we are going Teoh, uh, take everything we've learned about setting aside a time and what works for you and apply it to your system. And we're going to talk first, though, about if you hate to be scheduled. Whenever I tell people about setting us at a time. No, but I hate to be scheduled. We're gonna talk about that. We're also going Teoh, figure out how you are going to keep track of what needs to be done in your business, what you do now and what you want to move, Teoh. And then how you are going to choose to do what matters each day, how you're gonna prioritize and figure out how to do what matters to you. And then we're gonna end with how to make every day the most productive day ever, cause that's kind of the goal, right? It's first all the end of tens or at least nine at the end of a and feel super productive and happy with it. So we're just gonna review that your system is three parts. The first part is to set aside a time to keep track o...

f what needs to be done and then to do what matters you are going to decide right now on when you're going to work. Now, if you are, if you have just a couple of hours a week, anyone set those hours aside to do work but boundaries around them and stop work when you're done. But if you have a regular workday, maybe you are a full time maker or entrepreneur. You might decide that your timeto work is 8 to 5 or to 4 or noon before I want you guys to identify a time. And if you're falling along in the workbook, this is Page 17 when you are going to work. And often I tell people if they have been working with no system to just pick a system, just pick a time for the next week. Just identify some chunks of time you're going to work, and it is okay if you change things up is you go. None of this is static. You can change it as you go, but you need to identify some timeto work. The many of you guys in the studio audience already have times set aside But for those of you who have no system and no times that I said I want to pick a time in the next week that you were going to just do work, not watch creativelive not re be Internet. Do your work. Okay? And I would love to hear from you guys. When are it? Is the time your choosing? You guys wanna sharing studio audience? When is a chunk of work time? Yeah, Um I'm Bronwyn from tireless hearts on etc. And I think 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. is my brightest moments. Perfect. I love it. So are you going to work 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Monday? Yes. OK. And perhaps all week. Excellent. Excellent. And see that something Just start with the day Andan. You might decide. Well Tuesday I have something at noon. Like a different trunk. How about you, Wesley? Um I was looking at, like four pm to 8 p.m. Take a break for light eating and then go back to work from, like, 9 to 11. Wow, that's a long That's a long time for 11. Yeah, OK, I like it So and then you can, uh, test and see if that's working for you. Maybe that's too much. And you kind of lose focus toward the end. Or maybe that's just the right amount. And you're like you end on a 10. Since I think so. Identify. And if you want to share in the chat room, share it. Tell us you guys gonna hold each other accountable next week. Did you really do it? Feel free to share it on Twitter with me. I'm at our spider like, Yes, I did my work time. When you guys do it, I want to hear. But you know, every time I tell people to set aside a time and commit to a time invariably, especially amongst artists, artists will say. But I hate to be scheduled. I cannot be scheduled. I cannot schedule my creativity. The muse comes in. These comes which is brilliant but not incredibly effective at building a business. Now, you don't have to schedule your muse time. You can let them use hits you at three AM if you want, but you do have to schedule some bits. You have to schedule making things available for people to by putting it in the shop you have to schedule. Maybe social Media. You have to schedule, like doing your taxes. So when I say to schedule a time, it might not be for your painting and muse, but it's for something. And here's the other thing. You don't have to schedule what you're going to dio if you like to be a free form, just schedule. This is the time I am going to work on my business cause my business is one of my priorities and advancing my business and growing it is something I value. So this will be the time that I work on it now when I say you don't have to schedule the time. Some chunk of people want everything scheduled. They best feel just amazing when they know what they're gonna do, like in 10 minute increments. So I had a student share her schedule with me, and she had a task on her Google calendar for every 15 minutes, and she shared a screenshot, and she's like just playing my week. I feel amazing. And when we talked about like her business has seen a lot of growth in the last year, and I asked her. Why do you think you know what's been the change? She said, by far, setting aside specific hours to work and telling myself exactly what I'm going to dio in that time has been the best thing for my business before I just wake up and feel all this pressure, and then I would work until eight or nine at night. And she does some tech things for websites. And so she would just kind of constantly be on the computer and never feel good. And her business wasn't moving forward. But when she set aside the time and scheduled the chunks, she felt like amazing. But that's not for everyone. And here's what I've identified through the years is that there are schedulers and there are rebels on most of us. So this is a whole spectrum, right? So the schedulers air over here and they want to know every 10 minutes what will be done. You're packing up because you're a rebel. And then over here are the like. The muse comes in. The muse comes. I work whenever work, but that is fine. You were going to work within that we can find a way for you to still have a system that respects whatever. But it's important to identify, kind of which one are you? And so I have something to talk about to figure out which one you are now the scheduler versus Rebel. What we're talking about is, how do you use your slots of time? So everybody I've talked to does need tohave dedicated, sacred working time, whether it's five minutes at a time or it's two hours or its two days of pure working. But they need. Everybody needs a chunk of time, but it's what you do in that time that puts you on the spectrum from scheduler to rebel and so schedulers on this, my husband making dinner in the picture with her dogs, watching him because he's he's seven scheduler, So schedulers make it so. They know all of this is so that they know what to do each morning, and they feel good when they go to work. This how you know, if your scheduler for small schedulers, totally loved by society bosses in the corporate world, loves settlers, they want everyone to be a scheduler. The corporate world and really working in teams is built around Where you gonna be? At what time? Right. We need to know where everybody is and at what time. So, uh, not only is it loved by society, but a lot of artists wish we were more scheduled. Like we beat ourselves up for being rebels because we try to make ourselves fit into the scheduled world. And schedulers find entrepreneurship overwhelming because you don't know what to do from day to day. So if you haven't had any time of work and you are more on the schedule er side of the spectrum, you will just find it overwhelming that you that nobody telling you what to do and where to be. A lot of times, scheduler entrepreneur types like the whole thing is too risky. And it's too scary or they just feel bad about themselves constantly. And they want somebody to come in and tell them these are also people that look for teachers. Who was that? You must do it this way because they want the structure of it. And what's good for schedulers is to decide ahead of time like my friend, with all the scheduling. Ah, head of time. What you're gonna do so When you get up in the morning, you just execute. You just go through that calendar. You do everything when it says to do it. You end the day you feel amazing because you did exactly what it told you to do. Doctor, you like your life and you guys are lots of your making faces. I think more people who work in Tech unless artists fit in the Super scheduled. Like I said at the spectrum, we're all like somewhere on it. So the solution for Scheduler is to schedule everything, everything, everything, everything. I recently read an article that said, Millionaires don't make to do lists the schedule things. So instead of just writing a vague to do list at some point they with put it in the calendar and the idea behind that is they make sure that they get it done by scheduling it. That doesn't necessarily mean I will do exactly this at noon on this day, but for some people, that's the only way they're going to get it done. It's in the calendar that use the calendar or nothing happens. So schedule everything. You'll feel awesome. I told you about my student who just share her, like Heard whole life and Day is better. She regularly shares picture on Instagram of her morning planning and which were crazy Calendar. And she loves it. And But that's not for all of us. Some of us are over here. Rebels and Stella. She's like checking out the Christmas lights. She's a total rebel, Uh, so rebels hate to be tightly scheduled. The whole thing I said about 15 minute increments made you like skin crawl. Any kind of feel nauseous and sick to your stomach. If I said you have follow the schedule, you just hate it. And often the rebels feel bad that they're not schedulers. They feel bad that they don't fit in, that their bosses want them. Teoh. I used to always be annoyed, working at a job that I had to be at work at eight AM, even though sometimes nothing would happen and no one would be there, right? You're like, Yes, you get. I would have such an internal like I can't believe I have to be here at eight, like it doesn't make any sense, like there's no no practical reason. There's nothing that bite. That's the rules and I just chafed against the rules. So, however, rebels confined on for ownership exciting because you get to decide what to dio day by day. But they could be overwhelmed because there are so many options for what to dio. And if you don't have some kind of structure, it's just like all coming at you, and you're not quite sure what to Dio. And they're often feel frustrated that they can't focus the person who asked about painting multiple paintings. You talked about having time to get inspired. If you really do, don't put anything on your schedule ever then you might have a really hard time figuring out what should I do right now and focus in on that. And so the solution for a rebel are buckets. So what I mean by buckets are chunks of time chunks of activity, so you might have a writing bucket or a marketing bucket. It's like we talked about the different kinds of times you need, and on your calendar or in your plan. You say this is a bucket for this kind of time. I need it. So this is a bucket for my marketing time. This is a bucket for my selling time is a bucket for my not working time, and you can choose to put those buckets on your calendar and say, like from 4 to 8, I'm doing a production bucket. And from 9 to 11 I'm doing a marketing bucket where you can very get up to 15 minute chunks or an hour chunk. Or, you know, someone shared in the chat what she was going to do kind of each hour. I'm guessing she's more of a scheduler, but you could do what I like about buckets is that the reason why they work so well for rebels is because you can interchange them so you can say I have a bucket of production and marketing, and when I sit down to work, I'm going to spend half my time on each of those. And you didn't have to, like, schedule it in by 10 minute increments. You just have that in your mind. I'm spending this work session on this bucket, so the key to making buckets work for you, though, is to have all the tasks that you need to dio for each bucket. At the beginning of the week, So this is how I do it, and you guys might find your own way of doing it. But so you talked about making the big list for the next 60 or 90 days and in the map making guy, we do the big list of your goal. But then each week you need to know what are the things that are going to get done this week. So when I write down what's going, then this is how I do it. I have my big project lists of like, here's everything that goes into creating this class and at the beginning of the week, what I need to get done this week, what I want to get done this week and then I write them down in buckets. So this is Ah, I have one that's like connect. And this one is like, right or create. And this one is now I'm spacing on my bucket like the things that are important to me in the business for the projects. I have the kind of time that I need. I write my list. I organized my list in those buckets, so obviously, if a class is a deadline that bucket is like super high priority. And the other ones maybe not so much. There's also I have a bucket. I call it consistency. And the consistency includes everything from I blogged my podcast. I write an email newsletter and I send ah, weekly email to the starship. Those things happen every single week, and so that bucket always include the same tasks. And I choose to work on that one bucket on Mondays. But I could move that bucket to any day, and it would be okay. And I don't feel pressured by a schedule, because I'm not scheduling what I'm doing. In the time I have my work chunks identified, I have my buckets and I work on my buckets in the different times. The important thing is, I know what each bucket needs because I lay it out at the beginning of the week. Does that make sense? You guys? Yeah. Yeah. So you break down within a bucket. You said something about consistency. Could use that, for example. Yeah, No. So I just call one of my buckets consistency, and it's the things I have to do every single week. So when I write my list of what I need to do each week, some weeks said something crazy, like by the same Francisco and other weeks. It's there's always consistency of Blawg podcast emails. So that's what I write consistency. And I write those tasks. So anything I knew I want to become consistent with. I put in my consistency bucket. So also, I just recently put scheduled social media in there, and now I'm going to do it every single week. I'm gonna find displaced for that consistency bucket and for me, because consistency I know it's so he building my business and connecting with my customers. And it's one of my main focus is right now for the stage. My business. I work on that bucket first. Now we're getting into prioritising what matters. But that's just knowing what your buckets are in the task than each bucket for the week ahead. You can then decide which bucket is most important to you right now, so maybe you're behind on productions. Your production bucket is most important. So your first work sessions of the week you do that, we're gonna get to prioritization a minute, but I would like to hear your thoughts about where you are on the spectrum and your buckets. Well, I have one to start from the chats that just said I'm a scheduler and a rebel. I love creating a very detailed schedule, but then I cannot make myself stick to it. You're not a scheduler and want to be on their several votes on that way. So I think there's a new important difference between, and it's what you were talking about with your taxes. There's a difference between enjoying organization and scheduling and actually being a person who works within a schedule. So you might be a person who really loves. I really like filing maybe years of being a secretary. I got really good at filing, but I'm not a person that, like, needs to work in an office with lots of paper files. Everything I do is digital, but that whole like organizations very soothing. But that's not necessarily what I would work best in. So I also like putting things on my calendar, organizing my planner, what's gonna happen win. But I know that if I get too specific, I won't get the stuff done. So the person who said that I love that you love scheduling. But if you're not doing it, then you're not a scheduler. You're a person who likes scheduling, which is okay. I mean, maybe federal somebody else or schedule your bucket of, like, this is on the sale. Do this. There's lots of ways you can, like, have fun with the scheduling software. But without making a plan that then you ignore thoughts about where you guys are in the spectrum. You? Yeah, rebel. But the idea of being a scheduler so appealing, isn't that? I mean, where somebody come in and do that for me? Right. But that's the thing. If I came in and I said, Jane, you will do this in this. You would be like you wouldn't you wouldn't want to do it. You just wish that it was You didn't have to think about it. A my right. I mean, I'm getting I'd be happy to boss around. Teoh. Yeah. Set up buckets. Do you think? Do you consider buckets being mawr of the idea of projects with the tasks in the markets? Is that hired saying to put that together? Or do you think there should be buckets that are actual tasks like how small of a breakdown do you do within them? So I have the thing that works for me, but I think it's the trick. Is finding what's gonna work for you. So also, how much time do you have in a week, Right. So if you were, if you were the things you're putting in your bucket or two Huge and you're doing, like, 20. If you make your list of the beginning of the week and it's like everything is like the equivalent of write a book, would you have five of those? You're not gonna be able, Teoh. Get everything done. Does that make sense? We can also talk for an actual example. You wanna share one of your projects in tasks that you're thinking about? Um, when you can ponder. Well, okay. So aside from finishing this coloring book, the other thing I would like to do is to complete a line of holiday cards. All right. Um, and I haven't I've been going back and forth. How many are in the line of their six different cards? Am I going to sell individual cards? Am I going to sell packets? So there's this is like the very beginning. But it's something that I would love to get done in, you know, maybe the next two months or something like that. So what you could have when you're writing your list is maybe you have a bucket of product creation, and the first task in there is decide what this is gonna be like. Sometimes I sign myself the task of, uh, like, planned this thing. Like, just decide how many block posts you're gonna do when they're gonna go live. What are the pieces? What are the cards and one of the pieces of them? Because that obviously before you make the art, you have to decide what you're gonna make the art of, right, Right? And so that could be one of them. You could do the buckets by like, it could be a big one, like Project creation. And then anything that's project creation goes in that or product creation story is trying to say, or your bucket could just be right now I'm working on the cards, cause the cords of the most important thing. And I know I'm gonna work on the multiple times to the week, so don't get hung up on what your buckets should or shouldn't be. It's just a way of grouping like tasks in a chunk of time. It's, um it's the idea of having it container for all of these many pieces because your business is so many pieces you need some way off organizing and grouping it and then saying maybe each of these in this bucket only takes 10 minutes and I'm gonna give it our long chunk. I'm gonna go through this bucket, you know, just like having something some way of grouping them together. So you're not You're not looking at your list of 70 things each day, but you you just looking at a chunk of it. You know, there are a few clear for clarification questions as well. And from hh Heitzmann Does a bucket have a specific outcome? Uh, again, think again. It depends on you, like this is this is the way to think about. This is if you don't like to be scheduled, you need some way of grouping your task together so you can group your task by project. You can group your task by type. You can group it by so it is a project in the outcome is I finish the project, right, So you can feel free, Teoh, make whatever buckets make sense in your business. Mind change. Kind of all the time. I like to give them, like, like names that remind me of the of why I'm doing it. Like connect reminds me of, like, answering email catch up in the starship. Uh, right. That email to that person. I was supposed Teoh that would all go in the bucket connect. Because then I feel like this is my connect time as opposed Teoh, Uh, you know, stuff online is like, not a fun bucket, right? But also, if you do a lot of work offline and some work online, your buckets might just be studio and computer, you know, so that can Yeah, I have a question. I think that actually, I kind of arrived on this sort of system on my own yet, but I had to I had to leave it behind or I had to put it down because it was making me crazy. I started out with a to do list like miles long with a 1,000,000 demanding things screaming at me on it and decided to break it up into smaller, literally small note pads labeled like, Oh, you nail it like Internet or, you know, whatever, Right. And each of those pads been ballooned into something with a 1,000,000 more crazy pilot off stuff to handle. So this and it it Yeah, that my head would explode every time I looked at it. This is a really good point. So you what you did is you, like, made a physical representation of each buckets. But the problem is that they need to be free flowing like this needs toe. Although in one place you need one place to look at because so many people tell me making to do lists and then I never look at it. No, it needs to be in a place, and I think we're gonna get to the soon where you regularly review it. You go back to it, you see it. So if you make six different note pads for each different kind of bucket, you're not going to necessarily look at all six each day, and that's a whole another task. So then figure out. Whereas if you list your week and you've just you're just what you're gonna do that week is what I'm talking about. So you bucket just the week or the month. So you take your big list of three months, you break it down to one month and maybe one week and then this week, these air, the different things. And I'm not looking at a list of 500 cause you still have to, like, physically go through the list and then pick the things and that and that then meant you had even more things to keep track of instead of less because you call your to do's. And then you added notebooks to keep track of. And so, yeah, we're uncomplicated eso on page 17. I've actually what puck buckets of time will you need? What? All this talk about buckets. What do you think you're gonna use? And remember This is gonna change. So just pick some and then what can you win? Can you fit those buckets in? So we talked about your time for work. When will you do what buckets

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