Hi everyone! Ashley Robertson here and I am the founder and creative lead at The Teacher Diva, a Dallas based lifestyle and beauty blog. As a former teacher, I have always enjoyed fostering a community both in and out of my classroom. Whether that’s with my readers, co-workers, or close friends, it’s important to have a community you can talk to and share life with.
My goal when starting The Teacher Diva has always been to empower and connect a community of modern women on a relatable and personal level. I do this by sharing daily content on moments of fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and entrepreneurship and I am thrilled to share a few insights on time management with you all.
I’ve known Haley for the past 5 years and I am lucky to call her my friend. I am also incredibly honored to be part of this series!
It’s been 3 years since I was in the classroom teaching, and yet, I still find myself learning the best ways to function as my own boss. Whether that’s how to manage time or stay motivated, I’m always trying to learn and improve.
Today, I’m wanting to share a few insights that have helped me become more efficient with my time and make the most of my work day. Let’s break it down:
Time blocking: Being your own boss can sometimes come with an “I can do that later” approach, but as I’ve learned, that’s clearly not smart. To keep myself on track, I love to time block. I actually started using these timer cubes while teaching, and find they’re just as helpful outside the classroom. Setting a timer on your phone would work as well, but the main goal is to work undistracted for a fixed amount of time. I find my sweet spot to be 30-60 minute increments, depending on the task. And yes, this means turning your phone on airplane mode, clicking out of unnecessary tabs, and really focusing. My biggest time sinks are emails and social media. I set my timer for 30 minutes and when it’s up, I finish and move on to something else. I give myself 2-3 increments per day to devout to emails or other tasks that require a check-in throughout the day.
Apps: Some apps can suck your time (looking at you, Instagram), but some are built to save it. As a content creator, Planoly is amazing for curating your Instagram feed all at once. You can input your grid, captions, hashtags, and even the time you want to post. Asana and Trello are project management services, and I find they help with managing time as well. Instead of not knowing what you should be working on or where in the process a project is, these apps lay it out for you. You can even add in attachments so that all aspects of a project are in one place. Great for small teams, too.
Do the hardest thing first: Our bodies naturally have more energy and brain capacity earlier in the day (if you’re sleeping well), so that’s when I like to knock out the hardest tasks. Or ones I’m not necessarily looking forward to. Whether that’s negotiating contracts or writing brand proposals, I try to get the tough stuff done when I have the most energy. Find the pockets where you thrive, and work on difficult tasks then.
Batch tasks: Most jobs come with a handful of similar tasks. For me, that’s social media, collaborations, writing, shooting, editing, and so on. Instead of jumping from task to task, I batch things based on what type of work they fall under. If I have a few conference calls, I schedule them back to back so I’m in that mode. Or, we’ll shoot a few things in one day while I have full hair and makeup done. This eliminates wasted time, and it’s helpful on your brain to focus on one area at a time.
I hope you guys found these time management tips helpful! Be sure to follow me on instagram or sign up for our newsletter for more business tips and thoughts on all things beauty + lifestyle. And if you’re a new follower, come say hi on instagram so I can meet you too!