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How I Manage My Time (and 3 tips to help you better manage yours)
A glimpse into my working schedule
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I was brainstorming new article ideas with my writing coach last week.
And they expressed interest in hearing about my work schedule.
So today I thought I’d give you a glimpse into what my typical work week looks like, how I prioritize my time, and share a few tips on how to manage your time more effectively.
My Typical Work Schedule
I work 5.5 days per week or roughly 35 hours in total.
I spend one day a week on content – half a day on Sunday drafting each article and half a day on Monday editing and preparing each article for launch.
The remaining 4.5 days I spend on All-In Consulting.
The first half of Monday (before I work on newsletter content) is when I plan my priorities for the week and catch up on client communication from over the weekend.
Then I meet with my writing coach in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day prepping my article for publishing.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are when I take all my meetings.
I usually spend the mornings doing meeting prep and finishing client work before my lunch break.
Then I’ll take all my meetings in the afternoon.
In the evenings, I go to the gym, eat dinner, and work another hour or two till about 10pm.
This may seem late, but I take a lot of random walks and breaks throughout the day, so I’m definitely not working non-stop till 10pm.
Wednesdays and Fridays are my no meeting days where I work ON the business.
This involves executing on growth experiments or other high-priority, non-client tasks.
I purposely leave these days free of any meetings so I don’t get distracted and can get deep work done.
How I Prioritize My Time
The above schedule is how things will go for me in a “normal” week when there aren’t any unexpected surprises.
But surprises come more often than not. Maybe an important client will suddenly appear in my inbox or an emergency will come up, and I will have to shift my schedule around.
When this happens, I reschedule my work based on these priorities:
Priority #1: Converting warm leads
Priority #2: Client communication
Priority #3: Consulting growth work
Priority #4: Content
The reason why it’s in this order is because if I already have warm leads in my inbox (priority #1), I might as well focus on converting them before trying to generate any more new leads (priority #3).
After all, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.
I then prioritize client communication because oftentimes I need information from them, and I don’t want to block a project from progressing.
But since I’ve already closed the sale, it’s not as urgent as converting warm leads.
The consulting growth work is third in priority. These are the growth experiments I do to generate more leads that I try to run every week. Recent growth examples include:
Building a demo ChatGPT SaaS app to show to clients
Training a virtual assistant to distribute content to other platforms
Fiverr profile optimizations
And last is content. Content doesn’t lead to immediate sales the way consulting does, so it’s not as high of a priority.
However, everything good that has happened in my last 1.5 years of entrepreneurship was in some way connected to content, so I keep a consistent writing habit going no matter what.
When it comes to shorter-form content, I post on LinkedIn and Twitter 4x a week.
Usually I’ll squeeze the post in when I have a spare 30 minutes between meetings or when I’m waiting for another commitment but don’t have a long enough block of time to do deep work.
I used to batch my posts, but I couldn’t keep a consistent habit doing it, so I come up with shorter form posts the day of.
How My Priorities Evolved Over Time
To be fair, my method of prioritization was not always like this.
When I started off, my sales pipeline wasn’t as full so I didn’t have any warm leads to convert. I also didn’t have any clients to communicate with (*sad face*).
So at the beginning, my priority list looked more like this:
Priority #1: Consulting growth work
Priority #2: Content
I suspect in the next few months, my priorities will change yet again, and my new priority list will look like this:
Priority #1: Internal team communication (NEW)
Priority #2: Converting warm leads
Priority #3: Client communication
Priority #4: Consulting growth work
Priority #5: Content
The reason why team communication might become the highest priority is because any delay in communication with my team could mean multiple people going in the wrong direction.
So as my team grows, making sure that my team is aligned could soon become the highest leverage work and therefore, my highest priority.
My Top 3 Time Management Tips
As an entrepreneur, I’m always looking for ways to better manage my time, as it’s the most valuable asset anyone has.
So here are a few tips I have to help you better manage your time as well.
Your Time Allocation Should Match Your Priorities
This may seem obvious, but the first tip is to make sure that your time allocation matches your priorities.
What this means is that if something is your #1 priority, you should spend the most time on this priority.
If something is your #2 priority, you should spend less time on this vs. your #1 priority, but more time on this than your #3 priority.
And so on.
For example, for me, consulting is my number 1 priority, and my newsletter is my number 2 priority.
That means I should never spend more time on the newsletter than on consulting, and it’s reflected in my 1:4.5 day ratio split between the newsletter and consulting.
You can use this same ratio to calculate the relative importance of one priority versus another as well.
For example, if I spend one day out of 5.5 on content, that constitutes ~20% of my time (1 day divided by 5.5 days).
If I spend the other 4.5 days on consulting, that constitutes ~80% of my time.
By doing this calculation, we can now say that according to my schedule, consulting is 4x more important than content creation (80% vs. 20%).
This was an intentional split as consulting directly pays the bills, so I give it more attention than my newsletter.
An exercise for you to do to help you calculate how much time you should allocate for each of your priorities is to ask yourself:
How many days a week do you work?
What are your top 2-3 priorities? (eg audience building, your startup, content, etc)
And how much more important is each one relative to the other?
And that will tell you how much time you should spend on each priority per week. For example, let’s say you run a startup, and your priorities are:
If in reality you spend:
1.5 days on Growth
1.5 days on Content
2 days on Operations
That indicates that your actual priority is operations, since you spend more time on that than anything else.
And this could indicate that your top priority should be to reduce your operational burden so that you can reallocate that time back to growth instead.
When to Do Your Most Important Work
The second tip I have is to always use your best energy to work on your highest priority tasks.
Most people have certain times of day when they are the most productive, and times of day when they are the least productive.
For many, they are the most focused in the morning because they just woke up, and they are least productive time after lunch when they fall into an afternoon lull.
If you can relate to these energy swings, then the morning is when you want to do your best work, and the afternoons are when you want to finish your most mundane tasks.
You don’t want to spend your mornings on unimportant tasks, as you don’t need your best energy to complete those.
It’s for this reason that I also try to schedule meetings always past 3pm because I tend to be the most energetic right when I wake up.
And by scheduling meetings later, I can use the mornings to work ON the business rather than IN the business.
So another exercise for you is to ask yourself:
What is my top priority this week?
When am I the most energetic?
And make sure to do your top priority tasks when you’re the most energetic.
Your Greatest Advantage is Your Flexibility
And lastly, particularly for entrepreneurs, don’t be so rigid with your schedules that you end up working too much.
The main advantage entrepreneurs have over employees is that they have more flexibility over their schedules.
They can choose when they want to work or take time off.
So it’s important for an entrepreneur to use that advantage to enjoy life more.
If we are on an endless working treadmill, as many entrepreneurs are apt to get into, then we have forfeited our greatest advantage!
For example, last week I had some friends visiting on a Friday, which is usually a workday.
Normally, it would be tempting to just say no in order to work more.
But remembering the importance of using my flexibility, I moved meetings around so I could finish my work before dedicating the rest of the day to them.
In corporate, I’d have much more trouble moving around meetings, and would likely have to forego hanging with friends.
So by seeing them, I’m taking full advantage of my entrepreneurship lifestyle.
I hope these time management tips were helpful!
Let me know what you think about my work schedule and priorities, and how you organize your own weekly schedule in the comments below :)
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