The PHOX Planner blog

Finding Time!

Do you ever feel like there are just not enough hours in the day?  Well that’s a crazy question – of course you do!  We hear you!   For both of us, over the years of running a business, our main challenge has been the same as anyone’s – finding time. Professionally known as Time Management. We are all so busy trying to juggle work and personal life, pay the bills and still have fun along life’s journey.  Maybe you can relate?

Now whilst we can’t wave a magic wand and actually give you more hours, we can let you in on our secrets for finding some of the time you think is missing.

Tip #1  Get up earlier!

Need an extra hour in the day? Get up an hour earlier!

We know you might think this just isn’t for you, but eventually the benefits clearly outweigh any reluctance you might have.  I fought this for years (Jo) but Kate has always been an early riser and proved the huge benefits to me.

Creating a consistent morning routine sets the tone for a productive day. 

But more than that, having uninterrupted time each day to work on yourself is the proven way to unlock your full potential.  Evening generally is not the optimum time for this, as by then you may be tired, have kids to focus on, be spending time with your partner, or socialising with friends, or just zonked on the sofa with a glass of wine (Er, yes!)  When you do things at the same time every day you remember it, and it becomes easier.  Extra time doesn’t tend to just show up during the day, especially not the same time each day,  so committing to a morning routine pretty much guarantees it will happen.  We know it (*finally in Jo’s case!) and you know it.  Morning it is!

“Your level of success, will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become,” Jim Rohn

Psychology has proven the undeniable relationship between early rising and extraordinary success.  A morning routine provides a motivational kick start to the day, and strengthens your emotional, mental and physical well-being.

You may have heard of Hal Elrod’s ‘The Miracle Morning’, where he recommends an hour each morning to spend 10 minutes on 6 ‘SAVERS’ – silence, affirmations, visualisation, exercise, reading and scribing. 

Similarly, Jay Shetty in his recent book ‘Think Like a Monk’ recommends the 4 habits that will change your life are TIME: Thankfulness, Inspiration,  Meditation and Exercise. 

Both of us use elements from these recommended practises and highly encourage you to do the same.  If you think it’s not for you, maybe try it for 30 days to challenge yourself!  Dedicating time each day to develop yourself into the person you need to be to live the life you want, makes that success far more attainable.  So much more! Let us know how you get on…

Tip #2  Get a head start the night before

How you start your working day each morning dramatically affects how your day will go.  By planning your day the night before and knowing exactly what is coming up, this allows you to be more focused, productive and successful.

Make a to-do list before you finish work in the evening so you can hit the ground running the next day.  This is more efficient, reduces morning stress and also marks a definitive end to your day so you can switch off. 

Both of us consistently pack our camera bags the night before a shoot, make sure all batteries are on charge and prepare snacks or lunch if it’s going to be a long day.

Sometimes, it even helps to plan what you are going to wear, this is one less thing to fit into your morning!

You’ve got to wake up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.


Tip #3 Take ownership of your Schedule

Having control over your daily activities sounds simple, but the more you take detailed ownership of each activity, the more time you will feel like you have!  If you prefer to keep things digital, enter blocks of time in your smartphone calendar and set up reminders when the next activity or task is due to start. If you’re more visual like us, we prefer to plan and write out our weekly and daily schedules in a planner.  We always plan to arrive on a shoot early – so there’s minimal stress.  One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to over-schedule.  Rushing and chasing your tail feels chaotic and stressful.  So try and be realistic – allow extra time for activities, and extra time in between tasks to allow for the unexpected and unplanned. 

When you’re back in the office editing, or working on your business, it is good practise to limit interruptions.  Turn off notifications on your phone,  let calls go to voicemail, leave scrolling on social media until the end of the day, rather than letting these ‘day wasters’ creep into your productive time.  It’s a general habit worth noting!

Tip #4 Get help!

Sometimes it is tempting to do everything yourself, but as a small business owner your time is your most valuable possession.  Every minute you are not doing a core activity that drives your business, there’s potential revenue left on the table.  It feels like you are saving money by learning to do something yourself (like learning a new photoshop action or updating something on your website) but then it takes all day!  And you could have paid somebody far less money to do it quickly.  Valuing your time allows you to spend time on revenue driving activities. 

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