I have grown A LOT in the 15 years of managing my own business.

I learned a lot in the beginning through good ole fashion trial and error and even more in today’s world thanks to creative entrepreneur podcasts as well as sharing/absorbing tips through creative colleagues.

When I first started out, I would get so overwhelmed by all that there was to do – the tasks were never ending. I would have hundreds of envelopes to address but also try to respond to my clients via email at the same time. I would compare myself to people who really did seem like they had more than 24 hours in a day!

But, one wise sage once said, even Beyonce has only 24 hours in a day {actually I think they wanted us to think about her having the same time as us and therefore we can get more done, but I like my interpretation better!}.

We all have choices for where we spend our time. If we say yes to one thing {ahem scrolling on Facebook, binging on Netflix}, we are saying no to another {ummm…work? hanging out with friends?}.

I have learned over the years how I can make the most of those hours in the day when it comes to work and play. I’m still learning {aren’t we all}, but I hope these tips can help anyone just starting out with their calligraphy business.

Below are my favorite tips for managing my time:

1 // Asana is my number one tool for time management. It gives me secret joy to mark tasks off on Asana. It is totally free to sign up and a LIFESAVER for our team.

2 // I write everything down. We write absolutely everything that we have to do down in Asana. This even means specifically putting personal appointments in so nothing is forgotten. Every order, envelope addition, day off {yes I “schedule” in weekend days off so I actually get to take them off!}, and appointment is listed in Asana {since I have someone keep a schedule for me I have to let her know when I won’t be available – it’s Alyssa btw 🙂 }

3 // I use apps to plan for promo and business logistics. We use Planoly for Instagram which saves us a million headaches. We schedule posts out far in advance allowing me time to engage with my fellow calligrafriends in the comments!

Another app we use for our business is Shipstation.  This is crucial for us to have all our orders integrated into one place so we know what shipments are going out each day.

4 // I turn off all electronics when working on calligraphy. If I really need to get something done {i.e. hundreds of envelopes}, I turn off my computer and phone so I can focus. I might leave on Netflix in the background though, as having a bit of background noise helps with the focusing. If I am on my computer working on business related tasks, I use an application called Self Control. You can block off ANY website for a certain amount of time that is distracting for you. This app helps me stay focused when I try to go to that infamously distracting and addicting website {starts with an F & ends with a Book}!

5 // I am realistic with my time. I am really honest about what I can accomplish in certain time periods and not over committing myself. We also explicitly schedule in time for catching up on various tasks that always get lost in the shuffle — especially when we are away on vacation.

I hope these are helpful if you are just starting out being your own boss or already in the thick of it! What helps you manage your time?