Intentional Work Time - Tallahassee Florida Wedding Photographer | Amber Brogdon Photography

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jenn with harper hadley creative is sitting behind her desk with a tablet and smiling at the camera guest posts on the ember brogdon education blog

Tips for Business Owners

Intentional Work Time

This blog is a guest post by my good friend Jenn of Harper Hadley Creative! She is a systems and workflows master and she will be sharing a few tips for creating more intentional work time as an entrepreneur. Once you’ve finished this, check out a few tips for those of you looking to refresh your summer schedule!

Intentional Work Time: Combining boundaries & your task list to get it all done!

How many times do you find yourself checking email on your phone when you’re with family or wondering what it feels like to take a full weekend off? When you started your business, I’d be willing to bet you were planning to have so much flexibility with your schedule, right!? But the reality is that you’re working crazy hours and trying to stay ahead of it all.

Friend, I have been there so many times. I promise it doesn’t have to be that way. The beauty of being an entrepreneur is that we get to build the life we dream of. That’s not to say that we don’t need to put in the work, but it is 100% possible! 

I’ve been an entrepreneur for 9 years and a mom for 4. I just recently became a full-time SAHM/entrepreneur after 9 years of side hustling on top of a 50+ hour week corporate gig. To say it’s been an exercise in boundaries is an understatement! 

We’ve had to find new rhythms with new schedules and priorities. After a few months of trial and error, I’m happy to report that we’ve found our groove!!

I’m now working 40 hours per month (less than what I used to in a week!) and am able to focus and accomplish everything I need to. Sounds pretty insane, right!? It was definitely a challenge, and each season will bring new ones, but there are some key principles that I believe can be applied to any season. 

a pinnable graphic that reads intentional work time: combining boundaries and your task list to get it all done

Now you might not know, but I’m a workflow & systems strategist. This means that I love lists, automation, systems, and all the things that help keep things organized and efficient (both at home and in biz). Amber and I have that in common! 

So, it should come as no surprise that I firmly believe you need a combination of solid systems and boundaries to get things done!

 

Boundaries + Systems = Focused Accomplishment

Let’s talk about boundaries first. You have to know what you are realistically capable of and willing to commit your time to. 

  • Establish your boundaries. When are you going to work, when can your clients reach you and expect to hear from you, when will you make exceptions (if ever)? Those are important questions to answer for yourself. Everyone’s availability will likely look different, and that’s ok! Be honest with yourself. 
  • Reduce distractions. This is a boundary I’m really guilty of not following. Try to focus on only the tasks at hand during your work hours. That may mean no TV, no extra tabs open, putting your phone in another room, etc. The more focused you can be, the better work you’ll do and the more you’ll accomplish in those precious hours! 

Now that you have boundaries set, it’s also important to make sure your business foundation is as efficient as possible. This allows you to make the most of your limited time. Let’s work smarter, not harder!

    • Have your workflows & systems set up in a way that keeps you organized. If you have efficient workflows & systems, you have less decision fatigue and you can focus your energy on the tasks you truly need to. Isn’t it amazing when you log in and are ready to go instead of wondering what to do for a client, what prep steps you need for a blog post, etc? All of the little things you do repeatedly or have to keep in your head add up to a lot of time!
      If you’re new to workflows, check this out to help get you started.
      If you need a review or refresh, don’t miss this one!
    • Do a weekly task & appointment review. This is key for me! Every Friday before I log off (or whatever your last work day is of the week), I review my next week’s tasks and appointments. That way, I know that my list is ready when I log in on Monday and that I have the time to do those things within my boundaries. It also gives me an opportunity to reprioritize ahead of time if needed. 
    • Time blocking. How do you know if you have time to get everything done? You schedule your week using the time blocking method. That means that you assign a specific amount of time to each task you need to get done. Sometimes you’ll over or underestimate the time you need, but it keeps you accountable & realistic. If you’ve never worked this way, I highly suggest tracking your time for a week or two to learn your habits and how long things generally take. I use Toggl for this and love it!

Ok, so you have the two pieces of the equation, but now comes the toughest part. You have to stick to and honor your boundaries! 

When we are passionate about our work and love it, it can be really hard to turn it off and honor what we committed to. I’m not saying that you should never indulge if you’re really fired up and ready to knock something out, but don’t let yourself stray into hustle or workaholic tendencies. Having an accountability partner is super helpful if this is something you struggle with.

I do want to acknowledge that, again, some seasons may require boundaries to change. There are seasons of hustle that we need to lean into. The biggest thing is to make sure it’s only a season and doesn’t become your norm.

If you have your business systems organized, which leads to a succinct task list, and combine that with your personal boundaries, you’ll get your priority tasks done on the regular!

If you have any questions about workflows & systems, send me an email! I love chatting with people about business organization, workflows, and systems – no pressure ever! I’m happy to help however I can. 🙂

If you’ve been looking for help to organize your business, I have 1 spot left for summer 2021 then I’ll be booking into 2022!

I’m cheering you on, friend! You can do this & live that dream life!

Xoxo,

Jenn

 

www.harperhadleycreative.com

IG: @harperhadleycreative

Email: hello@harperhadleycreative.com

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  1. Jenn says:

    Thanks for having me! <3