Tick Tock: Time Management for Boss Babes
So, raise your hand if every time someone asks how you are, you reply: "Good! So busy!"
I feel like a broken record when I make small talk with people. Yes - everything is going swimmingly. But no, I hardly have time to breathe. Despite my best efforts, one of my biggest challenges is always: time management. I'll have a few days where I think I'm SO on top of it, and then within moments, topple back into a pool of overwhelm, disorganization, anxiety. And so the cycle goes on.
I work from home, and I split my attention between three things: building up the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy, growing my budding design business Marissa Conway Creative, and working as the Director of Copywriting for Triarc. Balancing everything - paid vs. unpaid work, social vs. professional opportunities, me vs. community time - the binaries go on and on, and while I do feel like I've got a slightly better handle on things than even six months ago, I still find myself scratching my head at HOW in the world I am supposed to stay on top of it all.
I know I'm not the only one that struggles with this - whether you run your own business or are a very kickass employee, everyone I know feels like they're spinning 50 plates, hardly able to keep them going. And while I still have a lot to learn, I have a few tricks that have started to make this whole time management thing a bit easier.
"No" is my favourite word.
As your stereotypical people pleaser, this was a hard lesson to learn. And to get feminist about it - because why else are we here - women are societally conditioned to be: Nice. Quiet. Amenable. So when I need to set boundaries with my time, saying no to others is actually an active process of unlearning the toxic feminine traits I was trained to embody from a young age. But the beauty of saying "no" is that it's really a way to say "yes" to my priorities: my wellbeing and my relationships.
Automate as much as possible.
I am on a tight budget, but I've managed to figure out a few low-cost ways to automate activities that are otherwise horribly time consuming. From meal prepping to email sending to social media scheduling, there are some fantastic apps that do the hard work for you (never fear, a detailed blog post on all this is coming!). But the trick with automating is to actually leave the free time it creates, well, free! For example, I schedule out my Instagram posts so I don't have to stress about posting in real time, with the added bonus of not getting regularly sucked into the black hole that is Instagram. I now use that extra 15 minutes a day to focus on the people around me or to indulge in my favourite hobbies.