When creative entrepreneurs research time management and how they can get more done, they are often told they need to put everything on a calendar and schedule it. I have talked to many creative entrepreneurs who have tried this only to get frustrated.
The reason the creatives get frustrated is that they aren’t wired to follow a schedule and be told that they need to do this exact thing at this exact time and proceed through their day like that.
I have found that most creatives I have worked with do better by implementing an energy management system. What is an energy management system? This is a system where the entrepreneur works with the flow of his or her energy and capitalize on it. For example, most entrepreneurs’ energy is highest in mid-morning, so scheduling the most important tasks between 10 am-1pm often works well. Doing the most important task first, gives a boost of energy by just knowing that task is handled. That boost of energy helps a creative person to stay motivated and finish the next thing on the list.
Another important part of energy management is to know what helps you to get the kind of energy that you need to accomplish the tasks before you. For instance, most entrepreneurs need to do some kind of consistent marketing. I have found that for me to set aside a marketing day is a great way to accomplish one of my least favorite tasks. I bunch all my marketing-like tasks together to do on Wednesday. Why Wednesday? Because Wednesday is the day I get up early and go to a network meeting. I know by being around all that networking and marketing energy I am more likely to absorb it on that day and to run with it.
I also know that being an introvert and doing all that outgoing stuff, like talking to people for a whole day, will drain me, so the next day I schedule is an introvert day, and I do my introvert tasks like writing.
Another thing to look at is which day is the best day to get all those annoying little things done. I love bunching them together and blasting through them. I often schedule those for days that are filled with interruptions, and it is hard for me to get flow—or in mother language, it’s an early day out of school for my children, so in-between clients, I am constantly driving back and forth to school.
Now what you need to do probably won’t look the same as mine, but hopefully you can see how I arrange my days around my energy. The environment, and tasks I need to do affect my energy, so if I plan for this, I can show up as my best, to get the tasks done. Using this perspective, you can draft the perfect energy management system for you.