During the course of my day, I meet some pretty amazing people. And this week, I was in need of some organizing advice. I asked Kelly of Faithful Provisions for a few minutes to run some questions by her.
This is longer than I usually post, but I know a lot of us are currently trying to organize our summer schedules around children. I think you’ll really get a lot from reading how Kelly manages her time so well.
How do you do all these things and work online full time?
This is how Kelly and her husband find balance.
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): We have 2 blogs that are our full time biz and now possibly a new joint venture I am working on with some bloggers, plus I have 2 kids at home and we are going to homeschool this fall.
I know…. I am CRAZY!
Cathy Tibbles: Thats 3 full time jobs! Never mind being YOU or a wife.
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): Yes, I know! Sometimes I prefer being me, mom and wife.
Cathy Tibbles: I think I’ll have to start worrying about you! 🙂
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): Oh, I am doing much better at balance. I used to be terrible, but once I got two VA’s[virtual assistants], my life has been wonderful! Plus, my husband and I work here together. He is a big help with the house and kiddos. We share all our responsibilities.
What tools and resources do you use?
Cathy Tibbles: Do you have a system that works for you with to-do items and follow-up on email?
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): Everything that needs to be done, stays in an “unread” status until I complete it. Are you on gmail?
Cathy Tibbles: Yes, I love gmail! 🙂
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): I use the “task” function too in gmail calendar.
I have separate calendars for each part of my biz. For instance, I have a family calendar, a FP Free Events (for blog) a NP Free Events. A Posting Schedule Calendar. I have a calendar for my VA’s etc.
I post followup tasks in my calendar, it sends me an email when it is due.
Cathy Tibbles: I’m ALL ears.
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): So, for instance, I am reading my emails. and I have something I need to do in it, but the kids are at my feet and I dont’ want to forget, I set as “unread” or I archive and set a task. For me the key to “feeling” organized and productive is keeping a small inbox. IF I can put things on my calendar, adn task lists, and archive, archive, arvhive, I feel like a million bucks and am so much more productive.
Does that make sense?
Cathy Tibbles: Totally.
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): That works for me. But…. don’t schedule TOO many tasks. Make it manageable. Feeling productive is the key.
Cathy Tibbles: Right.
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): I don’t put more than two items on per day.
Cathy Tibbles: I only keep one or two projects – like you – something that helps me FEEL on top of it! lol My hubby would fall over if he heard me talk like this. lol
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): Oh, I know.
Cathy Tibbles: We dont care if we ARE organized, we only want to FEEL like we are. 😀
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): Yes, seriously! That is the key, the way you feel is critical.
Cathy Tibbles: Ok.
What have you learned about prioritizing?
Kelly is explaining a concept a friend shared with her:
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): Basically her concept to me was each day you have one task that MUST be done and that is your priority, have it on a white board in your office. You take 10 minutes with your biz partner to review the day or week you are having.
Then each quarter you spend 1/2 a day planning for the next quarter. Then each 6 months you spend 1 day planning. Then when you do your yearly planning, goal setting etc you take 1-3 days retreat. So, the idea is you take time to plan and get organized proprotionally to what you are planning for.
We do a retreat 2x’s per year, my hubs and I do. A biz retreat, and we work on our biz plan, financials, direction, family goals, homeschooling. We map out what and how we will function for the next year or 6 months.
Those plans ALWAYS change, so then every 3 months we will reevaluate the plan using a few hours or half day together to get back on track…
Each week on Friday or Sunday, we have a 15-30 minute planning session on priorities, and schedules.
This is VERY helpful.
When we did our planning retreat, we went over our biz plan, a made a laundry list of to-do’s. We prioritized according to what would make us money and use less time doing it.
IF we were doing things that brought no revenue, we ditched them.
We focused on our money makers, or things that would drive traffic for us.
That is how I hired two VA’s to help me, and what has led to hiring you.
It is cheaper for me to hire you to do my tech and trouble shooting that to spend all the time figuring it out myself.
I need to spend my time, focusing on content to drive pageviews for my site, handling ad promotions, etc.
Cathy Tibbles: And the key is that you KNOW how much your time is worth now.
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): Yes! I was spreading myself thin and my family was paying for it. A happy and balanced family life is the key I think to success. You need to work smart, not more.
How do you schedule family time?
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): I also am trying to get better at having “no computer” times. 5-8pm is no computer time for me unless somthing urgent comes up.
Cathy Tibbles: Oh yeah, me too.
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): I also give the kids my full attention from 8-1 each day
Cathy Tibbles: WOW – that is a LOT of time!
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): I work around them, because I quit my corporate job to stay home with them, I am defeating the purpose if I don’t love on them! ya know? I used to do my morning quite time online as an ITunes thing. But, I was getting distracted with the computer. So I only do book studies now.
Cathy Tibbles: nodding… I totally understand!
Kelly Hancock (Faithful Provisions): So, I would recommend you might even want to sit and write a detailed list of all you have to do, and prioritize it. Then plug it into your calendar according to priority, revenue and time available. Forget about the things that aren’t important….. unless it is my project! LOL, just kidding!
Cathy Tibbles: THANK you for your time!!