What time management tips can you give to a teacher seller?
We both struggle with time management, but we have learned a few things over the years that has helped. Here are our tips for time management, and some awesome tips from our group!
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. You don’t have to purchase them through our links, but if you do, it helps us pay for the costs of the podcast and blog!
Let it go
Seriously, just LET IT GO! If it’s not important to your business, don’t do it. If you don’t see a return on your time investment, it’s time to let it go. It’s hard for us to let things go when others are doing them, but it’s so important to focus on the things that help your business the most. Letting things go will free up a lot of precious time.
Automate the Less Important Things
Over the last year, we’ve found ourselves automating a lot more. This helps us free up valuable time for the things we can’t automate, like product creation.
We both use a tool called SmarterQueue to automate posts that get sent to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We don’t use Twitter much, but we rely on this tool for a lot of what we do on Facebook. With Facebook organic reach being down, we didn’t think it was worth as much time as it used to be to do the posts ourselves. I use it to automate discussion questions in my Facebook groups, which used to take a substantial amount of time. Starting a Facebook group is a huge commitment. Angie uses it to automate her Facebook page queue, so that she has quality content going out all the time, even when she doesn’t have time to post. We both use the Solo plan, which is $19.99/month. I used Meet Edgar before, but it’s way more expensive for the same exact service. I actually helped beta test SmarterQueue a couple of years ago, so I got the chance to have an impact on the features they developed!
I use Boardbooster because I want to be totally hands-off with my Pinterest. It’s not the most user friendly service ever, so I used a lot of YouTube videos to help me set it up. It took me about 2 hours, and I haven’t touched it in over a year. It constantly pulls pins from the boards I choose to send to my boards and my collaborative boards. I only choose high quality boards from my teacher seller friends that pin great content. You can exclude a domain, like teacherspayteachers.com, if you don’t want any product pins from others in your feed, and just want to share blog posts. It also allows you to choose certain pins to send out to your own boards and collaborative boards every so often. I do this mainly with my product pins.
This graph shows my growth in followers (blue) compared to the average of similar accounts (gray). I believe that the growth is because my pins are going out consistently. I also think that since I set it up to only pull from high quality teacher pinners, that I’m also getting a boost because of that. Followers aren’t as important as they used to be, but it shows that my boards are getting healthy traffic.
Angie uses Tailwind, which is also a fantastic service. She ultimately wants more control over what’s going out. Tailwind allows you to bulk schedule, and she schedules an entire month of content in just a couple of hours.
Tribes & board lists are the most powerful features of Tailwind. Tribes allow you to have a “pinning party” with people that have similar content to yours. It allows you to create a group of like-minded sellers share your pins with them, then pin their pins that they’ve shared. Board lists let you make lists of boards to pin to, and then you can bulk add the same pin to go to each board at a specific time interval.
Automating allows for you to stay in front of your audience, without having to actively think about it!
Create a Content Calendar
Angie and I have a shared content calendar in Google Sheets. You can see at the bottom of the screenshot that we each have a tab for each month. We started this in March, and it has helped us focus so much. We don’t overfill our calendars. We put the product or main focus in yellow, then smaller tasks below.
We keep our super long to-do lists separate. The calendar is only for the things we must get done. We check in on each other daily and cheer each other on. When we struggle, we have someone to talk about it to.
I use the very basic app Doozy for my to-do list, and Angie uses the Trello, which as some pretty cool functionality as far as marking things in different categories and how long the tasks take.
Get Rid of the Distractions
Do what you need to do to prevent distractions from social media while working. This may mean no internet, if you can swing it. We also often place our phones in the other room when working. If you can’t do that, turn off your notifications!
Tips from Our Awesome Group
If you haven’t joined our awesome open mastermind group on Facebook, please do so! We would love to chat with you in there. Here are some tips that our wonderful group members shared. Many of these are things that we do as well!
- I use the Block Site Chrome extension to keep me from venturing onto sites I shouldn’t be on while working. It is a little glitchy, but has saved me tons of mindless scrolling time.
- Weekly cycles! Every Monday I blog, Tuesday I do my newsletter and answer emails, Wednesday I make pins, Thursday I create TpT products and Friday I podcast.
- Work when I am motivated! If i cant get in the groove I get stuff done around the house and come back to tpt later.
- It’s not a schedule but yesterday I listened to your podcast while I was on the stair stepper and today I listened to a session on Pinterest on the step climber. Love multi tasking!
- Early morning power hours before work! It’s a great time slot to tackle the quick, smaller things like making a pin, updating product descriptions, or crunching end-of-month data.
- Once I have flushed a resource out, I break it into bite size tasks that I accomplish in little blocks. I often use a pomodoro timer for days spent working on one thing.
- I use Evernote to keep my lists. I use RescueTime to track my time (can also block sites). I have a written plan for the week so I don’t waste my time trying to figure out what I want to work on.
- Phonto is one of my go to apps for image creation and I can use it in any of the downtime while I’m waiting for things. Keeps me ready with social media images on hand at any time.
- I love mega batching. If I need to work on my blog I write several posts at a time. If I’m scheduling for Pinterest I do weeks at a time. You develop a flow when you work on something for hours versus hopping between projects.
- I don’t use any apps or tools when it comes to productivity but I do try to batch everything that I can and I also have a daily routine that I go through so that helps me with not spending time on figuring out some of those daily to do’s. When I am batching out something, I attempt to remove as many distractions as I can. I turn my wifi off and play classical music (which tends to keep me focused).
- Todoist to keep track of tasks and projects and recurring tasks. A paper planner to really help me visualize my day, plan put those tasks and prioritize and set up realistic goals.
- PicTapGo for photo editing. I have a couple filter recipes saved that solve almost every issue.
- If I try to batch something I don’t like doing, it gets dragged out way too long. So I break them up into hour chunks and knock it out in the morning. Ends up making me like it because then I feel accomplished for the day.