Organization 101: Maximizing Efficiency Online

By: Eden Hensley Photo by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Working as a solo entrepreneur or member of a small team it is easy to get overwhelmed. Hours stretch out in front of us at the start of the day leading us to believe there is plenty of time. Yet how often does the end of the day arrive and you wonder where did the time go? 

Each day there are little things we do that over time when added up limit our productivity. Here are four recommendations that may help eliminate some common time wasting activities, like looking for misplaced photographs or lost drafts. 

  1. Establish a schedule that allows you to balance your workload. When you work for yourself, you can accidentally overcommit yourself thinking you have more time than you actually do. Maddy of Splendid Supply gives five tips for managing your time.
  2. Use online tools to keep track of must read content and content you want to share. Victoria of A Subtle Revelry reveals two of her favorite online organization programs for keeping her social media feeds and links she wants to share at her finger tips. Another program to consider in addition to Victoria's suggestions is Flipboard. If you're not yet using Flipboard to power your blog, be sure to attend the upcoming free eCourse two weeks from today, September 29th at 1PM PT/4PM ET.
  3. Set social media boundaries and focus on a balance between online and offline connections. Ciera of Ciera Design offers tips for staying connected and inspired without totally getting overwhelmed.
  4. Store your digital images consistently. If you save photos to one folder one day and to another folder another day, you undoubtedly forget where a specific image is when you need it. Justin Hackworth shares three ideas for keeping your photos organized and reducing the amount of time you spend searching for the right visual.

When you are feeling overwhelmed how do you step back and get your to do list back under control? If you are interested in hearing more techniques for avoiding becoming overwhelmed, be sure to select the Overcome Overwhelm session during Alt for Everyone on Thursday, September 25 at 3:45PM PT/6:45PM ET led by Hilary Rushford and Whitney English.

Scheduling Time To Work Consistently

By: Sara Urquhart. Photo by: Justin Hackworth. 

When you work in a flexible industry like ours, putting in the hours you need to can be challenging unless you set up a structure to support great work habits, especially you’re balancing other responsibilities like parenthood or a full-time job. Consider these tips for creating a consistent schedule.

Decide when you’ll work. Sounds simple, but without making this decision, your day will fill with other obligations. You may have to work on your social media career in the wee hours of the morning before the rest of the world wakes up, or late at night after little ones are in bed. It may require getting childcare midday during the week, or establishing expectations with your spouse about who is responsible for what and when. Likely it will be a mix of strategies that will keep your schedule open for work.

Create—and use—an editorial calendar. Again, deciding is the first step. Decide on content, styling and photos, writing, and collaborations ahead of time. Taking the time to plan means you aren’t scrambling at the last minute, or missing posts because they aren’t ready. Include time spent working on your business, and not just in your business. Schedule time for blog innovation and experimentation—things like investigating new platforms and emerging technology.

Consider batch creation. If a few hours here and there doesn’t suit you, it might work best for you to set aside an entire day, or even a few days, to pump out multiple blog posts, tutorials and styled shoots. Continue to plan and generate ideas between these power days without worrying that you’re falling behind in executing them.