It can oftentimes be overwhelming running a Teachers Pay Teachers business. Somehow the work turns into a never ending list that we struggle to get through. Add that to your full time teaching job and where do you even begin? How do you get to it all? Here are some tips on how to get more done in your TPT business when your time is very limited!
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Before you sit down to work, try to come up with a brain dump document where you are going to list everything that you need to get done. Maybe it’s making new social media images? Maybe it’s updating a couple product covers? Or maybe it’s responding to some questions in your TPT store? Literally write down anything you can think of.
Keep this page handy so that you can add to it over time. Sometimes when we sit down and we are put on the spot we may not think of all the things that we need to. If you have your brain dump document handy, then you can return to it later to add to it. One tip that we have is keeping this document on your phone or on a browser tab so you can easily click it and add to it when needed.
This list doesn’t always have to be digital either – keeping a notebook and pen handy works too!
Tackle the List with a Strategy
Now we recommend going through your brain dump list and organizing it with a system that orders things based on the biggest business impact. Go through your brain dump list and using a ranked numbering system of 1-3, rank the items that you wrote down. A task that will help your revenue in a strong way should be labeled as a 1. Tasks that increase your revenue a little or ones that might take a while to gain traction should be labeled as 2. And finally, anything with a 3 is a task that you might want to get done that is not necessarily going to move the needle in your business in a strong way.
So what does that look like? For some that might be a social media post if you don’t have a big Instagram following. In that case, you might not see a return on that quickly.
A big revenue item would be a blog post showcasing a top seller. Since blog posts are constantly out there thanks to SEO, Pinterest, etc., that would be considered an important task.
Knowing where you are making your money and how to capitalize on it will help you with this step. We break down the method for doing this and how it can work for your business further in the Finishing Framework.
If you aren’t too sure about the numbering system, that is fine. Simply starring or highlighting the most important tasks is good. The point here is to make sure you are doing the absolute best tasks that will grow your business in the limited time you have. Do not waste that time doing something that will not allow this growth.
Create Your To-Do List
After creating your numbered list or highlighting your important items, create your to-do list in order based on your criteria.
Here is where you can sort these items based on your particular preference. Maybe it’s having a long list and you just tackle item by item when you sit down to work? Maybe it is completing three to five items per day? Depending on how you work is going to determine what you do with this to-do list. Also be mindful of the time it will take to complete certain items.
The biggest takeaway will be knowing the order in which to do things. As soon as you are done with the most important tasks, start on the next items and so on.
Get More Done with Your Time
The next step for how to get more done on TpT is to really focus on the amount of time that you have to work. Is it an hour before you have to get ready for work? Is it 2 hours before you go to bed? Whatever the time might be, have an idea so that you can work effectively.
After you know your timeframe, use something such as a power hour or possibly the Pomodoro method to keep you focused. Let me explain how each one works.
You are going to set a timer for an hour and work on your to-do list without any distractions. Put your phone away, turn off alerts on your computer, and stay focused.
This might be the better method for you if you find that your mind tends to wander away. With this, you will work in 25 minute increments and then have a five-minute break. With that 5 minutes, you can do whatever you want such as getting some water, checking social media, etc. After the fourth cycle of 25 minutes, you give yourself a longer break of 15 minutes. Something like this might help you with the mind wandering, but the 5 minute timer keeps you on track so you don’t end up scrolling social media for half an hour. Those breaks often allow you to be laser-focused. In that 25 minute chunk, you know you have to get your task done quickly.
When it comes to your time. one of the best things I’ve heard (I am sorry I can’t remember where!) is that if you have 3 hours to clean your house it will take you 3 hours to clean your house. If you have 30 minutes to clean your house it will take you 30 minutes in your house. Same goes for your work. If you look at your list and think, “I have all week to get to this,” then it will take you the entire week. If you have a timed limit, you will likely get it done a lot quicker, allowing you time for other things.
Plan for the Entire Week or Month
One of the best things that has worked for me is planning far in advance. If I plan the day of, I find that my work is still sporadic. But planning farther in advance has helped me. Every Sunday, I sit down and I do my brain dump. I then order my tasks and I fill everything in for the entire week. That way I’m not sitting down trying to come up with a to-do list daily. Sometimes coming up with that list takes a while, and I have then wasted precious time trying to figure things out.
When I sit down at my computer, I know exactly what I’m doing and I get it done within the allotted amount of time because I do the Pomodoro method. Having my list ready for the entire week eliminates my anxiety and my stress level.
These are just some of the things that I have found helpful when it comes to working on my TPT business. I have a very limited amount of time, so it is important for me to get as much done as possible within that time frame. I hope you found this helpful and I would love to know what you do if your time is limited! Comment and let us know!