Time management is a struggle for most people, regardless of their occupation. For creators, being self-employed means nobody tells you when to do what. This can lead to serious issues with managing your time, as no prescribed schedule is handed to you. A failure to manage your time can lead to missed opportunities, lackluster content, and additional stress. You’re not alone if you’re looking for better ways to manage your time as a content creator. Luckily, there are plenty of great tips that you can implement to take back your time and have more control of your days. Read on to see our picks for top time management hacks that will keep productivity high and stress low.

Goal Setting

Like anything else in life, it’s good to set goals in your content creation. Having clear, measurable goals will allow you to make plans accordingly. Is your goal to grow an audience, to make money from your content, a combination of the two, or something else entirely? Setting those goals will also help you manage your time, as you can dedicate a certain amount of time each day or week toward specific goals. If you have a goal of obtaining a brand deal, you can allocate an hour or two each day to researching brands to partner with. Whatever you want to achieve, setting those goals will help you narrow your focus and make better use of the time you have available.

Priorities, Priorities, Priorities

Let’s face it- you can’t do everything simultaneously. Content creators might have superpowers in their own right, but they can’t make a day longer than it is. With time management, having your priorities in order is a major must. You should start with your goals, then define your top priorities. Most of your time and effort should go to those top priorities. Think of your priority list as a divider with which you separate your time. Higher priority goals should occupy more of your time and vice versa. Make sure you carefully choose your priorities as they align with your goals and needs, and don’t overexert yourself trying to target too many priorities at once.

Schedules are Your Friend

While content creation lacks the daily routine of a 9-5, it doesn’t have to be entirely without structure. It’s beneficial to not only use calendars and planners but to manage your time on a day-to-day basis. A great way to do this is by blocking your daily schedule. You might allocate your morning to one task, your afternoon to another, etc. Some people enjoy the structure provided by more rigorous time-blocking, such as setting a specific task from 10 am-11:30 am, one from 11:30 am-12 pm, etc. If you decide to use more specific and intensive time-blocking, make sure you schedule breaks, both for your mental fortitude and to allow reasonable time for meals and other things. You don’t want to be militant in your scheduling, but be intentional!

Work with Your Internal Clock

Studies have proven that people all have times of day during which they are the most productive. Some people might be at their best early in the morning, while others hit their stride late at night. Whatever your “zone” time is, work with it, not against it. If you can facilitate placing the bulk of your work within your most productive windows, you will accomplish more than forcing yourself to work when your brain isn’t performing at the greatest capacity.

Have Metrics for Progress

Investing a lot of time in something and not feeling like you have made progress can lead to exhaustion, confusion, and chaos. You can use various software tools, to-do lists, or even a good old-fashioned sticky note system to keep up with your progress. Having some sort of visual representation of your progress will not only benefit your time-management skills but will also keep your morale higher. With those specific and measurable goals, keeping tabs on how you’re progressing is easy.

Break Down Bigger Tasks

Sometimes, major tasks can leave us feeling stuck and unsure where to begin. A task can feel like an insurmountable obstacle when it is big enough. We can make most tasks more manageable by breaking them down into smaller pieces and completing them individually. This is a perfect way to work with the previous tip on progression tracking. There are even apps and online tools to help you automatically break out larger tasks into a series of smaller ones and track your progress as you work through the items on the list. Breaking down the more significant tasks will help you feel less overwhelmed and more focused and will allow you to manage your time more wisely.

Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

While it’s admirable to throw yourself into your work with a passion, burnout is very real and can be difficult to recover from. You need to maintain a healthy balance of work and personal life as much as possible. This will also help with time management, as allowing yourself no breaks from work will cause your productivity to decline. You need to ensure you’re allowing ample time to rest and recharge, otherwise, you risk putting everything on hold because of burnout.

Use Creator Tools

It’s 2023, and there are plenty of tools for creators to help with your time management. From email assistants to social media scheduling tools, plenty of programs and apps can save you time, money, and stress. For a busy creator, these tools can help you create routines and stay consistent. If time management is a major struggle, implementing a few of these creator tools might give you back enough hours in the day to make an enormous difference.

Still struggling with time management?

These hacks will surely help you improve your time management as a content creator. If you’re still struggling, look at how you spend your time. Does it align with your goals? Content creators are creatives at heart, so perhaps it’s not a lack of time but a lack of motivation that has you in a slump. Whatever the reason, remember why you started. You became a content creator because you have something you thought was worth sharing with the world. Remember that something and let that motivate you to push forward. Always remember to take care of yourself along the way- after all, you are your own brand.