Let’s face it - time management is the seemingly impossible, million dollar challenge. If only we could be more productive and get more done each day! If only we could create an ideal content creator daily schedule!
Time management can feel especially challenging for creators because you’re working independently (without a “boss” to micromanage your time for you). Moreover, creators are always working - there isn’t a clear “5 pm” cutoff when your work for the day stops. Creators are also working on many different projects and juggling numerous to dos within each project at any given time. Not all of these projects are independent, either—creators need to meet both their own deadlines as well as those of brands and other partners.
But time management is also especially important for creators to master. With the proper time management skills, creators can get more done and accelerate their work, grow their audience, make more income, and advance their business. Proper time management also contributes to much greater feelings of purpose and fulfillment.
In this article, we’ll help you solve this million dollar challenge of time management by giving your tactical tips and templates to get more out of each day!
Content creator daily schedule
Use a template. Calendars sound simple, but they’re actually not easy to create. Moreover, when we already have a million things on our to do list, making a calendar can feel like another daunting addition to that never ending task list.
But don’t despair - you can use templates other creators have made, such as this one from Emma’s Edition or this one from Canva. Or it could be as simple as a new notebook entry each day like the one Michelle Loucadoux shared in Better Humans.
The beauty of using these templates and actually writing out your schedule is that you can easily notice patterns, issues, or opportunities.
- Are there days that look especially busy?
- Are there opportunities to group more similar tasks together? (we’ll get into this when we talk about day batching below)
- Are there days that look lighter? Are there open time blocks you want to fill with an event or a deep work session?
- Is there a big task you need to carve out more time to prepare for?
In addition to paying attention to tasks, keeping track of your posting activity across your social media platforms also help you stay organized and notice patterns of what is working for you. Use a tool that automatically syncs your activity across all your active platforms, like Beacons's Post Activity tool.
Plan in advance. Consider planning 1-2 weeks in advance and get into that habit. Set aside, for example, each Sunday evening to plan for the next week or the week after next. By planning in advance, you’ll feel much more organized when you begin work and plan around potential roadblocks earlier and more effectively.
Plan in detail. Vague schedules are the hardest to follow. Break all your larger tasks into actionable to dos and schedule them out throughout the day.
For example, if you need to prepare for interviewing a guest on your podcast, instead of blocking out a few hours to prepare, get specific. From 9 am to 10 am, you’ll read up on the guest’s background. From 10 am to 11 am, you’ll prepare questions for the guest. From 11 am to 11:30 am, you’ll prepare an intro for the guest. Get to the atomic unit of task and block out a specific window of time to do it. That way, you won’t waste any time wondering how to start your task because you’ll have broken it down into a manageable chunk.
To test whether you’re specific enough in your task breakdown, ask yourself - is there a clear “done state” for this task?
Time yourself doing things so you can further refine and optimize your schedule.
Check off your tasks as you do them - doing so gives you a feeling of satisfaction and achievement throughout the day. The small wins are important!
Batch your day. Context switching is one of the biggest destroyers of productivity, and day batching is the solution. Day batching is a fancy way of saying group tasks by theme. For example, you can have a day just for filming so you don’t have to switch between filming and writing. You can have a day just for editing so you don’t have to switch between concepting and editing. You can have a week just for brand deal outreach so you can make tons of progress there before turning to a new project. Here’s an example of a batched day.
Get into a rhythm. Similar to day batching, it helps you have a predictable flow to the day. There is no one size fits all for your schedule, but here are some suggestions:
- Schedule your hardest projects for when you have the most focus and energy. If you’re a morning person, do your hardest tasks in the morning. If you’re an evening person, save your challenges to tackle later in the day.
- End the day with mindless tasks or for when you’re feeling less focused. These are easy wins you can get out of the way without thinking or working too hard.
- Start the day early. Regardless of if you’re a morning or evening person, everyone loves to start the day on a positive note, so knock out a fun task first.
Personal time management
Do something for yourself every day. You can’t be your best self at work without first taking care of yourself. Things get busy every day, and there always seems to be an endless to do list to tackle—but try to do just one thing for yourself each day. It could be as short as a 10 minute meditation session or a 5 minute ab workout, or something bigger like treating yourself to your favorite dessert, watching an episode of your favorite show, or getting a massage.
Carve out time for meals. How many times have we picked our heads up mid afternoon to realize we haven’t eaten all day? Food is fuel, and we can’t be our most productive selves when we’re hungry. When crafting your calendar, make time for lunch. Add a lunch event in your calendar to block off time to cook or pick up lunch and eat it. Sometimes eating at our desks is inevitable, but whenever you can, try to step away and take your mind off work even for just 15 minutes during your lunch break. With a clearer head, you can come back to work more refreshed and focused.
Start the day off with a workout. We all know the feeling of getting to the end of the day, feeling lethargic, and skipping yet another planned trip to the gym. Instead of trying to squeeze your workout in at the end of the day, do it at the beginning. You’ll feel energized even before you start your first work task. The productive start to the day will get you motivated and set up for success when you start work!
Make time for friends. Working as a creator can be a lonely endeavor. Unlike typical office work, creators don’t often have colleagues they go to the office with or team members they regularly interface with. So you have to be intentional about establishing and cultivating social connection daily. While you may not have typical coworkers, you can still seek out daily social interaction by:
- Blocking off time on your calendar to get dinner with friends 2 nights a week
- Joining creator groups and communities (both virtual and in person) to meet likeminded people and share insights
- Spending a day or part of your day at coworking spaces with other creators
- Going to events to meet and reconnect with other creators
Give yourself breaks throughout the day. No one is productive sitting at their desk for 12 hours a day. Get up and move around every few hours. Take a walk, grab a coffee, watch some funny videos, or play with your dog.
The Pomodoro Technique is a great way to incorporate a balance of breaks and focused work periods throughout the day.
Other time management hacks for creators
Do small tasks immediately. It’s so easy to let small tasks pile up until they’ve somehow become one big intimidating ball. Don’t let this happen! Follow the 2 minute rule. If a task can be done in 2 minutes, do it right away. Don’t procrastinate.
Work in a distraction free space. Our work environment is so important for our productivity and happiness. If you don’t love where you work, how can you love your work? Take the time to set up an office space you love. Move your desk near the window for some natural light. Create some separation between work and home (especially important for creators since many do work from home). Get some plants and posters to spruce up the place. Remove possible distractions like your TV.
Evaluate your priorities regularly. We’ve focused a lot on productivity here but being productive doesn’t matter at all if you’re not working on the right things. Carve out some time for reflection each week or each month. Ask yourself:
- What should I be working on?
- What is important but not urgent?
- Am I primarily working on the urgent but not important tasks?
- What do I enjoy working on?
- What are my main goals?
- What do I need to do to achieve my main goals?
- What are my favorite things to do?
- What could I do less of?
- What should I do more of?
The “importance/urgency” framework is helpful for this:
Set boundaries. Boundaries make you better. Don’t feel guilty for taking breaks! Creators struggle especially with setting boundaries because work and life often blend together. Make time for yourself - stop checking your computer and phone after a certain hour. Actually rest on the weekends.
Communicate your schedule to others. It can be hard to manage deliverables and projects for many different clients. With your schedule created, you can better communicate to brands and other stakeholders what parts of their projects you’re working on and when and generally what else you have going on so they can better collaborate with you and set reasonable expectations.
Leave margin for error. Don’t pack your schedule too tight that you can’t be late for anything. We all know things happen and don’t always go as planned. Plan ahead by leaving some room for the unplanned!
Time management and a great content creator daily schedule is the foundation for everything. Start by incorporating just a few of these best practices into your routine and you’ll quickly notice an uplift in your productivity levels and a sharp reduction in your to do list!
P.S. you can check out our other tools at Beacons (including an AI text generator) to further save you time!