Do you DREAD Mondays? Are you like me and you kind of just get “paralyzed” by all the things that you need to do RIGHT NOW on a Monday morning? I know for me, I have usually avoided my email inbox over the weekend and I have a BUNCH of tasks that NEED to be tended to RIGHT AWAY. Well, I decided a while ago that I would help eliminate a bit of my own stress with a “Monthly Duty Day” I adopted this overall idea from Katelyn James about 4 years ago and I have since make it my own!
SO, I personally choose the FIRST Monday of the month to attack a BUNCH of tasks that would otherwise sit undone for an inordinate amount of time (similar to my unfolded laundry on my couch) if I just let them go. Tasks like making my blogging calendar, categorizing my expenses from the last month with my APP called Self- Employed by Quick Books (you do NOT have to use quickbooks in order to make this app work WONDERS for you! I’ll explain below), categorize my mileage so that I have a CHUNK of money to write off at the end of the year with how many miles I drive for errands, meetings and shoots, and I tend to make appointments for this duty day as well if I know I need to do a task other than a client meeting. Here is a little bit about how this day USUALLY looks, obviously it may vary but you will get the gist. So, lets dive in:
- I start by getting a sitter! (for the kids, not my husband… I’m just kidding!) but for real. This is a day that if you have kids, you NEED the work time. So take them to grandparents or do a trade day with a friend once a month or pay a sitter and get a MIN of 4 hours (I try for 6) to get all your tasks done.
- I tackle my emails RIGHT when I sit down. I literally go down the list in my inbox and I don’t allow myself to get distracted. Then once it’s done, I X out of my inbox and don’t open it again until ALL my other tasks are done.
- I write up a blogging calendar! I put in shoots and weddings I know I want to blog and when I want to have them blogged BY and then I write in a few other blog ideas too! I may even crank out a blog post right then and there (like I am literally doing TODAY/RIGHT NOW) so that I have one to share for the week!
- I sit at a coffee shop (treat yourself to something you like so that you have that to look forward to on your duty day so that it’s not ALL AWFUL) and I get my phone out and start the swipe left and swipe right game! Noooo not for a dating app hahah I found my hot Knight in Shinning armor already… but rather this is my QuickBooks Self Employed App! It’s killer you guys! A TOTAL game changer! I easily and quickly categorize ALL my business expenses (and a few personal ones too) by swiping and then giving it a category that is directly off the “Schedule C” tax paperwork that you do at the end of the year (or my accountant does!). I also do the same swiping thing for my mileage. SO this links RIGHT to my business credit card and account so that ALL my transactions are in one place. I kid you not, it not only makes takes a BREEZE but it has been keeping me better accountable for all the expenses I have and realizing I may not need a lot of things! YAY For saving me money! If you use my link you get 50% off your first 6 months too!! It’s Super cheap and worth EVERY CENT.
- Once all the other yucky stuff is out of the way, I then tackle bigger “issues”. Case in Point: the last week I found out my contact form AND anything purchased from my online shop were not getting emails so something on the back end of my website is messed up! While I of course began trouble shooting this problem as soon as I found out, I know I have dedicated time set aside today to really tackle it and this way it does not eat into my family/life time or other aspects of my business.
- File receipts! This is self explanatory, BUT I basically try to remember to empty my wallet out into a plastic baggy that I write the month and year on, and then I just put them in a file in this cute Nate Berkus file holder. I buy cute files each year at target too since I don’t have a desk or anything at home I justified buying a little file box! – PS I am REALLY good a justifying buying anything by Nate Berkus 😉
My duty day is NOT for editing, or for meetings with clients or networking or social media (ya ya ya you will of course see me on and off of social media on my dude day but hey, I am only human!) but it really is meant to set aside time for tasks that otherwise go TO LONG and you end up DREADING them all. I hope this helps and AS USUAL, feel free to leave questions or write me a message on my Instagram! I am pretty good about answering your questions there when you message me!