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Time Mastery for Interior Designers

Applying these interior design time mastery tips can help you get more done in less time with far less stress.

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interior designer time mastery
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The bottom line is that when you apply these interior design time mastery tips, you’ll get more done in less time with far less stress. Will you take the challenge?

Step One

Create your master list of everything you do during business hours each week. I know, it’s going to be a massively long list, but you’ve got to get it all down if you’re serious about applying these interior design time mastery tips and reclaiming hours from every week.

Your list is going to include actions like: client meetings, sourcing, drafting, design concepts, invoicing, purchasing, tracking, contractor meetings, site visits, administration & paperwork, social media, marketing, project management, networking, industry events, and a whole lot more. The more thorough you are in crafting this list, the simpler it will be to take the next step.

Interior design time mastery puts you in charge of your business. 

When you take control of your time, you take control of your results.

Step Two

Take everything you wrote down and categorize it into the categories detailed here. Oh, and if you really are committed to interior design time mastery, you’ll want to start a time diary. You only need to deploy this for 2 weeks, but you want to start from the moment you open your eyes in the morning to the moment you close them at night. Don’t miss a moment and record in 15-30 minute blocks of time.

Yes, it’s a pain in the ass, but it’s also the absolute fastest way to see where you’re getting distracted and losing dollars or going down revenue sucking rabbit holes.

Every designer I work with does this exercise in their first two weeks of coaching and the results are eye opening and game changing. We can see where their behaviors are running them into the ground and they learn to change core habits that have been sabotaging their interior design practice and their productivity.

  • Marketing & PR. this is all actions you take to get seen, found, and hired. It includes social media, networking (not with peers), entertaining, hosting events, being published, blogging, and more.
  • Creative Design. this is the time you invest in design concepts, sourcing furnishings and finishes, collaborating with artists and craftsmen on custom pieces and commissions, designing original patterns, materials and pieces.
  • Design Deliverables. this is the drafting, renderings, mood boards, selection boards, design presentations, and the many pieces that the client sees. These are the deliverables from your creative process for client review and approval.
  • Project Management & Administration. this is the backbone of your business operations, all the communications (email, text, phone) with clients, contractors, vendors, the tracking, the updates, the trouble shooting, the problem solving and the invoicing. This is the essential paperwork that accompanies every project.

Do you have anything leftover, that hasn’t been categorized? There’s one final category of Personal Care because interior design isn’t just what you do but who you are and therefore, it’s likely that your business is just a bit tangled up in your life and vice versa.

Are you grabbing a Pilates class at 10 a.m. after you got started in the office at 7 a.m.? Maybe you’ve got a standing mastermind on Thursdays at 2 p.m.. That’s Personal Care (though that mastermind can be categorized as marketing because it grows you and therefore your business).

Interior design time mastery is the cornerstone to your design success. 

Eliminating distractions and rabbit holes will stop your money leaks.

Step Three

Assign each category a color and using Google Calendar (unless you have something you like better that allows colors) block your calendar weekly based on the amount of time each category requires from you.

When you’re blocking time, the minimum is an hour and the maximum is a day (if you do day long installations and don’t have team to be there for you.) If you want to create three ideal weeks, you can do that. What matters most is that you block and include everything you need to get done. Don’t skip meals, that’s not healthy.

If you work best getting a later start and working a bit into the evening then schedule it that way if you have that flexibility. If you’re an early bird and love to get in early and wrap before 5pm, then make that happen.

You’re in charge. The biggest reason you haven’t been in control of your interior design time until now is because you didn’t block your time in advance on everything in your business. Oh, you booked client appointments but everything else just sort of got fit in around those, except it didn’t.

You’ve been allowing your tasks (and distractions) to control you instead of you taking control of them. Accepting this challenge, and doing the work outlined here will create critical awareness of where you’re losing time and how you can reclaim it and the revenue that went with it.

For a simple example of time blocking, go to my exclusive designer Facebook group where we grow your business. It’s free and loaded with powerful tools and systems to give you more time to design and less to be overwhelmed by.

Melissa Galt
Melissa Galt is the author of the Sound Advice blog

Melissa Galt is a sales-generating, referral-building, relationship maker who has the proven processes and successful systems that help you earn more in less time with greater ease, doing exactly what you love most. Whether you want to master time management, renovate your rates, remodel your marketing so it attracts only your ideal clients, or build your team for exceptional growth, Melissa has the strategies and tools you want. She’s been coaching, training, and consulting with designers and retailers for over 15 years. Her expertise is from the trenches of design as a successful residential designer, educator, blogger, and speaker. When you want to ditch what’s not working, you can find her online @melissagalt and www.melissagalt.com.

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