Richard & Kate: Fall Engagement Photos at Strawtown Koteewi ParkNovember 23, 2021
Episode 034: A Complete Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses with Kelly Rice of Treefrog MarketingDecember 1, 2021
As a creative entrepreneur, other than money, what’s one thing you wish you had more of? For most of us, the answer is time.
There just never seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish all the things, get to passion projects, spend time with the people who matter most, or rest. And, unfortunately, time isn’t a commodity that can be purchased.
However, there are tools, services, and resources you can invest in (or put on your Christmas list) that will save you time and, thus, give you more time to do what you love and focus on the needle-moving tasks within your business.
In case you’d love to be gifted with more time, in this episode of Priority Pursuit, we’re discussing 11 time-saving gifts to ask for this Christmas as a creative entrepreneur! (Side note: Many of these are also tax-deductible business expenses. So, don’t hesitate to treat yourself!)
1. A Roomba
Over the years, Zach’s gifted me with some really lovely jewelry. But, do you want to know what one of my very favorite gifts from my husband has been? Our Roomba. (I 100% asked for this for my birthday!)
I wasn’t sure if I’d love it or if it would do a very good job, but now, I don’t know how I went so long without it! I love being able to simply hit a button and have my whole house swept while I’m running errands or working.
Now, I wouldn’t say that our Roomba does a perfect job, but it can squeeze into far more tight spaces than I expected, and it keeps up with day-to-day dirt and debris. I now only run our manual vacuum about once a month, making the Roomba a HUGE time saver!
2. Any Service That’s Going to Allow You to Do Less Thinking, Planning, or Work
As you’re making your Christmas list, I highly recommend asking for a gift card or money to put toward anything that’s going to allow you to do less thinking, planning, or work, which will—in turn—save you time.
Now, I know this point sounds broad, but there are likely things in your life that have to be done or are important to you that take up a lot of time and energy. However, there’s also a good chance that a service of some kind exists that can simplify this task.
For example, if working out is something you prioritize, it can be time consuming to design a workout schedule on your own. However, this Christmas, you could ask for a membership to a gym that offers classes or for a gift card to work with a personal trainer so you no longer have to come up with your own workouts.
Or, if grocery shopping and meal planning take up a lot of your time, you could ask for a gift certificate for Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, or another meal-delivery service. Then, just plan ahead and use the gift card during a time that you know is going to be really busy.
You could also ask for a gift card for a cleaning service. Few things will save you more time than having a professional come in and clean your home.
Or, maybe you’ve been trying to figure out how to arrange or decorate a room in your house for what seems like forever. You could ask for a gift certificate for a consultation with an interior designer to get some advice and guidance.
Everyone’s life and priorities are different, but there’s very likely a service that will allow you to accomplish the things that are important to you while saving you time.
3. Courses or Education
While YouTube, Google, and trial and error can get you far, investing in courses, coaching, or almost any form of education will likely get you further faster.
For example, when I started dabbling in photography, I did a lot of online research, took countless free webinars, and practiced with several free photoshoots. However, my photos just didn’t look how I wanted them to look. And, it wasn’t until I started investing in online courses—specifically from Amy & Jordan Demos and Katelyn James—that I started seeing the quick improvements that I wanted.
Whatever your business goals are, you could spend years trying to accomplish them. But, there’s likely someone else out there who has already achieved that goal and is now teaching others exactly how to get there in a fraction of the time.
No matter where you are in your business, don’t be afraid to invest in further education. If your business is already up and running, I highly recommend budgeting for professional development every year. If you’re just starting out and don’t have funds to put toward education, asking for an online course or another form of education this holiday season is a great way to propel your business.
4. TSA PreCheck or CLEAR
Now, when Zach said he wanted us to purchase TSA PreCheck, I thought that was an entirely unnecessary expense. However, I am now forever grateful that I don’t have to take my shoes off or unpack my laptop and camera gear at airports, as well as for all the time TSA PreCheck saves us by being able to bypass long lines.
If you aren’t familiar with TSA PreCheck, TSA PreCheck is simply a program you can register for that allows you to expedite the airport security process. Rather than waiting in the long line, when you have PreCheck, you can go through the TSA PreCheck specific line and don’t have to remove your shoes or belt and can leave tech in your bag. While we used to wait in the security line at the Indianapolis Airport for about an hour, we’re now able to get through security in five minutes or less.
TSA PreCheck is $85 for five years, and I can honestly say that Zach and I will never be without it again.
CLEAR sounds super futuristic, and it is. You see, CLEAR allows you to check in to airports, stadiums, and other places by scanning your eyes. You simply walk up to a machine, and CLEAR verifies that you’re you and allows you to advance to security without waiting in a long line or having to share your ID, boarding pass, or ticket.
If you only have CLEAR, you do have to still remove your shoes and your laptop and such from your bag when you get to security. As a result, many people choose to invest in both TSA PreCheck and CLEAR.
CLEAR is currently $15 per month. In all honesty, the concept of CLEAR makes me a little nervous, and we don’t travel often enough for me to feel that the investment is worth it, but I know several people who love and highly recommend CLEAR.
Whether you decide to go with TSA PreCheck, CLEAR, or both, traveling—whether for work or pleasure—is so much faster and more enjoyable when you can save time.
5. Pre-planned Date or Friend Nights
In my experience, date nights and nights out with friends don’t happen often enough simply because many of us fail to take the time to plan them. But, there’s no reason an activity with your significant other or besties can’t be on your Christmas list!
For example, you could ask for a gift card for a wine and watercolor night (like with Roseberry & Co.) or for The Adventure Challenge (which tells you what adventure you’re going to participate in and is available for both couples and friends).
If you’re in the Lafayette, Indiana area, Zach and I love having pre-planned date nights with The Cellar Wine Bistro’s wine club. We get two really great bottles of wine per month, and while we could take them home, we opt to drink them at The Cellar, order dessert, and spend a couple hours just chatting and hanging out.
There are countless activities that you and your significant other or friends can do together. But, asking for a gift that results in a pre-planned evening will (1) save you time and (2) ensure that this priceless quality time actually happens.
This probably goes without saying, but if you have a plan, you can save a lot of time.
There are obviously a lot of planner options—both physical and digital—out there. But, if you’re looking for a planner that’s both pretty and functional, I highly recommend Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner.
With daily, weekly, and monthly options and really lovely designs, you’re bound to find a Simplified Planner that you’re excited to use and plan your time!
7. Audiobook Gift Card
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’ll ever get to the bottom of my reading list. However, I do a lot of editing and driving, and audiobooks certainly help me save time and put a dent in my book list.
Now, I think it’s safe to say that Audible is the audiobook service that most people are familiar with. Audible is a monthly service, and depending on which package you choose, you’re able to download one or two books per month and add more for an additional fee.
Audible is a great option; however, I really like Chirp. Unlike Audible, with Chirp, you don’t have to pay a subscription fee and can purchase and download books as you like. Plus, they have books for as little as $0.99.
Regardless of what audiobook program you prefer (There are a lot!), asking for a gift card for audiobooks is an excellent way to save time and consume more literature (whether it be for pleasure or for business education).
Speaking of audiobooks, your audiobook experience and lots of other activities will be much more enjoyable with a pair of Airpods.
Now, when Airpods became a thing, I was highly skeptical. However, I now love mine.
I pop my Airpods in regularly to listen to books and podcasts, to listen to my own Instagram stories so I can add captions without forcing Zach to have to listen to my voice over and over again as I type, to do Instagram reel research without bothering anyone, and even to record podcast episodes with guests since Airpods have a noise cancelling feature.
I’m a very practical person and don’t tend to purchase many things that I don’t “need,” and I don’t purchase boujee things often. But, I can now attest that Airpods are just practical and have saved me time because they’re convenient to use.
9. Alexa or Echo
To be clear, we by no means take full advantage of Alexa, meaning we don’t have her attached to lights or anything like that. But, I am thankful that we have her.
Over the last couple years, I’m sure I’ve saved hours just by asking her the forecast for the day, for the sunset time (photographer problems), to order things, what time a store closes, who sings a song, to play a song, to connect to my iPhone, and countless other questions that I used to have to take the time to Google.
If you’ve yet to purchase an Alexa or another voice-controlled virtual assistant, this would be a great, time-saving device to ask for this Christmas!
10. Phone Tripod
I hate thinking about all the time I spent trying to get my phone to balance on a shelf or on against something on my desk in an attempt to make Instagram reels only to have my phone fall over mid recording. But, today, I’m really thankful that I gave in and bought a tripod for my phone.
I couldn’t find anywhere local that sold them, so I bought the UBeezie 51” Extendable Tripod Stand from Amazon. It’s easy to use, simple to set up, and collapses to a small size. I simply get it out when I need to create Instagram reels and can usually batch a few from start to finish in about an hour.
A phone tripod might seem like an unnecessary expense, but mine has saved me a lot of time and made me actually excited to bust out reels, which right now, are one of the most effective ways to reach and connect with my ideal client.
11. Anything That’s Going to Allow You to Prioritize Self Care
Last but not least, I want to encourage you to add anything to your Christmas list that’s going to allow you to prioritize and actually practice self care.
You can learn more about what self care actually is in “Episode 032: How to Practice & Prioritize Self Care as a Creative Entrepreneur with Courtney Porter,” but it’s up to you to decide what fills you up. And, whatever that is, ask for that this holiday season.
Perhaps this is a really good kind of coffee you want to be able to sip during your quiet time or mediation every morning. Maybe it’s a gift card for a massage. Perhaps it’s money to put toward a babysitter so you can have some time alone or with other adults. Maybe it’s a few decor items to make a space in your house the reading nook you’ve always wanted.
When we prioritize self care, our minds are more clear and focused, which most definitely saves time. So, as you add things to your Christmas list, prioritize self care.
We can’t buy more time, but we can invest in (and ask for) products and services that streamline or even eliminate things on our plates.
So, friend, as we enter the holiday season, consider adding these time-saving gifts to your wish list. Your loved ones will appreciate having a list, and you’ll appreciate all the time you save.
Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
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