des moines, iowa and beyond

workflow & systems strategist

Coffee Dates: Tips for Productivity


I am publishing this with nerves like crazy, friends. For a long time, I have wanted to share some of my trials and errors as a business owner and help encourage those of you starting out. When I started Harper Hadley, resources were limited. While there will not be a webinar or google search that turns up all of the answers you seek, there is a call for more helpful and relevant information in our industry. As creative entrepreneurs, there always seems to be a lurking jealousy monster that tells us not to trust someone with our information. That by sharing, we might lose something. I admit, I felt that way at first, mostly because that was largely the attitude I was met with. I want to help change that.

Coffee-DatesAt Creative at Heart, I found that there is a movement happening and a collective of amazing business owners who feel like I do. That we are all in this together, there is plenty of work to go around and we should be supporting each other, celebrating even! Yes! My whole perspective has shifted and I am so excited to start this little Coffee Dates series for you, my loves.

First of all, I will not ever claim to know everything- no one does, nor are we perfect. However, through the course of my business so far, so much has happened. I have grown so much and there have been some really incredible friends that came into my life and have helped me so much. This is my small start to giving that back. So, I am going to share what, personally, I have found beneficial.

Today I am sharing a few tips for scheduling in productivity that I have been using the past few months. Regardless of whether you are working your business full time or not, today’s tip has worked wonders for me. So many people have recommended it and I always shrugged it off. I have a to do list each day, why would I schedule my night? Friends, block scheduling has changed my life. Not only do I get everything done, I often get more done that my top three. I like a challenge, so telling myself I only have an hour to complete a blog post, means that I focus and don’t fluff it. Alotting 45 minutes per client each day, for example, means I have focused objectives to accomplish for them. When time is up, the task gets pushed to another day. Talk about a fire… I get it done!


What is block scheduling? It means that you actually plan out how much time you need per task and write down when you will do it. For example, this is a typical day for me.

  • 6:45 am Get up, check email for urgent notes, get ready for the day
  • 7:15 am Drive to work
  • 7:30 am – 12 pm Work my full time
  • 12-1 Lunch with AJP and check emails. Respond to as many as possible. Make phone calls to vendors if necessary
  • 1-4:30 pm Work
  • 4:45 pm Get home
  • 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Email
  • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Dinner with AJP
  • 7:00 pm – 10:00/11:00 pm Work

Within that last block of time, I always split up my to dos and allot time for each. Some nights, I won’t need all of the time and will be able to journal, catch up on Downton Abbey or read! Not as much this time of year with wedding season kicking off in a few weeks, but sometimes. A typical evening block looks like this.

  • 7-8 pm blog
  • 8-8:45 pm Client A design proposal
  • 8:45-9 pm Client B design proposal
  • 9-9:45 pm Client C update notes, timeline, checklists from meeting the other day
  • 9:45- 10:30 pm Client D research vendors and sketch new design

Whether you are also #fulltimedreamin or work your business full time, block scheduling can be a very efficient tool. Do any of you employ this scheduling method? Maybe you find another method more helpful? Let’s start the conversation, Lovelies!

If you ever have any questions you’d like answered, please comment or email me and I will do my best. Now get to that schedule and make things happen!

xoxo, Jenn

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