Time management can be a touchy subject with shopkeepers. Want to know why? Because we are overwhelmed—and we don’t manage our minds around this topic. 

Many of my 1:1 clients have a lot of resistance when I coach them on time management. And I hear some of the same resistance among the Savvy Shopkeeper community, too.

We can’t say no, we suck at boundaries, and we micromanage because we have control issues. We blame lack of time on others, or we want to blame time itself! We get annoyed that we only have 24 hours in a day. 

The truth is, we’re in denial. We can wish for more time in a day. But even if we had 48-hour days, we would probably still have the same problems.

We want to believe there’s a magic solution to managing our time. It’s like dieting, or for some, managing money. There must be a magic solution, right? 

But just like the process of getting healthy and managing money, we have to LEARN how to get better at this. Usually, this involves changing our thinking.

My Personal Struggle With Time Management

Seven years ago, I was working full time and opening the store with my sister. At that time, even a one-hour manicure appointment was draining to me! I look back on that now and think, “wow, even self-care didn’t bring me joy.” Trust me; I know what overworked looks like. 

I knew  I needed to make a change. I wanted to feel alignment. Most importantly, I wanted to feel at peace with my life, schedule, work, and relationships. 

My journey started when I decided to retire early in 2017. It took me 3+ years (and a pandemic and lots of coaching and a ton of mindset work) to go from overwhelmed, overbooked, and exhausted to where I am now.

Time Management is Something We ALL Want to Improve

I asked The Shopkeepers Lab group members if time management is something they want to improve. 72% said, “yes! I’m struggling,” while less than 1% said, “no.” And the rest said they need help in some areas. So that means 99% of shopkeepers in our group membership want help on this topic!

It Isn’t About the System—It’s About Your Thoughts

But we don’t need to change or fix our calendars. This isn’t just a matter of color-coding or time-blocking our schedule (although I admit to loving a good calendar system!).

Where this transformation really begins is in your mind. Managing your mind is what allows you to change your habits and set boundaries so you can manage your time better.

And just because you manage your mind doesn’t mean that changing your habits and setting boundaries becomes easy! Personally, I had to work on both habits and boundaries…and it has been HARD. So, so, hard. Even after nearly four years, I still have to work on them.

I had to create good habits and cut out bad habits. And I definitely had to set boundaries, both with myself and with loved ones. We all know how hard that can be!

There are so many different strategies to improve time management. I recently brainstormed forty-six different strategies that I could teach the Savvy Shopkeeper community. 

But the thing is, none of them will work if you can’t accept this truth: you can’t change time. The more you try to fight time, the more you’re going to lose.

You Can Make More by Working Less

Before working on my mindset, I was working a job that required 40-70 hours of my time every week. I was opening and co-running a retail store that took at least 10-30 hours of my focus each week. And I was building a family of my own who I wanted to spend MORE time with, not less. 

My thought could have been, “this is just the way it is.” I could have kept spinning my wheels. 

Instead, I had to work a TON on my mind and thoughts to get me out of the time rut I was in. I had to train my brain to believe that I could actually make MORE by working LESS. This thought alone can be mind-blowing! 

Your Time Management Action Plan

So, what can you do from here? 

First, accept that there are only 24 hours in a day. 

Second, listen to the episodes listed in the resources section of this post—they cover a ton of different time management, boundary, and mindset work you can start with. 

Third, if you’re a member of The Shopkeepers Lab or Master Shopkeepers, get ready! I’ll be teaching much more about this in our memberships and the Academy this year.



  • [04:13] My Personal Struggle With Time Management
  • [06:02] Time Management is Something We ALL Want to Improve
  • [07:26] It Isn’t About the System—It’s About Your Thoughts
  • [12:30] You Can Make More by Working Less
  • [13:51] Your Time Management Action Plan

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  1. Kathy I listened to this episode twice this week. Mostly because I wanted to remind myself this is how I want to start. Today I went out and got a pedicure. Yesterday I focused on house work and the family and not on all the inventory I need to load and all the mood boards I needed to create to organize what I’ve bought and what I still need to fill in. I let it all go and said “you’ll get it done in due time. Take care of yourself and your family and then go back to the “work””. It’s you h managing what I am now calling “two full time jobs” and I’m so thankful for this episode as a reminder to slow down to go fast.
    Thank you
    Kristin at The Filling Station Goods & Gifts

    1. Kristin, thanks for commenting and I’m glad you found it helpful. Shopkeepers can get “addicted” to the work and we can fill our hours with to-do’s. It’s easy to forget that downtime is a blessing and our bodies and soul need it!

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