THAT CAN HELP YOU RIGHT AWAY
Do you struggle with time management? You are not alone! Without assistants, a robot, or even a nanny, we have to figure out how to work our day the best we can. I have tried a number of ways to make my time more efficient and each time I find one thing that works or I have a major setback in some way.
One thing I have learned is you can’t let setbacks wear you down. Check out my previous blog post on How to Overcome a setback. Even if something you have tried in the past didn’t pan out the way you wanted it to doesn’t mean there isn’t a strategy out there that will work for you.
Trust me, I know!
The tips I have for you in this post are sure to help you in your quest for managing your time. If you are anything like me and you have kids, I know your time is precious. Trust me these tips are simple and easy to implement into your daily life.
Time Management tips to help you right way
Create a schedule
Creating a schedule is incredibly helpful in so many ways. I prefer a traditional planner but a digital one is just as effective. Not only do you see your day mapped out but you also see what times you have available for breaks. Plus it helps you to stay on track, and keep you from overworking yourself. Your smartphone is an incredible tool to set up a calendar or even a to-do list. On my cell phone, I like to use my to-do list app and Clickup Tool Management Tool.
These tools help me to plan out my blog posts, to stay on track, and also to better plan my time. Honestly, I love schedules for many reasons, they keep me focused, help me always make sure I have time for my children, which as a mom is super important. Lastly, by using a schedule I never miss my breaks, which are important.
Set up deadlines
A smartphone is a great resource when you need to set up a deadline. We are always using our phones whether it be for social media, emails, or text messaging. Our cell phones are officially an extension of us. I recommend using your phone’s calendar or even the to-do list if you have an i-phone. These tools will alert you when you are approaching your deadline and when your deadline is due.
I use my phone’s apps quite a lot for my blog. I find that I am focused on my tasks when I know that they have a deadline or an expiration date if you will. The deadlines also make me more efficient as a mom and a blogger. I use deadlines to make sure that I have certain school documents, or keeping my kids on schedule with their homework or school.
Deadlines are not meant to be stressful, should they begin to stress you out don’t worry. You are the boss of your deadlines. Simply determine what you can push back a day or two and what you need to work on now. If you need to push back more than one thing that is ok.
I know what? But hear me out. Starting your day out early is a great way to get small menial tasks out of the way. Menial tasks such as catching up on your emails, or simply filing your nails. In most jobs, I understand you have to check your emails several times a day, but getting on top of your emails will free some time for you to enjoy the morning for other tasks.
Starting early also allows you to be at your best. Your mind is at its sharpest, and honestly, it is the quietest part of the day. Not a lot of people want to start making phone calls at eight in the morning.
If you are in management, starting early also allows you to delegate tasks to those who work with you. You are then able to set deadlines for those tasks not only for you to review but for the employees to complete.
Take your breaks!
Take your regular scheduled breaks, and for the love of Pete take your lunch break! There are several studies talking about how a rested mind thinks better. Read about Why a Rested Brain is More Creative. When you move away from a situation or a problem by pressing the pause button then you can almost reset. The stress is lessened a little and you feel refreshed to tackle the work.
I know that is easier said than done. I, myself, often refuse to stop working unless I have solved the problem even when I have proved to myself more times than none that resting always helps.
Working while you’re hungry never helps. Think about it, there are many studies on students who attend school after eating breakfast and those who do not. The students that skipped breakfast and are hungry tend to not pay attention, are lethargic, and even off task. Why?
They are trying to distract themselves from being hungry. This is the same with adults. When we are hungry we tend to get a headache or we get “hangry”, as seen in snickers commercials.
Add keystone habits
Keystone habits are habits that you do in your life by default. Such as getting up in the morning, doing the zombie walk to the kitchen for that first cup of coffee, and then stumbling your way through the rest of the morning.
What makes a keystone habit effective is when you create new habits that are productive. Going back to my example of getting up in the morning, instead of wandering down the kitchen in a fog, stop in front of the mirror and give yourself a compliment.
Then get your coffee and marvel at how wonderful it is and how good it feels to drink it.
The basic idea is to put out positive energy into the world without even trying. Starting the day off right with an upbeat outlook and a happy cheery mood. the rest of your day will follow in suit. Plus as an added bonus your new habits will make you more efficient as a person.
That is more difficult than said, decluttering is not so easy especially when you are bananas like me and tend to not throw away boxes from stores or bags. To be fair bags I need to keep because if I don’t I’ll get charged for a bag each time I go shopping. Getting rid of things you don’t need or simply emptying out your email box you feel a sense of accomplishment, and it feels good.
In addition, when you get rid of unnecessary things, such as old emails, you are rewarded with the feeling of free, you will also discover that the feelings of being overwhelmed will lessen.
Think about it, if you’re in a small elevator that couldn’t possibly fit more than two people you feel kind of closed in, right? Now, think about a different elevator, one that can fit 15-20 people and you’re the only one inside.
Doesn’t that feel like you could breathe easier, or even relax?
This is the same when you are working, a pile of papers on your desks will make you think you have a ton to do, so you have to work overtime. But what if those papers were nothing more than just a pile of papers that no one needed. You would have worked yourself up for nothing. Decluttering is your answer!
Turn off Social Media
Social media is a major time management killer. Not only does it distract you to the point that you forgot you had to complete a task but it is also a black hole. All of us are conditioned to flock to our phone, regardless of what you are doing whenever you hear that little ping on your phone or when you see that little icon at the top of your phone you begin to wonder.
Who liked my photo or comment? Did I get a new follower? What is going on with so in so?
Thus begins the spiral down the black hole. No matter what you tell yourself you are not just looking at one post nor are you just going to see how many likes you got, oh no! You have to see the status of your friends and maybe that person who irritates you or your crush.
The list could go on, but I think you get my point.
Turn off your social media when you want to be productive.
If you are scratching your head about this tip, don’t worry you are not alone. I too wondered what this was when I came across it. I found a ton of information online and tons of books, that honestly, you don’t need to buy.
What I learned in my research is you don’t have to do everything. If you have someone who is willing and able to help you, then let them.
The 80/20 rule simply means that you put in 20% effort to receive 80%of the results. What does all that mean? As mentioned above, if you have co-workers or people who report to you and are they are there to support you and do support you, then allow them to pick up the 80%.
You can also implement this into your personal life.
Engage yourself in activities that advance your purpose, do things that you love, and make you feel good. When you love something it doesn’t feel like a chore.
Get more control over time and work by adding one small step right now. Look for opportunities that get you into that 20 percent. Increase your awareness of what is important to your life and your work, and that could be all you need to get started using your time more effectively.
I have a knee-jerk reaction when it comes to items that I need to complete. I tend to tackle the hardest, most challenging thing first. This time management skill is great for moms or students. Depending on what you do for a living this is possible a good tip for you!
The main thing you should do is make a list of what it is that you need to do, you can even go further and add how long each item will take to complete or how long you are willing to spend on each task. You could do this when you set up your schedule or calendar. This way you are doing both tips at one time!
Once you have your tasks all lined up either on your calendar, schedule, or to-do list then you are able to see this is not a mountain, and you can tackle your tasks.
I bring up overwhelming feelings a lot because when most of us are overwhelmed we tend to shut down. I see this with myself, my husband, and my children.
As with a schedule when you see everything out in front of you, in a nice package makes it easier to manage and helps you from being so overwhelmed.
Did you know you can set daily goals? You can set goals at any time with any deadline. As long as you prioritize accomplishing that goal. The main point is that when setting a personal goal, you are giving yourself purpose for accomplishing your dreams. When you have an objective and you know where you are going then you take the guessing out of everything.
Goals do not have to be huge nor should they be unattainable. For example: In six days my goal is to be a podcaster with a following of 1 million. That is pretty much an unattainable goal.
Start with a small goal, that eventually leads to a bigger goal.
Psychologically when we have smaller successes we feel better about ourselves, and the small setback is easier to handle. Setting goals is a great time management skill for work, moms, and school.
In addition with a goal you have a direction, you know where you are going. When I began my blog I didn’t have a goal, why would I? I just wanted to write. Then as time went on I realized that in order for me to continue blogging I would need to really focus and work on my blog or quit.
Why? Because I was devoting. a lot of time with it, and I wasn’t having a lot of fun anymore. My time management was nonexistent. That was how I discovered the tips that helped me manage my blog.
Setting a goal helped me find direction, helped me stay focus and ended up allowing me to have fun while I did what I wanted, which is to write.
What happens when you reach a setback?
Should you hit a snag, or a set back this does not count as a loss or a failure. Read all about how to handle a setback here! Creating, implementing, and keeping new habits will take time. On average it takes approximately 66 days before you start to automatically do the new habit automatically. Additionally, it could take up to a year before this becomes second nature.
I recommend that you start with your goals, then work on your schedule. Pick and choose which tip works best for you and start there. If you happen to miss a deadline, then investigate why you missed that deadline. Where you busy with your kids? Where you more interested in a new book or television show?
Regardless of the reason, don’t feel bad about it, learn from it. Change how you approach your day, your schedule, or work.
So, don’t worry, you’ve got this!
Comment below with what tip helped you out the most!