I'm sure we've all had those days where we find ourselves scrambling for time. One minute our alarm is ringing, and then again, and again. Until eventually it's an hour past what we intended. We throw off the blankets and now it's hustle time. We look in our planners and at our to do lists only to realize there is so much we need to get done in a small span of time. Even in this imaginary case, if we did wake up on time, how on Earth are we suppose to get everything done? In this very post I will be teaching you my quick fix tips to get you back on track with time management.
First of all, what even is this time management concept? I'm sure we have all heard of it and have been told it's an important concept to learn. In simple terms time management is making the best of every hour, so you're maximizing productivity and efficiency therefore getting more things done. It's not just about getting things done, but getting the right things done.
Importance of time management
so why is time management really so important? What impact is it going to have on our lives? Everyone talks about it and now we know what it means, but why does this even matter?
1. Ability to get more done
Most people scramble for time and, unfortunately, there isn't much we can do about the day only having so many hours in it. Deadlines don't wait for you to finish and bosses and clients don't take excuses. By having proper time management skills, we can focus on what really matters in our day, and get things done QUICK.
2. Improved focus
Time management skills focuses on improving your focus. In order to really get the most out of your time management skills you have to be able to know what to focus on. Once you master the skills of time management, you'll learn to analyze each set of tasks or projects and know the best way to tackle them in a timely manner.
3. Stress relief
With proper time management skills comes great relief. Knowing exactly what you are suppose to be doing is key. When you know what you're doing you're less likely to go into a huge state of panic where we just want to stop doing everything and sit back on the couch with Netflix. It's less stressful to have a plan of action.
4. More free time
This one is extremely straightforward. The quicker you can tackle that project or to do list, the quicker you can do the things you actually want to be doing.
Prioritizing your tasks for the day is an essential key to time management. By prioritizing we are going back to when I said it's not about just getting things done, but getting the right things done. You don't want to spend the whole day doing things you don't have to do until next week. You want to be doing things that need your immediate action. For example if you have a blog post to write for tomorrow, a project due next month, and client work due next week, then you will most likely want to write the blog post first since that's due soonest.
You can prioritize in a number of ways:
- order or importance
- by due date
- by difficulty
or really anything you can think of.
However making sure you're doing the right tasks is better than doing all the wrong tasks. So many of us are focusing on this misconception that productivity means getting it all done. Busy is the new goal in life. Everyone wants to be busy and they forget that they need time for themselves too. Prioritizing means you get to be able to have more time for you and what matters.
You would be surprised how much decluttering really makes a difference. When your work space is cluttered, you have a million things to focus on. Your eyes are drawn to the clutter instead of the work you have in front of you. Not only does clutter make it more difficult to focus, but it's also harder to complete tasks when you are searching through tons of papers and pens and whatever else may be in your space. I don't know about you, but I feel anxious with a cluttered work space. Something about it makes me want to give up and either stop all together, or stop to clean the space! Most of the time once I stop it's hard for me to get back on track and continue to the finish line. An easy solution to this is to take 5 minutes a day to straighten up your workspace. Set a timer if you need! Even just 5 minutes a day can make a huge impact in maintaining the cleanliness of your workspace.
3. Have a planner
Having a planner has been one of my secret weapons since August 2015. I have noticed that lots of people underestimate the power of a paper planner. The reason paper planning is the best way to plan is because it has been scientifically proven that writing things down helps you remember more than simply setting a reminder on your phone or putting it in your phone calendar. It might be convenient, but the customization is limited, and it takes away from keeping on track if you aren't even remembering to look at your phone calendar.
The biggest key to having a planner is first of all finding the right planner for your needs. There are different kinds of planners. Hourly planners, monthly planners, weekly planners, blogging planners, disc bound, spiral bound, etc. While all of that may have sounded like gibberish, the basic message is you need to find a planner that works for you. There are in fact planners out there for different purposes. For example if you need a more structured schedule and have lots of appointments. then an hourly planner might be best for you. If you only need to remember things monthly like birthdays, appointments, work days, blog posting days, filming days, etc. then a monthly planner may be best. Experiment and find out what works the best for you and your needs. Your planner should be a tool you use to help get things done. If something isn't working, then change it! Remember it's a tool not a chore.
In order to get the most out of a planner you should be scheduling out time in your day to work and get things done. Be very specific. This is why I personally love hourly planners. It allows you to stay on track with what you need to get done so you don't waste any time, or spend too much time on one task. Time blocking is crucial to getting things done. Once you schedule time for it, you can work the rest of your schedule around it.
4. Set a work timer
One of my favorite things to do is the pomodoro technique when it comes to getting things done. If you don't know what that is, the pomodoro technique is a productivity technique in which you set a timer and work for 25 minutes at a time. There are 4 sessions of 25 minute work intervals equaling out to an hour. After the first 25 minute session it's a 5 minute break. After sessions 2 and 3 you get a 5 minute break as well. Once you have done 3 of your 25 minute sessions, the 4th time you get a 30 minute break. The awesome thing is sometimes you'll skip past the 5 minute breaks because you're eager to get your task done. However, the break period is extremely helpful. It's actually the technique I use to write all of my blog posts! The pomodoro technique has been my productivity holy grail since I first heard about it in 2016. Try out this method and see if it works for you!
Time management is something we all struggle with. So you're not alone! Implementing the tips in this post will get you on the right path with time management in hardly any time at all! It just takes focus and determination to truly make it work.
As always thanks for reading!