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Do you go through life feeling a little overwhelmed? Are you looking for a way to conquer your day and get your to-do list done? Time management is your answer. In theory, we all know what time management is. It’s, ahem, managing our time. However, we don’t always know the best way to go about it and everyone is a little different. Some of us feel that we have very little time to do anything. We may have full-time jobs, children, or both. So, I’m going to provide you with a few tips and tricks that I’ve used to manage my time better and get my tasks done.
Time Management Tips and Tricks
SCHEDULE YOUR DAY
I find the best way to start any sort of activity involving time is to schedule out my day. I physically plug in all my tasks into my calendar on my computer/phone including blocking out the time I use to workout, get ready in the morning, and even certain tasks as when I usually go grocery shopping. The more of your typical routine you plug in, the clearer the picture you will see of your actual time available. No task is too big or too small. Plug it in.
Now, while you can certainly write this out in a calendar, I highly recommend using a calendar app on your phone or computer so you only have to plug in certain tasks once and then set them to repeat on the days you do them.
MAKE A LIST
Now that your calendar is set up and you can see where your free time is, start making a daily list of the tasks that must be completed that day. I, personally, use Wunderlist to make my lists. I have multiple lists for work, home, personal, tiny humans, etc. However, I move and add tasks that need to be done that day to my “must do” list. I like to do this every night before I go to bed so I have it ready for the next day.
After you make a list of your main tasks that must be done, make a list of special projects, hobbies, and other tasks you want to do. These are the things that don’t have to be done at any specific point in time but you would like to do at some point.
It is always important to keep a list. It helps clear your mind of clutter and gives you a clear picture of what you are doing at any given time without you constantly wondering if you are forgetting something.
PLUG IN YOUR TASKS
Every day, week, or month, depending on your lifestyle, go through your calendar and see where you have time to complete your tasks. Then block this time out in your calendar. I don’t suggest that you plug in your various tasks as you may have a quite a few of them and they may not always be completed on that day. I, personally, go through my calendar and block out time according to what I will be focusing on that day. For me, it gets divided up and labeled as To-Do, Personal, Blog, or Work. Based on the block says, those are the tasks I work on that day.
Always schedule To-Do first as those are the tasks on your “must do” list that I spoke about earlier. Then schedule in your other time based on what you are wanting to do. You may label your time any way you choose but try to focus on just those tasks if that is what you have scheduled or you will continue to always feel like you never have time for anything.
EXAMPLES AND IDEAS FOR FINDING TIME
To help you find some time here and there for smaller tasks, I thought I would share some time management examples I have used.
Stay-At-Home Mom Tips
If you are a stay-at-home or work-from-home mom, as I am, it can be really hard to find free time to concentrate on anything specific. I, therefore, find time to complete tasks that don’t require too much concentration. For example, I brainstorm post ideas during the 15 minutes I have here and there when my tiny human is occupied. We can usually find a few times during the day like that.
I also find time to work or do certain things during breakfast. I practice intermittent fasting and, therefore, only drink coffee in the morning so I am able to work on a lot of my writing while my little one is eating breakfast. Let’s be honest, some children take forever to eat. I actually wrote a lot of this blog post while my tiny human ate breakfast and then watched her 20-minute nursery songs video.
Later on in the day, my tiny human has quiet time for an hour. I have a specific block in my calendar for this time as I am able to focus and concentrate more. If I am lucky, she falls asleep and takes a nap for a little longer but that doesn’t always happen.
Try to keep a consistent schedule, especially during the week, when it comes to dinner time. If you can cook and eat at the same time every night, you can then use all your time after for your tasks. I consistently cook at about 4:30 so we eat about 5:30 when my husband gets off (he works from home) and then he is able to take over baby duty while I get time to work on our business, my blogs, etc. For me, this is important, because if I wait to cook, then I have to give up extra work time to do it.
Organize your “must do” list in order of importance. That way, if you find some extra time throughout the day, you can immediately see what you should work. Otherwise, you may spend all the extra time wondering what you to do with it.
Finally, one of the key components of time management is to always focus on the task at hand. If you are focusing on your “must do” list, focus only on your “must do” list. Most of the reason we never feel we have enough time is that we tend to focus on many things at once instead of the one thing we are working on. By scheduling out your tasks, you will be able to better focus on one specific task at a time. This will allow you to feel less stressed and also feel like you are completing more of your tasks. You’ll be surprised how much more you will actually get done.