Managing time is one of those lifelong struggles – there are a million different things to distract us every single day. These simple tips have helped me get on track and might help you too!
Use a planner + Google Calendar
When it comes to time management, there’s nothing more helpful than a planner. Being able to see your tasks in front of you everyday makes all the difference. I think I encourage to use a planner every single month? Oops. I’m currently using this planner by Ink + Volt and really love how simple and effective it is. I use Google Calendar (and basically all the Google Apps) for all of my blog content scheduling. I move posts around during the month and this platform makes it really easy. It’s also great having the same information available on your phone and computer, too! I’m a die hard planner girl though – you just can beat physically crossing something off your list.
All of my Type B people may be rolling their eyes at this one, but it’s so necessary sometimes. It can be so refreshing to write down a block of time where you say no to everything. Every time I see a big white space in my planner I’m tempted to fill it with something, anything. Depending on the season of life you’re in, finding time for true rest may feel impossible, so create the time yourself. Don’t feel guilty about this, either!
Wake up earlier + do time-sensitive tasks then
TBH doing this right now. Everyone experiences this, but as the day goes on, the riskier it gets for important items, right? Things pop up that you’d never expect and other things take priority the later the day gets – like family time or quiet time. If I have a task that I know must get done that day, I always get it done in the morning. A lot of times this means blog stuff because I want it to get done, but I don’t want it to be what I do every single night after work when I get to hang with Ryan or friends. There’s something so empowering (and psycho) about checking something important off at 6:30 am. <—LOLZ so lame. It’s fine.
Make a top 5 list verses a top 15 list
This is easier said than done, but a really important thing to do. The type A people will understand this, but when I put something on a list, I really hate not being able to cross it off. It feels way more disappointing than it should, I know, but it still feels gross. Something I’ve been doing lately is giving myself less do and more time to focus on each thing. I have a top 5 list of important items verses the entire list of equal importance in front of me. Then, if I’m able to add more items it’s like a little miracle. I like this system because I don’t have the pressure of getting through the list. I have ample amount of time for each item and can cross things off like a normal person. Feels good.
Tell your signif (or roomies) your priorities for the day
It’s really helpful to tell the people or person you share your living space with what you’re plans are for the day! You can never force people to make your priorities their priorities, but you can respect each others priorities. I’ve noticed that when I share my plans for the day + my main priorities with my husband, I avoid bad communication and hurt feelings. He may wake up on a Saturday thinking we have the whole day to lounge together and hang out and I might have a million things I want to get done. By letting him in on my plans, we’re instantly on the same page and he may even be able to help! If you’ve got a tricky roommate situation where you’ve had trouble with noise or respect with the common space, letting them know that you’d love to snag the kitchen table for work or whatever can spare some drama.
Learn how to say no
Honestly still working on this one, let me know how y’all are able to do this well! I need to be more assertive in life in general – with work and with my schedule. I’m the type of person that has a lot of opinions and wants to share them, but somehow can’t sometimes. It’s a frustrating process to work through and a part of that is learning to say no – even to the simplest things throughout the week. I feel absolutely miserable when I have to say no to friends – about literally anything. If I don’t have control over my schedule though, then who does? Normal friends (which I have), won’t get their feelings hurt if you have to just say no to something. WHAT NOT TO DO: give a bunch of confusing reasons why you can’t to avoid hurting their feelings. This just confuses them and seems sketchy. Just apologize and say you can’t, move on, and don’t feel bad about it. (Telling myself this one! Ugh.)
– Caitlin –