Time Management X Productivity: Tips on managing your time & becoming more productive.
“I just have no time.” sound familiar?
Truth: we all have the same 24 hrs in a day. So really, it’s not about how much time you have but more about how you spend that time.
Let’s face it, we’re not going to be productive everyday of the year, that’s not realistic. You need those lazy days where you relax, maybe order some take out and completely ignore all responsibilities. We all do it, so there is no need to lie to yourself about it, just take the day/time you need. But as much as I’d like to discuss tv shows, fun books we’re all reading and de-stressing techniques, this is a time management and productivity blog, so let’s get into that.
As humans, we tend to always want “more”. Sometimes however, we don’t realize that wanting more, means more work and more time needed to reach the “more” goal. Therefor, you may need to take away those lazy days/evenings, and turn them into productive ones so that you can achieve those goals OR you can prioritize and manage your time better, so that you can still order that pizza, grab some wine and sit on the couch watch your favorite show.
Below are some general time management tips with a little personal advice to help you become more productive.
Tip 1: Plan Ahead: Yes, create a schedule. We all have standard things we do in a day such as work, school, etc. When creating your schedule, block that time off as busy, because well, you will be. Then, create a to-do list. I suggest creating this list on Sunday that way you’re ready to go on Monday morning. Creating a to-do list shows you the tasks that you need to get done that week. After creating your list, split it up between days and times.
Tip 2: Give yourself a time limit: Tell yourself how long you will work on each task you assign yourself. If you say you will be working on a blog post for 1 hour on Wednesday from 10 - 11 am, only work on it for that hour. Because if you don’t finish by 11 and have given yourself another task at 11:30am, you will most likely be late to start that task and that will continue to spill over to your other tasks forcing you to not finish what you had on your to-do list for the day. With that said, you know how long it should take you finish a task, so give yourself the correct amount of time to get it done. Don’t try to rush yourself.
Tip 3: Eliminate distractions: In this digital age it is so easy to get distracted. How many of you have started scrolling through social media and all of the sudden an hour has gone by and you don’t know how? or You unlock your phone to calculate something and all of the sudden you’re on deep in on a twitter feed. We have these phones with all the features, we have extremely fast wifi, we have all these amazing TV shows and as we know our attention span has been getting shorter. In order to be able to get a task done and done on time, we have to eliminate those distractions and focus. Try putting your phone away or silencing it. If working on a laptop, desktop or tablet, try closing out of all the apps and browser tabs that do not contribute to your task at hand. Try moving to a quiet room with no TV’s. Extra tip: I really enjoy having a hot cup of coffee(or tea) with some instrumental music in the background while working. It helps me focus.
Tip 4: Give yourself a time buffer between tasks: This will help you to get organized when going from one task to another. It will also serve as a short break.
Tip 5: Find inspiration: We all need it because sometimes it’s easier to just give up than to keep going. Some places to find inspiration:
Podcasts: A great resource. They are typically short enough to listen in one car ride and they’re typically free. There are also so many to choose from that almost everyone can find a podcast that they can relate to.
Books: I know, reading can be time consuming, but I’ve found that a lot of motivational books nowadays can be a fun read. Maybe take 30 minutes before bed to read a chapter or 2.
Apps: I’ve downloaded an app called +Quotes and I’m sure there are others out there that exist. Every morning, I receive a notification with a quote of the day and it gives me that little morning push that I need. Try it out, maybe it will work for you too.
Tip 6: Learn to say No: Let’s face it, a lot of people have a hard time saying no to favors and requests but sometimes you just have to. If it doesn’t easily fit into your schedule, it’s a no. Don’t blow off your to-do list thinking you can just “get it done later” because you’ll just be doing yourself a disservice. This also applies to your job, if your boss is giving you too much work and you can’t possibly get it done on time. Let him/her know, chances are, they don’t know exactly what you’re working on and how long your to-do list is. They may be able to get you some help.
Tip 7: Don’t do too much: Don’t give yourself an unrealistic amount of work because it just will not get done. We’re not built to work non-stop, your body and mind need time to relax in order to tackle the day.
To recap, plan ahead, give yourself time limits, eliminate distractions, give yourself a time buffer between tasks, find inspiration, learn to say no and don’t do too much!