Time Management Tips

Time management is SO important. Really - it makes such a difference. Spending your time wisely doesn't necessarily mean making time for additional work - we all have our limits, I get it.




Spending your time wisely means making the most of your time, so you can do more of what you love. Ahhh, now that's better.


Time management means spending your time better during the day so you can catch that spin class you've been trying to get to all week, or having that coffee date with the friend you've been meaning to catch up with, or to spend more time with your loved ones, or to make time for that side hustle you're really passionate about. Whatever it is, I'm here for you.


Below are some time management tips to help you be your most productive self:


1. If a task will take you less than 3 minutes to do, do it right away.


Tackle the small tasks right away so they don’t pile up and get overwhelming later. What a lovely concept this is. Dreading sending an important email? Just do it, so you don't have to think about it for a second longer. Don't want to fold and put away the clothes you just washed? Just do it, so you don't have to walk into your room right before bed tonight and see that pile still sitting there.


2. Batch work.


Every time we start a new task, we have to restructure and refocus our attention to this new task. Now don't get me wrong, this refocusing doesn't take an exorbitant amount of time, but it still takes time, nonetheless - and we're trying to be our most productive selves today on the blog, okay? Instead of refocusing your attention numerous times a day, try to figure out what tasks can be done together. For example, as a blogger, I like to batch together the blog posts I write. When I know I have 'X' amount of time to write, say, every Sunday - I try to write as many blog posts as I can in one sitting.

3. Develop an anti-procrastination plan.


As with any other plan, there are multiple steps involved, so bear with me here.


a) Visualize the big picture

First, write down all of your due dates on a monthly calendar. This will help you prioritize what needs to be accomplished. Look at your calendar and decide which tasks are larger and need to be broken into smaller tasks that you can tackle faster.


b) Prioritize tasks

After adding all of your tasks to your monthly calendar and breaking up the large tasks into smaller ones – prioritize your tasks by determining which are the most important/time sensitive, as these are the ones that should be completed first.


c) Make daily to-do lists

After breaking the larger tasks into smaller ones and determining the priority of all the tasks on your monthly calendar, create a daily to-do list. Be careful not to add to much to your daily to-do list - putting too much pressure on yourself to complete an overwhelming amount of work in one day can actually set yourself up for failure and be discouraging. Don’t forget to budget some time for unforeseen interruptions too!


d) Figure out your “productive time zone”

Ugghhh, this one has seriously been a game changer for me. A "productive time zone" is just that - the time of day when you are the most productive. To determine your productive time zone, try to notice what time of the day you have the most energy or when you feel your best. For me, it’s definitely the early to mid morning. Once you determine your productive time zone, schedule your most important or most time consuming tasks during this time of day, instead of trying to complete these tasks when your energy is running low.


4. Get rid of distractions.


You already know what is distracting you. {Hint: it's whatever you’re *not* supposed to be doing when you look at the clock and think “oops… I just spent 'X' minutes on that, I need to get back to work”}. Set your phone aside and only check it every ‘X’ minutes, don’t wander around the office to see who is around to talk to when you know you have a pile of work to do, turn the podcast/radio off while working on something important, etc.


5. Learn to say “No”.


I realize that this is something I talk about a lot. BUT I think it’s very important to emphasize. There is an endless (repeat: endless) amount of ways that you could spend your time, so it’s important to learn to say “no” or “not right now” to the things that aren’t aligned with your priorities.


6. If you’re feeling unmotivated, change your environment.


Lacking motivation to complete something can actually be extremely time-consuming. For me, whenever I lack motivation I am HIGHLY distractible and spend an abnormal of time on *time wasters*. If you’re finding yourself unmotivated, maybe all you need is a change of environment. Go somewhere new to study, add something new to your office (fun desk calendar, anyone!?) – anything that will add a little excitement and break your rut!


XO,





References:


Central Michigan University. (n.d.). 10 Time Management Tips for Students. Retrieved from https://www.cmich.edu/global/News/Pages/10-Time-Management-Tips-For-Students.aspx


Wong, D. (2018). 45 Time Management Tips for Students. Retrieved from https://www.daniel-wong.com/2017/07/17/time-management-tips-for-students/

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