Do you find yourself constantly asking for more time in the day? Are you always running short on the time to do all of the things you need to get done in a week? Many of us have troubles when it comes to time management, so please do not feel like you are the only one!
Time is finite and it is our equalizer. We all only have 24 hours in a day. The thing that sets us apart is what we do with that time, and how we make the most of every second!
Time management is so often way more than the tools you are using (or pretending to use), the organization that went into it, or how badly your want to have it all under control.
Just like most things in life, if we want to succeed at time management we have to know why we want to be good at it, what it is going to ultimately help us to create or become, and a knowing and faith that if we can concur time management we will change the way we live our lives forever.
The first biggest tip around time management that you NEED to know!
- Know where your time goes! Far too often we get sucked into the void of the unknowing. Whether its facebook, tv, the newspaper, looking for our keys, daydreaming — whatever it is we all have time sucks that we generally do not account for. Did you know that accountants account for every 15 minutes of their time? I challenge you to give it a try! Google weekly calendars with 15 or 30 minute increments.
- Plan your life to plan your day. Before you think about starting your day, reestablish your major goals in life, remind yourself of who and where you want to be. Then take 15-30 minutes to plan your day with those goals in mind. What are the three most important or powerful things that you can accomplish today? What things are less important? Who do you need to call or get in contact with today? When are you going to eat? If something does not support your big goals, perhaps it is time to reconsider that activity. Knowing the simple plan for your day and how it is going to help you achieve your larger goals will help keep you on task.
- Quit responding. Learn to ignore all of the “fires” that happen everyday. Just because a phone call, email, or text comes in — DOES NOT mean you need to answer is immediately. “Gloria Mark of the University of California, Irvine, found that a typical office worker gets only 11 minutes between each interruption, while it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption.” When we work on the important, but NOT urgent items in our to-do lists we able able to advanced toward our bigger goals in a much more rapid fashion.
- Block out time. This is vital to accomplish your goals on a personal and professional level. Consider the important things that need to happen in your life that always seem to get pushed to the back burner (generally the important, but not urgent items) or the less important things that take up WAY too much of your time (urgent, not important items). Block off time specifically in your calendar to make sure they happen or are limited. Do not be afraid to urn off notifications, put up a do not disturb sign, etc. Consider getting an accountability partner when you first start this with some of the tasks you avoid, as can it can be easy to ignore the blocks until you begin to honor them. This can be used for phone calls, gym time, food prep, financials, email, and all sorts of other things.
- Create routines and patterns. For some of the more free spirited people let me first by saying, this does not have to be boring. It can be a very loose routine – perhaps every Monday you work on Marketing, Tuesday connections, Wednesday financials, Thursday Content Creation, Friday is free form. Or for those that need structure you can have it very regimented with specific days, hours, etc that you do each of your tasks and it always happens on that day and time and everything else gets scheduled around it. We are much more capable of handling life’s little interruptions when we have systems and routines in place that we can share and explain to others or that can be automated in our absence.
There are an insurmountable amounts of time management tools, systems, etc out there. I highly encourage you to check them out and them steal the pieces you like and that work for you. Our biggest problem is we are usually trying to pigeon hold ourselves into a system made for someone else. We are all unique beings who think, learn, and act differently than anyone else and because of that other people’s systems generally do not work for us.
I encourage you to create your own system. Determine what you need the most help with, what has worked the best for you in the past, and what you are most interested in learning and accomplishing and combine those things into a system to help guide you on your journey!
If you need help creating a system, would like some ideas on where to look to find a system that might work for you to get started or anything at all about time management and organization please reach out or leave a comment below!