When someone says, “precious resources,” I think things like water or precious metals and gems naturally come to mind. But what about our time and energy?
When I realized that an hour is less than 5% of my day, I also realized that I no longer had a valid excuse for not carving out that time for myself. If I couldn’t give myself LESS THAN 5% of my own time… I mean, really? What am I, chopped liver?!?
With that in mind, I decided to figure out how I was spending/squandering my precious time and energy. #worksmarternotharder Here are a few tips that have been instrumental for me in whipping my time management skills into shape:
1. Track your time for a few days or a week so that you can see where you are spending the majority of your time. And when I say “track your time,” I mean EVERYTHING: work, social media, watching TV shows, how long it takes you to get ready… everything! If you’re honest with yourself when you do this, it will help you see what things you can trim back or eliminate all together.
Tech Tip: For you iPhone users, there is a cool app called A Tracker that allows you to set activities in your phone and track the time you are spending doing them. It even gives you a cool pie chart to show you the percentage of your day spent doing those activities. Pretty cool!
2. Set priorities. If there are specific goals you are working to reach, set your priorities based on the things that are going to help you reach those goals, and run everything through the “Is this going to help me reach my goal?” filter.
Now: I know we often have other things that we have to accomplish as well. But be sure that you schedule time in your day, whether it be an hour or 3 hours to work on your “goal activities.” (You know, those activities that are going to help you reach your goal.)
Even better, if you know what time of day you are most creative or productive, use THAT time for your goal activities.
3. Plan the next day the night before. Before you go to bed at night, take some time to make a list of the things you need/want to accomplish the next day. Then plan out your day.
Know what time you’ll be getting up, what time you’ll be doing your personal development, what time you’ll be spending on your goal activities. Map it out and then execute self-discipline to stick to it. #likeaboss
4. Eliminate all distractions. This is a tricky one in this day and age with ALL of the many forms of distraction surrounding us. Our smart phones are convenient tools, but we all know they can be BIG distractions.
Tech Tip: While you are working on your goal activities turn your phone off or at the very least put it on “airplane only mode” so that you don’t get all your notifications. Also, don’t have Facebook open on another tab in Google Chrome so that you see every time you get a new notification.
When I say eliminate all distractions, I mean do EVERYTHING you can not to become distracted.
Find a quiet time to work, make sure that anyone important who may be trying to get a hold of you knows that you are in WORK MODE and then just FOCUS for the allotted time.
5. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself. In the busy-ness of our days we, especially women, give so much to everything and everyone that we often forget to take time for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate. Whether it’s a yoga class, a glass of wine, a hot bubble bath, reading a book for pleasure… whatever YOU like to do, do that! And schedule it just like you would any other appointment.
And if you just heard that little voice in the back of your head going, “But where am I going to find the time to do [insert dream activity here]?!?” all I have to say is remember the math: An hour is 5% of your daily time. I think you’re fabulous enough to deserve making that tiny bit of your day truly YOUR time.
What is one of your most valuable tips for better managing your time? How about apps? Have a fave that you use regularly? Share it with us, what do you like about it and how has it helped you?