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Welcome to the Work-Life Balance series! For the next several weeks I will be posting about my experience as as working- single mom- blogger-preneur, as well as tips on achieving and maintaining a healthy work- life balance.
We all know how crazy life can get- so I wanted to kick of the series with a post on time management.
What is Time Management?
Time management is the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively, especially at work.
Many people confuse multi tasking with time management. The two aren’t even closely related. In order to effectively use time, you must be focused on the task at hand during the specified time frame.
So, that means that while you’re creating content for Instagram, you should ONLY be focused on creating content for Instagram, and not splitting the time between blogging, marketing, etc.
Why is Time Management Important?
Time management is a necessary skill needed for anyone who wants to be successful. Time is a tool. Once you learn to use it efficiently, working toward your goals will go much more smoothly.
Even if you don’t envision yourself as the CEO of a fortune 500 company or, as an entrepreneur, having the ability to use time productively can actually free up a lot of time and help you accomplish more on a daily basis!
6 Time Management Strategies.
Write it down!
I can not stress this point enough!
Let me guess, you’re one that “keeps it all up here” huh? Well, how well is that working out for you? I can probably answer that question based on my own experience.
Get those thoughts out of your head and down on a piece of paper. Or, with it being 2019 and all, input them into a notes app such as Google Keep or Apple’s Note app.
Getting your thoughts out will help you to see the overall picture before you start scheduling and working. This also ensures that you don’t overlook something when you’re planning in advance!
Organize from highest priority to lowest.
Once you have all of your thoughts, plans, and to-do’s written down, you’re going to want to organize it all or else it just becomes a mess on paper. This step will also help you when it comes to scheduling; it takes most of the work away.
Prioritize things from highest priority to lowest. This can be done in a few ways:
- You can make the high priority things the most important. Such as work, meetings, appointments for the kids, etc.
- You can organize your tasks by due date, making your high priority tasks the things that need to be done the soonest.
- You can organize tasks by the time it will take to complete, putting all of time extensive tasks at the top of the list such as work or content creation.
- Lastly, you can organize your tasks by category. Things in the work or family categories may be of the highest importance for example. You would rank this list by what category needs the most time and work.
Remember, there is no one way to rank your priorities and you can use more than one method. Personally, I organize my priorities by most important, due date and, category.
Schedule in advance.
This is another important point that I can not stress enough! Schedule ANY and EVERY thing in advance, even your MEALS!
You might be wondering how far in advance, well the real play makers plan a year in advance!
People often joke that they wish they had the same 24 hours in a day that Beyonce has… well you do, she just plans much further in advance, and in much more detail than you do!
No matter what you do or who you are, if you want to manage your time effectively, you should plan at least a month in advance. That way, your not surprised by things that you might have scheduled a while ago, or by a birthday or anniversary.
Also, when you plan your month in advance, you can plan your days and weeks a lot easier because the main things (appointments, work schedules, holidays, deadlines) are already added in. BUT if there is something important that you don’t add in until your weekly schedule, you’ll know when you have the time since you already planned out the month!
Plan each day hour by hour or block by block.
When you assign tasks to an hour or block, you are taking back control of time.
If you’d rather be working somewhere else or, spending your time doing something different, you can get there by making sure the unclaimed hours in the day are spent working towards that life style.
Scheduling hour by hour is exactly how it sounds. Account for every hour in the day, even the sleeping ones.
Who knows, you may find that you have a 2 hour window between putting the kids to bed and your own bed time to start that business, create that website, or start that YouTube channel!
Scheduling block by block is similar to hour by hour but instead of scheduling an hour at a time you create your schedule in 3-4 hour blocks. My blocks are morning, work, evening, night and, sleep. I can plug in what I need to do for each of those blocks and I am good to go! I also have 2 variations of my block schedule, one for work days and one for days off.
There is a great video from Jordan Page that goes into great detail about creating a block schedule and why it is so beneficial! Check it out HERE.
Move on when its time
This is another tip from Jordan Page that I LIVE for! When the time is up, MOVE ON!
This is why it is important to know how much time each task is going to take and also why it is important to allot enough time to do it!
Another reason why people don’t feel that they have enough time or, why they can’t seem to manage their time effectively is because they are blending blocks or hours.
For example, lets say there is a project that you didn’t finish at work because you didn’t allot enough time or, something else caught your attention, so you decide to bring it home. You spend most of the evening before dinner working on the project, now its time to eat and get the kids to bed. You’re upset, you feel like you didn’t get to spend any time with the kids.
Most people do this on a regular basis. How much time are you actually missing out on?
Leave the morning routine in the morning, leave work at work, when its time for mom mode, step in it 100%. This is how you will get the most out of time and essentially out of life.
Automate as much as you can! This goes for bill payments to blog posts! Now a days you can even set up your grocery order online!
Having things set up automatically free up a lot of time! There are less errands to run and more time to spend doing the things that you want with people that you love.
If you are a content creator, having your posts set up to post automatically is a game changer!
For blogging, your website will give you the option to post immediately or schedule. If I were you I’d get into the habit of making a writing block and scheduling as many posts as far in advance as you can. I try to schedule 1-2 blog posts in advance, if I don’t, and I plan to manually upload them, I am usually a day behind *ah em*.
Blog series help with this, that way you have an idea of what content you want to put out and for how long of a time. I plan on having a busy summer and I don’t want to slack on content, so I started 4 blog series for the summer time. Now, I don’t have to worry about what I am going to post on top of planning trips and activities!
When it comes to social media, especially Instagram, I have found planning ahead to be extremely helpful. Apphi is a great tool! Apphi allows you to schedule posts, individually or in bulk, to upload to Instagram. The app saves your captions and has a hashtag counter. You are even able to search suggested hashtags.
For Twitter I’ve used Hootsuite from time to time. I like Hootsuite for a few reasons. You are able to look at a planner of all of your scheduled content. Choose between auto-scheduling or manual scheduling. The app also lets you search within Twitter for trends, profiles, and hashtags. You can even search by location.
Each of these tips are helpful on their own but if you truly want the most out of your time then its best to use all of these in unison. I know that it may seem like a lot of work but it is worth it and it will help you free up more time and learn to use your time more wisely.
I hope you found these tips to be helpful, let me know what you do to maximize your 24 hours!
Peace and positive vibes!