I’m sure it’s same to say almost all of us wish we had more free time. Free time to read a new book, organize your closet, stay in your pajamas and watch tv, or just time for yourself. As a women, we wear a lot of different hats. Each stage in our lives requiring so many things from us, sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Because I feel this topic is so important, I thought I’d share a few things I use to manage my time.
Before I dive into my time management tips, I want to share a little story. Being a recent college graduate I know all about procrastination, feeling overwhelmed, and wearing multiple hats. However, I think the beauty of experiencing college allowed me to learn from my mistakes of poor time management. Juggling school, work, social life and organizations was overwhelming to say the least.
Fast forward to after graduation my days were almost to free. So much that I found myself bored and uninspired. Being a busy body kept me active and energized. My days became so routine I picked up a second job in retail; best and worst decision. Working two jobs = two incomes + more work – less time for yourself. You get the math, right? Well I was so busy that I was exhausted. It takes the joy out of your choice in time and can wear you down. So first things first, let’s talk prioritizing.
Time Management Tips:
- Planner System
Find a planner system that works for you and cling to it. There are so many different systems designed to stay organized. Apps, planners, notes in iPhone, Google Drive, etc. there’s something out there for you. I personally prefer to write things down, I guess you can say I’m old-school. I also use my phone to write things down when I’m not near paper and pen. But the most important thing to take away, is to get in down somewhere.
I use a planner to schedule out my weekly blog posts, appointments, reminders, and events. Using a physical planner helps me to see what I have going on. Writing things down is like therapy for me. I add color or stickers to make my planner more festive and fun.
I use my iPhone calendar for alerts and reminders. Because I may not always carry my planner or look at it consistently, having my tasks in my phone is important. Be sure to set reminders a day or two in advance so you’re prepared for your busy life. It sounds a bit excessive but I enjoy the process and it helps me stay organized.
- Get Up Earlier
Yes, as much as it pains me to say getting up earlier gives you more opportunities for tackling tasks. Lately, I’ve been getting up at 5 a.m and while it’s rough I find myself with more time during the day. This way I can make a good breakfast, check emails, answers texts, or plan out my blogging schedule for the week. An extra 30 minutes a day is 4 1/2 hours throughout the entire week. Whereas before I was always complaining that I didn’t have enough hours in a day. Trust me, it’ll take time. Try 15 minutes here and there until you work your way up.
- Schedule Home Maintenance
Like most of you, I don’t want to spend 6 hours cleaning my house on weekends. But I always have a ton of things to do around the house. It seems like I’m either cleaning or washing everyday. A while ago I started breaking up my cleaning tasks and it’s worked wonders! I wash early in the week, clean the kitchen one day and bathrooms the next. I’ve noticed that if I do little things each day, like load the dishwasher each night, things are less overwhelming.
- Be Conscious of Your Free Time
Are you every sitting in the doctor’s office waiting room frustrated because it’s taking so long? This is the best time to squeeze in a few emails, texts, or calls. I actually love this time because it one of my more calm moments. I always remind myself that this is 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to check things off my lists.
- Make Time For Yourself
When I’m planning my weeks it’s so easy to get overzealous and schedule every spare moment. I’m definitely guilty of this one. But I learned very soon that this will have to burnt out, fast. For me, now when I’m planning I set aside specific time to do nothing, get a mani/pedi, have lunch with a girlfriend, or spend time with my mom. These moments are so rare and important.