Whether you’re a full time freelancer or your juggling a day job and a business on the side – you will need to learn how to manage time. We’ve been gifted with only 24 hours in a day and almost always… it seems like it’s just not enough! So how do we maximize those 24 hours to be as productive as we want to be AND get a solid nights sleep? We learn how to tackle time management.
To help kickstart your new devotion to time management, I’m sharing with you my weekly To-Do List that you can download and print. It features spots for daily tasks, reoccurring weekly tasks and a spot to plan out your weekly goals. ✨
What is this, time management?
It seems like such an arbitrary thing, I mean can we really “manage” time? Can we be in charge of the hours in our day? Sure! But actually not really. But most times… maybe?
If you’re working a full time job, you’re typically devoting 8 of those hours to your boss. Which under normal circumstances mean they manage your hours, right? Do you feel trapped? I understand. I’m going to write a post on this later. Probably titled something like – “Surviving Your Day Job: There is Light at the End of the Tunnel.”
For those of you stuck at a day job and are working on side projects or managing your own clients – you still need to properly manage the hours of your day that are outside of the 9-5. These tips totally apply to you, just in a slightly different manner.
For those of you who are self employed, you know you are in control of all 24 hours (unless you have a baby or small child – momma’s I get you).
Let’s be real, sometimes I wish I wasn’t in control of all that time. Time management is freakin’ hard; especially when you work from home, all alone. Time management takes practice and patience.
Here are 10 of my most useful tips to maximize the 24 hours we are limited to each day. Let’s do this!
Lists, lists and more lists. I literally have 6 lists on my desk right now plus I’m writing this list. Lists help you keep track of your day-to-day tasks, monthly tasks and even yearly tasks. Use my To-Do List template to help you get started.
Keep a detailed and visual schedule.
Without my Google calendar I would be lost. A visual representation is so helpful! Get a little nerdy and color code it. Be detailed in your scheduling and use your calendar to set personal goals. Want to have a new product launched by the end of the month? Put it in. Even when I’m busy with client work for Curio Company – I still make time for my side projects like The Simple Cup. I block out time dedicated to my personal projects – which forces me to actually work on them.
Don’t try to do everything at once.
Seriously – this is how you burn out. Believe me you can do it all! You just need to grasp the idea of time management and learn how to spread tasks (and goals) out over time. Scheduling helps with this. And so does #4.
Prioritize and pace yourself.
Figure out which tasks are the most important. If you have a client deadline coming up or an order that needs to be shipped out – I would recommend working on the client project or shipping the order. Just pace yourself accordingly. Don’t complete a project the day you receive it. That’s just silly. Spread your deadlines out and allow yourself some whitespace.
Use time blocks for productivity.
Trying to sit and work on something for 8 hours straight usually doesn’t happen. Well, occasionally it does – but I have to be really in the zone and I typically need a potty break (or 10, because coffee). What I’m saying is, use time blocks that work for you. Do you start fading off or getting distracted after an hour of work? Then an hour is your time block. Work for an hour, take a half hour break. And so on and so forth.
Make time for necessary breaks – and yourself.
This is so important, for both productivity and your health. You don’t have to work 16 hour days with only a lunch break. That’s just nonsense. Are you a steel worker building the Titanic in 1909? I didn’t think so. Don’t try to keep up with everyone else’s “hustle”, do what’s right for you. See more of my thoughts on this here: Struggles + Slowing Down.
Remember – there is tomorrow.
So I am a total believer of what Thomas Jefferson has to say about procrastination… “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today”. Buuuuut… I also believe that you shouldn’t wreck your mental health and social life because everything does NOT have to be done today. I’m not talking about procrastinating, I’m talking about being logical with what you can accomplish in a 24 hour time period. And remembering that sleep is a necessity.
Use distraction in a functional way.
I’ll let you in on a secret – everyone gets distracted. It’s natural. And somedays I even force myself to get distracted on purpose. Distraction leads to new creative endeavors. You just need to think about using it in a functional way. If you can’t focus on the current task at hand, use a distraction to help get back into the creative mentality. My current distraction? Pillow making. Don’t resort to checking Facebook or watching cat videos (sometimes that one is okay). Be distracted by doing something productive. If you’re just not feeling creative, go do the dishes or clean a little.
Stop wasting time thinking about tasks and just do them.
Sitting there thinking about all the things you should be doing? Here’s an idea: go do them. It’ll make you feel so much better, I promise.
Have the mindset.
Don’t be discouraged because you’re saying things like… “There aren’t enough hours in the day”… because there is! (I’ve been saying this a lot lately.) Saying things like that automatically puts you in a crap mindset and leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Guys! There are enough hours in the day, we just have to avidly work towards maximizing those hours. And… if we don’t get everything done, the world isn’t going to end 😉
Don’t forget to download my handy To-Do List so we can tackle time management together!
Happy Monday friends! Let’s make the week awesome.