In our New Year Resolutions post, I mentioned that one of mine this year is to not worry about time so much. It wasn’t until this past year that I really noticed how much I worry about there not being enough time. I worry about it long term, especially when it comes to having kids. But I also worry about it on a daily basis.
The thing is, I like my down time. I love relaxing at the end of the day with a glass of wine in hand and a good TV show. I love waking up in the morning and taking my time to get ready, enjoy a nice cup of coffee and watch a bit of the news.
As of late though, I’ve found myself constantly looking at the clock and trying to figure out if I’ll have enough time to get all the things done. The end of the day rolls around and I’m still completing tasks at 10pm…well past my 9pm bedtime. I’ve felt like my time management is completely off track.
I know I’m not the only one dealing with this. Trying to get all your work done while also trying to find time to relax with the husband and have a little fun in there somewhere. It’s hard! And I don’t even have kids!
After stressing about it for far too long, I figured I might as well try and do something about it.
I’m still unsure about combating the stress/worry for the fear of not having enough time long-term, but when it comes to the day-to-day, I’ve made some changes that have been a huge help for me. I like to think we can fit it all in, complete the necessary and still enjoy some time to ourselves. In an attempt to prove that, here are some time management tips that have helped me.
5 Tips For Effective Time Management
1. Make a to-do list the night before
Probably on the top of every time management tips list, but I’ve attempted to-do lists many of times. However I never really stuck with them. Last month though, I figured, since I was feeling overwhelmed with tasks that had to be completed, I would give them another try.
Instead of writing them out first thing in the morning though, I would write my tasks for the next day right before going to bed. Not only did it help me to not have a running list in my head as I fell asleep, it made me feel more prepared for the day upon waking.
The act of writing your tasks down will help you to remember them as well as give you a place to go back to when you need to be reminded of what needs to be done. Also, be picky about what goes on your to-do list. I’ve made the mistake of adding everything and anything to one days worth of to-dos and it’s always overwhelming. Know the amount of time you want to spend on that list and be practical about it.
2. Plan out your day
I love a plan, but I also don’t like being overly regimented. So this is kind of annoying to me, but it really does help.
Who else has bought countless planners with the intention to use them, but then never do? Me! Too many times to count. Lately though, I’ve made a conscious effort to use mine, the Day Designer, on a daily basis. Having a visual of what your day looks like really helps to put the mind at ease.
Take a look at your to-do list in the morning, grab your planner, then take some time to schedule out those tasks. Schedule enough time, but not too much time for each task and stick with it!
3. Set an alarm
Currently my favorite of the time management tips, setting an alarm has probably been the biggest thing for me, especially on the weekends. I’ve realized, on the weekends, if I want to have fun and relax, I need to schedule out some time to get my work done.
Lately, I’ve been setting an alarm for when I need to start something or move to my next task. I have hit “snooze” a few times, so I haven’t perfected it, but I have seen a huge improvement in my ability to make the time to get things done.
I’ve heard great things about this TimeCube and will definitely be purchasing it to help in this area.
4. Take breaks and don’t feel guilty about it
Again, I love my down time. Sometimes I just really need to decompress from it all. When I’m stressing about my time, I never let myself take breaks. I want to get everything done and then relax. It never works that way though.
When you are scheduling your day and setting alarms to stay on track, be sure to take some time to do nothing. Even if it’s for 5 minutes, I swear it will help you feel more relaxed about it all. And don’t feel the least bit guilty for taking this time.
5. Remind yourself of all you did/have done
At the end of the day, I like to review my to-do list and rather than dwell on what I didn’t accomplish, I try to pride myself on what I did accomplish. For the tasks I don’t complete, I add them on to the next days to-do list and move on.
Time management is hard. And I can only imagine that it will get harder, but I’m over stressing about it so much. In an attempt to conquer my New Year resolution of worrying about it less, I’ll be incorporating all of the above time management tips and trying out different methods as they come along (just purchase this book). So, tell me, what are your best time management tips?