Time. So often, I hear bloggers and small business owners lamenting their “lack of time”.
“There aren’t enough hours in the day.”
“Maybe if I clone myself, I can get everything done.”
“I’ll sleep when I’m dead; there’s too much to do right now.”
Yikes. These aren’t time management strategies; they’re recipes for disaster! The simple truth is, each and every one of us has the same amount of time each day.
But because so many of us aren’t spending our time wisely, we feel stressed out and frantic, often burning the candle at both ends and not seeing the results we’d hoped for.
What if I could show you 10 ways to better manage your time each day? Would you be willing to give it a try, committing to following these tips for 30 days, in an effort to create a brand new time management routine that’s focused on not just getting stuff done, but also on making the most of your precious time so that there’s room for more than just work?
1. Create a morning routine: Last week I introduced you to Money Saving Mom’s Make Over Your Mornings e-course. The truth is, whether you sign up for this 14 day class or simply work to create your own morning routine, how you spend the first couple of hours of each day can have a direct impact on your entire day. Don’t start your day already frazzled, running late, and stressed out; create a morning routine that works for you and helps you start your day in the best way possible to set yourself up for success.
2. Set a schedule and stick to it: Whether you’re a blogger or small business owner, you must set a daily schedule for yourself and then stick to it. Establishing regular “office hours” will help you create a defined routine that will allow you to get the necessary work done while still giving you time for friends, family, and just as importantly, yourself.
NOTE: even if your blog or business is your “side hustle”, it’s still important to establish a schedule and stick to it. In fact, it’s even more imperative to learn good time management techniques if you’re juggling a full-time job, a part-time blog or business, and everything else that comes with a full and busy life!
3. Leave the chores for later: When you work from home, it’s so easy to become distracted by household chores like laundry, dishes, and cleaning. Those things are all important, obviously, but they shouldn’t be part of your work day. Set aside a specific time in the evening or on the weekends when the entire family can pitch in to help get household chores caught up and out of the way.
4. Take regular breaks: When I’m really focused on a client project or a blog post, I can totally lose track of time. Before I know it, it’s 3 o’clock and I haven’t moved from my desk for hours and I’ve worked straight through lunch. It’s so important to take regular breaks, and I highly recommend setting an alarm to remind yourself to take a short break in the morning and afternoon, as well as 30 minutes away from your desk for lunch. Take a few minutes to get up and stretch, take the dog for a short walk, whatever it takes to get yourself up and moving and away from work for a little bit.
5. Never eat at your desk: Not only does your body need to get up and move, but your brain also needs a break. That 30 minutes you take away from your desk for lunch will help you feel more refreshed and focused when you get back to work later. Plus, eating at your desk is simply a bad habit that can lead to weight gain and poor food choices. Don’t do it.
6. Stay focused on your health: No matter how much work there is to do, you’ll be more effective at it when you’re healthy and feeling good. Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and get a little physical activity each day. Even a short 15 minute walk around the neighborhood is good for you. And for Pete’s sake, if you’re not feeling well, take a day off. Giving yourself a break will give your body a chance to rest and heal, and when you get back to work tomorrow, you’ll be more focused and well-rested, which means you’ll be more productive.
7. Use a planner: I’ve found that using a planner allows me to easily see the day’s priorities, which makes me more productive. I highly recommend the Erin Condren Life Planner, but there are many others that will work quite effectively. If you’re a blogger, you might want to consider my 10-page blog planner. It’s totally free, and it will help you keep track of so many aspects of your blogging efforts.
8. Prioritize: Let’s just say it – NO ONE can do it all. It’s simply not possible, and that’s why it’s so important to prioritize. What are the must-do tasks for today? What absolutely must get done by the end of the week? When you’re able to prioritize everything on your to-do list, you’ll be able to focus on the important things and let go of the ones that really don’t matter.
9. Partner with a Virtual Assistant: Because NO ONE can do it all, perhaps it’s time to consider working with a virtual assistant. The great thing about partnering with a VA is that you can hand off a lot of those mundane but still important tasks to her, which frees you up to do the things that only you can do, like create great content or amazing products. If you’d like more information about VA and social media services, send me a message and let’s chat about the possibilities!
10. Keep your eye on the prize: Know what you’re working for. Set your goals and clearly define them. What are your 30 day goals? How about 90 day goals? One year goals and 5 year goals? Decide what you want to do and where you want to be, and start working toward those goals. When you get tired or start feeling burned out, take a step back, give yourself a break, and then refocus on those goals.
I truly believe it’s up to each of us to create a time management strategy that works for our own situation, and I personally have found these 10 tips to be helpful to me. What time management tips can you offer? Please feel free to leave them in a comment below!
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