Wouldn’t it be awesome if you had more free time to do things like relax in your jammies and indulge on coffee and donuts from the comfort of your bed? Everything in our lives is centered around time, and how we use it.
Whether you are a student, a mother or a business woman, I am sure it’s safe to say that we all often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. We, as women, wear many different hats and cracking the time management code can help to provide balance in the different areas of our lives. Without balance, we often become overworked and overstressed, which can lead to exhaustion, sickness, negativity and frustration. I thought I would spend today sharing some tips on how I manage my time between my work/school, family and “me time”.
| Establish Priorities |
The first, and most beneficial, tip that I have is to establish your priorities. In our lives, we just don’t have time for everything, so, we have to decide what is most important. There are things that can wait, things that can be delegated, and things that we honestly don’t even need to do. For me, my first priority right now is school. But, I also don’t allow myself to put it on a pedestal so high that I lose sleep, or don’t leave time for anything else. There has to be a balance between your priorities, and I encourage you to start by figuring out what that is in your life. Remember that in our lives, we also have a “most important role”, and by setting our priorities straight, we can do that role extremely well. Of course, there is no way to do everything perfect, and that’s why we have to establish priorities.
| Creating a Schedule |
Create a schedule for how you plan to use your time. I want to emphasize the word plan because let’s be honest, no one can actually predict how life is going to go, but we can try to give our best estimates. The way I do this is by using a planner. By nature, I am a very organized person, so using a planner and making it color coded and all that jazz, is basically part of my DNA. But don’t be turned away from this if organization isn’t your strong suit. Using a planner is simple, if you have the right one. I personally like planners that offer a large “monthly view” page, as well as a breakdown of each day with lots of space to write. Here, here, and here are some of my favorite planners. Every Sunday I dedicate anywhere from 15-30 minutes to planning out my week. When you sit down to plan things out, ask yourself these questions…
- What HAS to be done this week? Meetings, assignments, appointments?
- How much time is required for these things? Driving time?
- What are my priorities and goals for the week?
- What does my month look like? Are there any important dates I need to jot down?
Once you have found a planner that works for you, then create a system. For me, I use post it notes and color coding! I constantly am writing things down on the post its and sticking them into my planner. I have different colors for different types of notes. I use the small post its for daily tasks or notes, as these things can change and I really like to avoid scratching things out. Another planner tip is to put empty check boxes next to your tasks. This way, once completed, you can put a check in the box!
| Getting up Earlier |
It’s true when I tell you that I am NOT a morning person. I am 100% a night owl, but I have learned lately that by getting up earlier I can expand the hours that I have to work with during the day and am overall less stressed. I am still working on this, and it is all about baby steps. Start by waking up 20 minutes earlier than normal, then 30 minutes and so on. Once you can work your way up to an hour, you will be so surprised at what it can do for your day, and time management in general. My challenge to you is to try getting up 30 minutes earlier than normal this week. Get ready for the day, eat a good breakfast, answer some emails, throw in some laundry etc. Doing this will allow you to free up more time in the afternoon or evenings and do something you actually enjoy!
Recently, I have been getting up much earlier than I used to. Starting my day early and getting some of my tasks out of the way allows me to have more free time during the day, (sometimes I even have time for a nap!) and I find myself being able to go to sleep at a normal time instead of being behind and staying up late rushing to finish tasks.
| Planning Out Home Maintenance, Relationship and Personal Time |
- Home Maintenance
No one likes to spend 7 hours cleaning their house, getting stuck with the chirping alarm or dealing with a burnt out lightbulb when you don’t have replacements . I like to plan out my home maintenance. Every week I dedicate 15-30 minutes to wiping down counters, dusting, cleaning my toilets, cleaning the floor, vacuuming etc. You would be surprised how dirty baseboards or fans can get if you never clean them… By dedicating time every week to keep up with my home, it never gets to a point where I have to spend more than 30 minutes cleaning. This is awesome!! I also keep a stock of light bulbs and batteries to avoid any situations where I need to fix something, like mentioned above, but don’t have the time to go out and get what I need.
- Relationship Time
In our lives, we are constantly distracted by our busy schedules, and electronics…this affects our relationships y’all! When I say relationships, I am talking about with your significant other, family and friends. My time management tip for this is to dedicate undistracted time to focus on your relationships each week. Whether this means a lunch or coffee, phone free, or a date night without distractions. This sounds weird, but during these times, focus on unproductive conversations. This means, talk about things that don’t have a timeline or a purpose. Be random, have fun, laugh, reminisce, and most importantly stay off your phone for at least 30 minutes. Plan for this time, guys. It is so important!
- Personal Time
This is time that most ladies forget. “Me time” is so so important to our health and our sanity.. let’s be real. Life can be hectic and overwhelming at time but planning for 10 minutes – 1 hour of time to yourself is something you really need to start doing. Some things I do for my “me time” is taking a bubble bath, getting a manicure, walking around Target by myself, or just sitting outside and being quiet. A lot of times we focus all of our time on others, which is a great quality, but taking care of ourselves and having even just 10 minutes to breathe and regroup helps us to be more successful and well balanced.
Do y’all have any time management tips that you swear by? If so, I’d love to know about them!!
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