Time – Management & My Best Tips
I can say with certainty that almost every single person wishes they had more free time on their hands, especially as living in big cities usually requires 30-40 minutes of commute time!
We often feel like we don’t have the time to:
- Read that book that’s been recommended to us over and over again
- Organize our wardrobe (cheers to making room for new clothes and accessories)
- Catch up with our favourite TV shows and documentaries that friends have recommended to us
- Have a bath or spa day
- Simply have time for yourself
As we get older, we typically have a growing list of responsibilities and often feel like me need to meet them first before we can do the things we want to do. However, the more we push off ‘me-time’, the more likely we are to experience things like burnout and anxiety, which is obviously not what we want. My transition into full time work combined with my university coursework has really pushed me to stay on top of my time-management so that I can really have the best of both worlds.
Read on to check out some of my tips to help you bring your A game to time-management!
My Planning System
Without my planner I feel like I would lose touch with reality – I store so much of my life in this book that if I were to lose it, I honestly feel like I’d be missing a large section of my long-term memory, haha! I don’t bother burdening myself with trying to memorize events or tasks – I rely solely on my planner for this information so that I can free my mind of clutter. I can’t emphasize how important it is to have a planner – find one that works for you and stick by it no matter what! Some people like big and bulky planners, others like thinner planners, and some like to use apps on their smart phones. Personally, I like writing and I like storing lots of information (cards, random notes that I need to keep, doctors slips, appointment reminders) in my planner, so I go for the big & bulky ones! Whatever you opt for doesn’t matter too much in the end – what is important is having the reminders/tasks placed somewhere you know you will see them!
I use my planner to schedule my work shifts, assignment deadlines, university classes, appointments, blog posts, events, and general reminders. Having a physical planner in front of me
really lets me visually grasp my time, so that I can fit in that special ‘me-time’. I use lots of stickers to make things more fun and inspiring!
The only time I really use my phone is for reminding myself about things – for example, if I have to send out my essay for formative feedback before tomorrow at 2pm, I will set an alarm on my phone at 12pm to send out my essay (to avoid delays). I also use ‘Notes’ in my phone to jot things down on the rare occasion I don’t have my planner handy.
As you’ll gather from the pictures, I also sometimes use a desk planner. I only really use this for when everything is getting a bit too full on for me, so I pause my big planner and rely on my desk planner to visually plan my week out. I’ll then rip out the page and take it with me throughout the week. Then, when I get back into the groove of time-managing properly, I’ll transition back to my big planner. It sounds complicated, but it totally works for me!
Set times for your tasks
After speaking to my gorgeous friend Tayla about this new blog post, she let me in on her very own tip for what helps her stick to tasks and avoid procrastination. Let’s use a study example: instead of assigning yourself 2 Chapters worth of homework and sitting down at a random time to do it, assign yourself 50 minutes to work away at those two chapters, and have a planned break time. She swears by this method – and it makes sense! If you think about heading to a content-heavy class and not knowing when you will get through all of the content, you would go insane and your likely to be less productive. But if you know that the class goes for one hour, you know that you have one hour to be productive and work hard.
Wake Up Earlier
Waking up before the sun rises is a little trick that many successful entrepreneurs utilize to get more done in the day. Think about it – getting up while the majority of everyone else is still asleep means that you have half an hour, an hour, or maybe even a whole extra waking hour than everyone else. If you wake up 30 minutes earlier each day, that means you have 3.5 extra waking hours per week. If you get up an hour early, that means you have 7 extra waking hours per week. Wow!
Getting used to waking up earlier means that you will have more time to do the things you usually do, but you’ll have more flexibility around structuring your day. I generally wake up at 5.30am and head to the gym – not only does this mean I get an entire workout done before
the day has even started, but fasted-workouts tend to help burn more fat (winning)! It can be tricky to get used to, but you’ll get there! Start with waking up 15 minutes early for one week, then another 15 minutes in a week or two weeks time. Waking up early means you could:
- Make a nourishing breakfast
- Check emails, Facebook messages, Instagram Messages
- Plan your day
- Meditate or do some gratitude journaling to start your day with a positive bang
Don’t Neglect Cleaning & Organising – Schedule it!
Bulk cleans are never fun. Ever. No one wants to spend their whole Saturday or Sunday cleaing their house or apartment. To avoid this, ensure that you set a side a small portion of each day to do some cleaning (whether that’s just doing the dishes or even folding your clothes when you come home rather than throwing them on your dresser). This will save you time, instead of everything building up. If you know that on Tuesdays, for example, you come home early, then make Tuesdays your Kitchen Maintenance day. And then you can choose another day where you will dedicate some time to cleaning Bathrooms/ Lounge Rooms. You should only be spending about 30 minutes maximum for maintenance cleaning.
Unexpected spare time is golden
Do you feel like every time you arrive at a doctors appointment, the doctor is late? Instead of becoming irritated, shift your mindset and realize that this spare time is golden – you’re likely to have about 15 minutes of no one disturbing you! Use this time to be productive rather than swipe through your Instagram feed. Go through your emails. Go through your comments. Read some of your online uni material! These unexpected spare moments are gold because they will allow you to finish your scheduled tasks sooner rather than later.
Be OK with Scheduling in ‘Me Time’
You obviously can not schedule every waking moment, because well, life happens. But just as we place importance on getting to work on time or meeting up for lunch dates with our friends, we need to place importance on going and spending time on ourselves. And don’t reschedule these times unless they are emergencies! Getting a manicure, your hair done, a massage, spending time with mum or dad, or anything that encompasses ‘me-time’ for you.