Could you use some tips for time management? I know I can use all the time management tips I can get! Time doesn’t just grow on trees, and there’s no buying more of it no matter how rich you are.
So here are 10 tips for time management that you can add to your arsenal. I hope you find them helpful!
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Get Up Early Rather Than Stay Up Late
One of the most effective time management methods is to get up early. In general humans are typically their most productive in the morning. Time spent on something in the morning is usually more effective than the same amount of hours spent on it at night. Why is that? In the morning your mind is fresh and rested. Whereas at the end of a long day your eyes are tired, your mind is foggy, and your body is achy. All of these factors have a big impact on your productivity.
Make a List of Things You can Do in 15 Minutes or Less
Having a list of tasks that you can do quickly will help you to be more productive during those elusive time pockets throughout the day. You can find a list template in the free time management toolkit at the bottom of this post. Then, instead of hopping on Facebook when you “only” have 10 minutes, you can get something done!
Set a Timer for Yourself
There are some things that don’t really ever “get done”. Cleaning is one of those things, as well as cleaning out your email inbox, etc. Instead of going into doing these types of tasks with the intention of “finishing” them in one sitting, set a timer for 15 minutes and get as much as you can done in that time frame. You’d be amazed at how much you’re able to get done when you’re giving yourself a limit.
Have a List of Tasks You Can Do While Waiting
Despite time being so precious, we always seem to have to be waiting for something. Waiting at appointments, standing in lines, etc. are examples of time pockets when you can get certain tasks done. Examples would be reading a book (or audiobook if driving), doing your planning for the next day, cleaning up your email inbox, making your meal plan, etc. There are a lot of items that fit into this category. Use the list template included in the free time management toolkit below to create a list and keep it handy so your downtime doesn’t have to be wasted time.
Multi-Task When Possible
Not everything can be multi-tasked. But some things can, especially with the help of modern conveniences. A good example of times when multi-tasking comes in handy is when you’re making dinner with multiple dishes. You have to multi-task and overlap tasks in order for everything to get done at the same time. Another thing I like to do while making dinner is throw my husband’s lunch together or get some dishes done. If I’m waiting for water to boil I’m not going to waste precious time just staring at it. Make a list of items that you can multi-task and when using the template from the time management toolkit below.
Have a Plan Each Day
Everyone plans differently. Some people do best with an hour by hour plan, while others do better with a simple task list of everything that needs done that day. Whatever works best for you, make a plan for each day and write it down. Keep your plan or task list somewhere that you can easily reference to it throughout the day.
Make Lists for Recurring Tasks and Routines
There are some things that just need to be done over and over again. Instead of trying to remember what you need to do whenever these types of tasks come up, make a list! Some good examples would be packing lists (for the diaper bag, the car, etc) and cleaning routines. These are the type of things that will remain the same every time, so instead of taking a lot of time trying to remember what you need to do, make a list of all you need to do when these tasks come up.
Make Every Trip Count
One day while picking up my son’s toys from all over the house, I started repeating this to myself. I used to pick up one or two toys from a certain area, put them away, and then go back for more. Instead, I found it to be much more efficient to grab as many things from one area of the floor as possible, distribute them to their proper places, then move on to another section of the floor. That way I wouldn’t have to go back to that area of the house as many times. This same principle applies to lots of areas in life. Whether it be errands, putting away dishes, picking up your kid’s toys, or taking something to put away when leaving a room, the mindset to make very trip count can save you time and energy in the long run.
Be Aware of Time Suckers and Remedy if Possible
We all have time suckers in our life. These are those things that actually take up WAY more time than we think they do. Perhaps it’s spending too much time on Facebook, or checking your email. It can even be things that you have to do like diaper changes! How much time do you REALLY spend on these things? Even if it’s something you can’t avoid (like diaper changes), you can at least be aware of it and allow yourself to be more realistic when planning your days. If it’s something you can adjust, consider using the timer limit method I mentioned earlier.
Don’t Give Up, Just Keep Trying New Things
The last time management tip I want to leave you with is to not give up! Time management is a hard thing to get the hang of. If it were easy, there would be FAR LESS self help books, courses, and blog posts about this topic! One of the reasons I think it’s such a tough concept is because everyone has different personalities and what works for one person might not work for another. It’s really about trial and error to find just the right method that will work for you. You might even need to mix and match time management methods until you create just the right plan for you.
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