This is my first “time management” post of my brief blogging career. Seriously. Look back at the archives, and you won’t find one.
The reason I have never wrote on this subject is because I felt like I should not be writing about something that I am not doing a very good job of. Time management has always been a bit of an issue for me. It is not that I am not a hard worker, I am. It is not that I am not that organized, I am. It is not that I am lazy, because I am not. I just don’t manage time well.
I sometimes spend time doing things that do not matter and then as a result I have to stay up super late to get what really matters done. I have for a while wanted to manage my time better, and I think in 2018, I did the best job of this that I have ever done.
So, what was different about my routine in 2018 than in previous years?
1. Task Lists
I have a daily task list, and I try my absolute best not to leave work or go to bed until that list is done.
A good rule of thumb that has helped me is to create your “tomorrow’s task list” before you leave the office today. This way you can be thinking and preparing in your mind what you must get done tomorrow. It prepares you for what is ahead.
Prioritize the lists in terms of what has to get done first and get it done.
2. Mobile Work Spaces
When I sit in my office, I feel I get interrupted All. Day Long. That may be true for you as well. So when I am working on a project, it is hard to get things done when I am getting interrupted every few minutes.
So, what I have done differently is to schedule times to work in public spaces or at my house. I can work uninterrupted and get twice as much done in such a short amount of time.
I always stay way more focused on the task at hand when I am working out of a mobile spot.
3. Ditch sitting on the couch
I used to “work from home” and try to do so with my laptop on my lap while sitting on the couch.
This was a terrible idea. T E R R I B L E! I was more tired, I wandered in my thoughts, and I was unproductive.
When you work from home, sit at a table or in your home office. It is way less distracting and your productivity will double.
4. Stick to your schedule
I put just about everything on the schedule on my phone, and I try to stick to it as much as possible. I put any scheduled phone calls, meetings, or appointments all on my calendar with reminders.
This also helps you say “no” to people who want your time when you have none to give so that you can say “yes” to those who took the time to schedule time with you.
5. Get up early
I promise you that you can get up earlier than you think. I used to think anytime before 6:00 am was sinful.
I would set my alarm clock and just hit the snooze option over and over again.
Look, getting up in the morning is discipline. You can do it! Everyone can. Stop claiming that “you are not a morning person” and start calling it what it is, “you are an undisciplined person.”
Ok, that was a bit too harsh but you get the point.
6. Limit your social browsing
Have you ever said, “I am so busy,” but you somehow found time to surf Facebook and Instagram for an hour that day. Or you found time to binge watch your favorite shows that day?
Look, we spend way too much time on things that waste our time.
Figure out a plan to control your screen time so that you are not wasting time surfing the internet.
Don’t surround yourself with people who are okay with disorganization, last minute work ethic, or just people who are just plain lazy.
Surround yourself with driven people. Not just driven themselves, but people who will drive you to be the best version of you that you can be.
People who will hold you accountable to get your tasks done and manage your time, family, and kids well.
Are you a productive person and a good manager of your time. If not, you can be. Here are just a few things that I have improved on in my time management skills that may help you get better and get more things done.