It’s back to school season and for me, it’s back to schedule juggling and trying desperately not to get overwhelmed. Between my 3 sons school, soccer and church schedule, evenings and weekends are shot. How on earth am I supposed to make time to do everything for our home, the kids, my husband, myself and my blog/business between 9 am and 2pm while all 3 kids are in school? Seriously?
Well I’ve been slack since we went on vacation and now it’s time to get back into the routine I need to be productive, achieve the work life balance I want and still get everything done! That’s why I’m so glad my friend Crystal, the blogger behind Sharing Life’s Moments is sharing her 8 Surprisingly Simple Time Management Tips to Gain More Time In Your Day. If I’m not vigilant about each and every one of these, I feel like time just melts away like ice cream on a hot NC day. Especially #2, why is that always so hard for me? And it’s especially hard as school starts and the schools need volunteers and the PTA starts breathing down our necks. Remember, don’t give in! Do what YOU need to do for yourself and your family’s well-being (and sanity)!
8 Surprisingly Simple Time Management Tips to Gain More Time In Your Day
by Crystal Green from Sharing Life’s Moments
One certainty in life is that time is limited. While no one is sure how many years they’ll be given to finish doing what they want to do, everything is equal for each day you are given. Everyone has the same 24-hour day to dream, determine goals, and complete tasks that will help them meet those goals. But doesn’t it seem like some people are just better at time management than others? Surprisingly, there are some time management tips that make you feel like you gain more time in your day.
1. Set Priorities
There are really only four choices:
- Most important
- Most urgent
- Least important
- Least urgent
When you identify tasks and set your priorities carefully by what is important over not important, as well as avoid having issues of urgency each day, you can get a handle on your time in ways that you never thought possible.
2. Learn the Power of No
Saying no is probably one of the most important things you’ll ever learn to say. The problem is our parents disciplined the word “no” from our vocabulary. It?s time to learn how to say no again. If something is not right for you, is too urgent, causes you stress, or you just do not want to do it and it doesn’t fit in with meeting your goals, say no. Saying no will free up untold amounts of time to focus on your priorities.
3. Disconnect from Technology
Unplug the phone, turn off email notifications, and for goodness sakes get off Facebook. If you’ve not completed the most important tasks on your daily list, you have no business messing around with technology. The idea of multitasking is overrated, so unplug and tune in to the tasks at hand. You’ll work faster, smarter, and gain the time you need for other things.
4. Schedule Everything
Your priorities need to be added to your calendar. Everything from the 15 minutes you need to use social media for marketing purposes, to the one hour you take your kids to the park, needs to be put into your calendar. If you have a project due in a week, you should have five days of scheduled time to work on the project prior to the due date. This helps avoid those urgencies mentioned earlier.
5. Ignore Interruptions
Unless the house is on fire or a child is bleeding, the telephone ringing and the knocks on your office door are not important. They are interruptions. Check your email at scheduled times during the day, explain to your children, spouse and family when you are working, and otherwise ignore the door bell ringing. If you didn’t schedule it, you don’t need it.
Whether it’s the housework, cooking, or customer service, it’s important to outsource what you can afford to outsource. There are huge payoffs to outsourcing the things that are simply time suckers from your day. If you can’t afford to outsource, your kitchen will not explode if a few dishes pile up, and everyone can do with eating a salad for dinner. And, you can automate a lot of customer service issues if you work from home.
7. Once and You’re Done
Multitasking is not really a bastion of efficiency. Instead, seek to touch each task only once and finish it. For example, when you check the mail immediately throw out the trash, schedule bills to be paid, and deal with any issues that came up with a letter – right then. Of course, your mail time should be scheduled as well so that you can stay on track.
8. Check Your Schedule
At least twice a day, set out the time to check your schedule. Usually the morning is good and at the end of the day is good. Ensure that you have your priorities in order, add anything new to your schedule that needs to be added, and remind yourself of what is expected the next day. Checking your schedule helps you feel accomplished at the end of the day, and reminds you of what’s coming up tomorrow.
Finally, it’s important to be very serious about following your schedule and calendar. Use technology to help such as Google Calendar or Outlook, synced to your smartphone to help you remember what it is that you should be doing now, and next. It may seem geeky to be so serious about a schedule, but it’s this one factor that makes these surprising time management tips work.
When you’re ruthless with your time, then you can get more done and working from home is more manageable. It also helps you keep your stress levels down as well.
If you don’t feel these tips will actually work be sure to consider using time tracking to boost productivity to help you to see how your time is being spent. It may surprise you how much of a difference you’ll want to make after that experience.
Talk to me in the comments, please:
What tips would you add for time management success?
Crystal is the blogger behind Sharing Life’s Moments. She says her blog is about “a simple down home country family who has many interests. We savor taking the time to share those interests with you in hopes that you’ll gain some benefit from our posts in some way.”
She blogs about homeschooling, family life, blogging tips, recipes and entertainment (books, video games AND movies) for moms and the whole family. Crystal is also a virtual assistant who specializes in doing Facebook group threads, roundups, ghost writing, and other small tasks. Stop by and say hello!
How do you manage your time? Which of these do you need to implement? Which are you really good at?
Time always seems to evade us but with these 8 surprisingly simple time management tips you can gain more time in your day and be more productive to achieve your most important goals. Thanks Crystal for sharing these important reminders with us as we start another busy season in our lives.
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