[FYI this is coming from a place of “note to self” rather than “do as I say”…] A few years ago (aka college) I never would have imagined myself writing a post like this. I stayed up late and procrastinated like my life depended on it. Now I prefer to get to bed early, wake up early, and I try to get shit done. The last couple days though I’ve found myself getting up super early to take my dog out, then I end up snuggling him on the couch for way too long…and then I am unnecessarily rushing in the a.m. Not fun.
Suffice it to say…budgeting my time has been a big lesson this past year or 2. It’s funny to me that when I have the most time available (and think, wow I have 3 hours to get x and y done) and then 2 hours pass I’m freaking out…But there are some days I surprise myself so I’d thought I’d share a few time management tips I’ve learned that help me have more good days 😉
- Plan Ahead. Duh. Prioritize anything time sensitive and fill in the rest. (aka bills, deadlines, due dates, post office, Rx, etc. take top priority). By looking at the week ahead, you won’t be caught off guard (aka rushed) when one of these pops up in your calendar. I also like to look at my school assignments for the month ahead as well…
- It’s all about the list. Having a specific list of things I need to get done during the week helps me fill time gaps. (aka an extra 30 minutes to scrub the bathroom, but doesn’t necessarily need to be done on a certain day). That way you aren’t twiddling your thumbs or checking facebook or instagram when that extra little chunk of time does arrive.
- Timing. Don’t just think about the to-do item. Lists are great, but estimate how long each task will take. There’s a big difference between a 45 minute workout and a 45 minute workout + 20 minutes of travel time + 1 hour of showering/getting ready.
- The day before…Get your clothes ready or lunch ready if you need to leave early. Take a few minutes to actually think/visualize how the day will go. This is beneficial for 2 reasons. 1) science says we are more likely to get things done (aka workout) if we imagine ourselves doing it before hand. 2. it will help you remember if you are forgetting anything important.
- Those extra minutes add up. You might be saying “What extra minutes?”, but think about the amount of time in the last week you spent on social media, waiting for your kids in the car, riding the train, watching TV/netflix, reading blogs (guilty)….it adds up!! I have a pretty lengthy commute on the train to school, and sometimes after class I do need to let my brain veg [and listen to serial. again.], but a lot of the time, I could/should be doing reading for class (or even pleasure), writing, homework, planning, whatever.
The point is, we only have so many hours in a day. I don’t think we should be going crazy keeping every minute busy, but by prioritizing and using the time we have efficiently, we can make time for work and play without feeling like a hot mess 24/7.
Do you have any time management tips?? DO TELL!