Good time management strategies can help you find more time in your day for the things that matter and are important to you. It’s key to living your best life.
We all have the same numbers of hours in the day. It doesn’t matter if it’s you, your neighbor, or Oprah. We all just have 24 hours.
Now if you are as wealthy as Oprah you can take your to-do list and give a lot of it to your staff. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had maids, cooks, assistants, dog walkers, and all those kinds of people to give many of our tasks to?
It’s great to delegate what you can but there are likely a lot of things you will have to do yourself. We can all use our time more wisely though.
I have a lot of big goals this year and that means I need to get a lot of things done. The only way I’m going to meet these goals is by managing my time very well. I’ve been doing a lot of research on this topic and want to share five time management strategies I’ve found useful.
5 Time Management Strategies
Follow a Routine
I was going to say create a routine but just creating it won’t help if you don’t use it. You may need to try a few before you find what works for you. Don’t assume that because a routine works for someone else that it will work for you. You can use someone else’s routine for inspiration but you need to adjust it to work for you.
Here is a sample of the general routine I follow on weekdays.
- 6:30 a.m.- Wake up, let the dog out, work out, get ready, get some water for me and coffee for my husband. I also usually get a bit of work done. I will check my email, delete the junk, check social media and respond if anything is urgent, and a few other small tasks. If the dishwasher needs to be unloaded I will often do that.
- 8:00 a.m- Start my workday.
- 11:45 a.m.- Make lunch for myself and my husband. Let the dog out and feed her.
- 12:00 p.m.- Eat lunch and take a bit of a break. I usually will watch a Youtube video or a short TV show episode.
- 12:30 p.m.- Get coffee or tea and get back to work.
- 4:00 p.m.- Housework, this is whatever chores need to be done for the day. I also often do laundry throughout the day.
- 5:00 p.m.- Start dinner.
- 6:00 p.m.- Dinner time and time with my husband. I will also clean up the kitchen at some point during this time.
- 9:00 p.m.- Get ready for bed.
- 9:30 p.m.- In bed, we usually will watch something in bed.
- 10:00 p.m.- Lights out (sometimes it’s more like 10:30)
This may sound a bit boring but it keeps me on track and I end my day feeling productive. My husband and I both try to have very productive weekdays so we can relax and have fun together on the weekends.
Write it Down
Not everyone needs to write things down but most do. There are different ways to do this and you need to find what works best for you.
Just try to be realistic when writing your list. If you have far more than you can really get done you are likely going to feel overwhelmed.
Some people find digital works best for them and there are some great to-do list apps out there or you can simply use the notes app on your phone.
My husband and I keep our family calendar on our phone calendar since we can sync it and it’s an easy way to send each other things we schedule. I don’t keep everything on that calendar, just the things that can impact him as well.
Eat The Frog First
A book called Eat That Frog says that Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.
It’s great advice but likely didn’t come from Mark Twain. But that is no reason to ignore the advice.
The idea is simple, take the worst task, the one you’d usually put off, and do it first.
I’m terrible about pushing off the things I don’t want to do. It doesn’t help that I’m easily distracted. It’s easy for me to get to the end of the day and remember I didn’t do something that was pretty important because I didn’t want to do it.
When writing your to-do list, be sure you have highlighted your most important tasks. If at all possible do these things first, especially if you are dreading any of them. For me this is often phone calls, why can’t everything be texts and emails?
The Pomodoro Technique
This is something I like to do to not only keep me more focused but also to make me get up and stop just sitting all day.
The idea of the Pomodoro Technique is that you set a timer for 25 minutes and once it goes off you take a short 3-5 minute break and then you do another 25 minutes. After 4 sets of 25 minutes, you take a longer break, 20-30 minutes.
Some people use different time amounts but the idea is that it helps you concentrate better, avoid distractions and interruptions, improve motivation, and also give you a deadline without any real ones.
I like to throw in some laundry or do some other quick homemaking task when I have a break time during work. It gets me moving and helps my brain get back on task when I’m done.
This is something I want to get into more, especially during my working hours. It is a great way to make sure you aren’t wasting time.
The idea is that you take your task list and divide your time up into blocks and fit those tasks into the blocks. It can help you make sure you aren’t putting too many things on your list and that you aren’t wasting time on things you don’t need to be doing.
I can easily spend too much time on social media because I love connecting with all of you on there but then I look at the clock and see I’ve gotten very little actually done.
My favorite resource on calendar blocking comes from Amy Landino. She is the queen of calendar blocking and uses it for her whole day not just work.
I recommend checking out her video Get More Done with Calendar Blocking for some really great information on getting started.
Time Management Tools
If you really want to up your productivity game you want to check out the Ultimate Productivity Bundle. It’s a bundle of different resources designed to help you make the most of your days.
It comes with-
- 5 eBooks
- 14 eCourses & videos
- 26 printables & workbooks
It’s over $1,000 worth of products for only $37. The deal is only available for 8/14 & 8/15 so you don’t want to wait.
I have been using these resources and they are helping me reach my big goals this year and feel like I’m using my days well.