Hey Social’s! It’s Monday and today I talking time management and productivity. It’s time to admit that “having it all” is not standard.” As someone who spends a great deal of time balancing life, running a multifaceted business and being a mom. It is a must to have a system in place. However, making that system work for you is what matters. We have to stop thinking perfection when it comes balancing life. It’s fair to say that we don’t always have time for everything we want to do. However, with a few simple steps, patience, and understanding of making your time work for you. You will be able to bring more productivity into your life and accomplish any goal you set one step at a time.
Last year I faced a major challenge with things I wanted and needed to get accomplished for my business and home life. From the outside, it looked like I had it all together. Let me just tell you… NOPE! Not even close. I spent a lot of late nights working on projects, editing for clients, and dealing with emails. During the day I would be out shooting with clients, finding myself tiered from the previous night, then racing home to homework and dinner (which did not happen as much as I wanted), thank goodness for take out, and then I’d chug coffee just to stay awake and get though my nightly task. This was so not ideal. I literally was burning the candle at both ends and my anxiety had reached an all time high. I know I’m not alone in this. That’s why I decided to make a change.
Tip: Ditch the lengthy checklists and find ways to make a plan for planning. Leave room for flexibility.
Question? : What current tools are you using to help you manage your time? Think about what has been working for you, and what hasn’t. How are you working balance into your life? Do you think you can devote an exact amount of time and energy to every aspect of your life? Write down your thoughts to pull from later.
Okay so let's get into my tips for making time for everything you want to accomplish. Keep in mind that these are just suggestions. Feel free to shape them to work for you.
Tip 1: PLAN FOR PLANNING
What has really worked for me is setting time aside (about an hour) for my actual planning. This is time that you can plan out your day, upcoming week, or even a month at a glance. Now you will want to do this at a time when you won’t be distracted and can give your full attention to. I tend to do this in the morning prior to working.
A technique I use for this is calendar blocking. This is the simple aspect of blocking out spaces of time for all of your routines, work and social events. It has literally changed my life. Here are a few simple steps to get you started.
Use either a digital calendar (like Google Cal), or you can be fancy and use your physical paper calendar. I use Google as it’s more efficient for my lifestyle and literally on all my devices.
Start by setting a start and end time for your day. For example; I like to start with blocking off the time I am going to bed to the time I wake up (10:45 pm to 5:00 am) Make sure you set a time that logically works for you.
Begin to fill in time slots for your daily routines and work events. If you use a Google Cal. You can create mini calendars. I do this to satisfy my planner nerd and organization need. Suggested time slots to embed to keep you on target; -morning routine (breakfast, workouts, meditation, etc.) -travel times (school/work), - work hours (this is a big chunk of your day), -lunch, -evening routines/social time, -home life routines, and -free time.
Once you have those times blocked out begin to add in solid and moving task. This includes but is not limited to; work tasks, out of office meetings, class, productivity planning, and anything around accomplishing your day. I plan everything out, (wake up, morning routine, any morning travel, office time and all working tasks within my business and life /meetings/client calls, appointments, night routine, social time and self care.
Finally set push notifications for all events and stick to the times. If working in Google you can set your time as busy. My rule is if it’s not on the calendar it’s not happening. If someone wants to meet up during a solid task time...nope can’t happen.
Key: remember this is a working calendar. Leave room for flexibility.
Tip 2: KEEP DISTRACTIONS TO A MINIMUM- FOCUS
Cut down the time on anything that will send you down what I call the “rabbit hole” of losing track of your time. Social media was my rabbit hole. Uggggg….I had a habit of checking it so much. I found that anything on my phone including my email app, would draw me away for what I was working on.
A good suggestion is to place your phone away from you when your working or in do not disturb mood. This will allow you the space to stay in thought and on task.
Additional tip: Unplug Pick a time to place your phone on do not disturb at night, and keep it that way past the time you wake up in the morning. I had the habit of always checking emails, text, and social media first thing in the morning. This lead me to forgetting about the time I needed to properly prepare for the morning and day ahead. Now I don’t check my phone or use it until after 9:30 am.
Recommended focus techniques:
Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo- Working in effective tracking intervals of time to help you stay focused and shout out distractions.
Social media shout down. If your brave...delete you apps.
Try applications that block out websites or limit your time on your phone.
Work in a quiet/ or co-working space. Sometime I need an office setting to help me work.
Stop trying to multitask. Focus on one thing at a time.
Tip 3: GET A PHYSICAL PAPER PLANNER FRIENDS
I know what your thinking. “Elena you just told me to use my calendar.” Yep I know. However, studies have shown that when you physically write something down it is more likely to stick. Not only do I use my Google Cal. but I also have a daily calendar that I use to help me further plan out and see my day.
What are some techniques that you currently use to help you focus down and get things done?
I have created a free Purposeful Daily Planner (that you can download here), filled with a host of sections that will help you be the best productive bee you can be. This planner will help you write out your schedule for each part of your day; track your daily tasks, goals, set positive intentions, and fully see your plan. I’ve even added in sections for motivational quotes, water intake and self care goal setting. Using this tool can help you measure your task effectiveness and track your personal and work habits.
How to Use This Guide
Decide on the things that you HAVE to do! Those are your top priorities. Then list out all the things your want to do. Task you want to work on that move you in your passion. (For example; spending time writing that book, painting, cooking, or working out).
Plan out all this in your routines per section. Allow yourself 5-10 minute breathing interval breaks. This helps break up your time and give you a minute to refocus.
Set 3-4 goals that you want to achieve for the day. This could be anything that will allow room for productivity.
Tip: When setting goals, it’s a good suggestions to set short goals. If your wanting to get your inbox down to zero (MEEE!!!), then set aside time to respond to emails 1-2 times a day, and not every time an email comes in. If your working on a book. Maybe your goal is to write 3 pages that day only. If you working on your photography skills. Then your goal could be to learn one camera aspect for 30 minutes.
If you don’t work through all your goals it’s okay. Leave the undone ones for the next day as the top goals. Remember to try your best and understand that you will not always get all things done. However, celebrate the success of what you accomplished. Make sure you estimate the amount of time you want to spend on a specific task each day. Then add that to your calendar blocking. Remember to turn on your calendar notifications to help you stay on task.
Add in self care time. This is huge. Make time for you each and every day to do something that sets your soul on fire.
Remember to motivate yourself. Use daily quotes to keep you inspired.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Drink water!
And that’s it friends. A few beefy tips to help you conquer all aspects of your life, get all that you want done, and buckle down. So Get To It!
I hope today’s post inspired you and you were able to take away something to add to your routine. Don’t forget to grab my Purposeful Daily Planner.
As always it is my goal to see you Boss Socials excel in life and your businesses.