I have always wished I had more than 24 hours a day. I am sure you wished too sometimes. All of us want to have more time for the family but someone needs to be out there working. Like me, I am working and caring for the family at the same time, plus trying to start a blog. Hence time management is so vital to me.
When you ‘google’ time management, you find lots and lots of different advice out there. There are even some paid e-courses that teach you about time management. But in this post, I want to share my own insights. I want to teach you about time management from my own experiences.
1. Turn Off Facebook and other social apps.
Now, this is my number one rule. To use your time well, to achieve your goals, you MUST turn OFF social media app. Some people call it multi-tasking, I call it a major distraction. Not only Facebook but chatting apps such as Whatsapp & Messenger, even your Gmail should be in offline mode as well. Anything that gives you constant notifications should be off. Do you know that if you are doing two things simultaneously, you’re wasting half (could be even more) of your time, and your efficacy is at most 50%?
I tried before to write posts while chatting with a friend via phone. It was a disaster. I wasted so much time, and could not complete one post in 3 hours. This is because whenever I try to brainstorm ideas and arrange sentences in my mind, the phone beep. And it all went away in a blink of an eye. To be honest, I tried not once, but a few times. I thought that I was a good multitasker. But my phone turns out to be my number 1 distractor.
2. Listening to music YAY or NAY.
Many people like to work with their earphones/headphones on. Some claim that listening while working increase productivity, some say no. In my opinion, it all depends on what you’re listening to. I cannot listen to music with lyrics while working. It is such a distraction I can’t even type properly. I hear something in my ears but I am thinking something else. At first, I
thought maybe if I chose music of another language, it would be alright. But it didn’t work. It feels like two people trying to talk at the same time, and I just cannot focus. But I find that piano music works. I can focus really well that I don’t even know what song it’s playing. I should say this is a very personal thing. Some work best with music, some don’t. You just have to find your groove and pace.
3. Knowing your priority and WRITE IT DOWN.
Some things have deadlines, some don’t. Some need to be done right away, some can wait. You need to be able to tell which one is more important than others in order to use your time effectively. In my case, making money and family are the two priorities. Blogging comes after them. Hobbies come even later. So my everyday schedule is WORK & FAMILY (preparing meals, house chores, looking after hubby and son, errands etc.) > BLOGGING (writing posts, read blogging stuff, marketing etc.) > SOAP OPERA (my favorite hobby, but it’s a total waste of time).
You see how I prioritize my tasks? From there, you can scale down to organize smaller tasks. For example FAMILY. My priorities would be preparing meals, and care for my 2-year-old son. Moping the floor, dusting, and weeding are non-urgent tasks. I can always do it another day. Try to break down your schedule and identify priorities, and you will definitely become more efficient.
I am that kind of person who needs to write things down. My daily planner is stuck to my bathroom mirror. I update it every night, and I can see it first thing in the morning when I enter the bathroom. To me, it’s not enough to just KNOW my priorities, but to write it down, schedule it, is equally important. At the end of the day, I look at it and see what have I missed and if it can be done the next day. I have tried to put the planner somewhere else in the house, but I find that bathroom works best. I go in and out throughout the day, and every time I see it, it reminds me of what to do. Find your preferred spot, and get the planner up. Things get done when we have a plan. 🙂
4. Setting goals.
Now, setting goal is different from knowing your priorities. Setting goals help you to determine how much to achieve or to complete in a certain time frame. For example, I am set to write at least 3 posts every week for my blog. I am to write on every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday. But as you can see, blogging is not the priority in my daily planning. Sometimes things get out of hand, and I might not have the time to perform any blogging tasks. So instead of Monday, I might be writing on a Tuesday. But that’s OK, as long as I am trying to achieve my goal of 3 posts per week. You see, setting goals requires a bit of thinking. You need to be reasonable, and achievable. Don’t set goals that are too difficult to accomplish. What is the point of having great goals, but non-achievable?
5. Have a routine.
Do you always wake up, go to bed and eat at the same time each day? Do you have the same routine every day? In my opinion, having a routine is extremely important. Routine shapes your day and decides if you’re using your time well. I always wake up around 7 am in the morning, and start my day with preparing meals for the family. Then I will go to work. After finishing work, it’s family time. Then I have to put my little bubba to bed at 7 pm. After 9 pm it’s my free time for blogging, and I go to bed around 12 am. You see I have a set daily routine. I might be doing different tasks every day, but I know what is achievable. You kind of need to know if you’re a morning person or a night person. I have tried a few different routines before, and I find that 7 am – 12 am works best for me. Once I tried to sleep at 8.30pm, and get up 5 am, but I just couldn’t do it. But it might work for you, who knows?
It is easy enough to ‘google’ time management skills and bombarded this post with plenty of words. But I want to do something different, I want to talk from my own perspective, my own experiences. As I am finishing up, I have had my phone away from me, mute, for almost 2 hours now. You see, this is what YOU can achieve. You can write a post of 1200 words within 2 hours if you have the right attitude.
Time management requires skills. It also requires discipline and flexibility. You need to discipline yourself to do the right thing, yet flexible when you can’t finish a task. To me, it’s all in your head, and how much you want to achieve. Like the old saying goes –