If only there were a few more hours in the day…
How many of you have ever thought this before? Yeah, me too. Sometimes my days get so busy that I forget to eat. Being able to effectively manage your time is a crucial skill that everyone needs to know.
I’ve found that begging Father Time for a few extra hours has become one of my daily rituals. There’s just not enough hours in a day for all the things I want to do. However, I have learned a few tips and tricks that have helped me save tremendous amounts of time on some of my tasks, allowing me to focus my energy on things that require my full attention.You can have it all. Just not all at once. ―Oprah Winfrey Click To Tweet
How To Manage Your Time Like An Expert
Plan, execute and repeat. Every single day. As a busy girl, I often find that I get distracted and off course easily. There’s so many things on my mind that are of utmost importance, and I’m always afraid of forgetting something. This has led me to become the queen of post-it notes. Seriously, I usually have four to eight different post-it notes scattered around my desk at any given moment. The problem with this is that because there’s so many of them, I get so used to looking at them that I stop completely. To combat this, I made my own personal post-it note organizer, so I can organize my post-its by importance, and the organizer is re-usable. This has helped A LOT. Gone are the days of wondering where I wrote that one thing down…
Find out what tools work best for you.
Some people use a daily planner. I’ve tried this, but it doesn’t work for me. I think part of the reason for this is because I use an online calendar, and writing things down seems repetitive if it’s already documented in one place. I use my online calendar to keep track of linkups, amounts and due dates for bills and doctor’s appointments. It’s a great way to have everything in a centralized location that I can access at home, at work or from my phone. If you have a Microsoft outlook e-mail account, you can use the free calendar provided. If you don’t have a Microsoft outlook e-mail account, I would HIGHLY recommend getting one. I use this account every single day, and I have my blog e-mail address forwarded to it so that I never miss anything. Here’s a snapshot of what my calendar looks like.
I set everything up as an event. Personal events are blue, the pink events are linkups. I’ve done my best to notate the time they start at so that I can link up as soon as possible. I’ve also copy and pasted the link up URL in the location of the event, so that when it’s time to link up I just copy and paste it into a new tab. You may also notice that once I’ve paid a bill- I edit the event to say DONE and document the date that it was paid. (Full disclosure: I’ve eliminated some things so that I could share it with you guys. I have to maintain some level of privacy.)
Experiment with mobile tools.
There are also thousands of apps to help you manage your time more efficiently. The one I’ve used and found the most helpful is 30/30 which can be downloaded for free from the iTunes store. I really like this app because I can set up tasks that need to be completed throughout the whole day and determine much time it will take to complete each. Once you hit play, it starts circulating through your events and will send you an alert when it’s time to move on to the next task. This is a great way to stay on track.
Like I said before, I have a horrible habit of getting distracted. This helps me stay on task and then as soon as I hear the alert I move on to the next, regardless of where I’m at with the previous task. If the previous task is something that takes priority, you can adjust the amount of time easily by adding or subtracting by 5 minute intervals. This is super easy for those that aren’t technologically literate, and you can customize a folder for each day of the week. That way, if you repeat certain tasks on certain days you don’t have to re-add those, you can just use the same list you used last week. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?
2. Turn off distractions
Once you’ve planned your tasks for the day and began to complete them, TURN OFF ALL OTHER DISTRACTIONS. Put your computer to sleep; put your phone on silent or do not disturb; close your office door or turn off the radio. Do whatever you need to do to be present in that moment.
3. Multi-task Wisely
I do not condone multi-tasking at work. I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work. It’s much more effective to allot a certain amount of time to two different tasks instead of trying to do them at the same time. HOWEVER, in my opinion, there are a few exceptions to this rule.
Use your driving time
It takes me an hour to drive to work every day. That’s a lot of time that I’m in the car listening to the radio. Granted, music does wonders for the soul, but I recently started wondering how much more I could learn if I started using that driving time to listen to webinars and audio books. It’s been incredibly hard for me to participate in the massive amounts of webinars that are available lately. It wasn’t until yesterday that I (dumbfoundedly) remembered I could listen to audio through my car speakers. I plugged my charger into the USB port in my car, and was able to listen to the first half of a webinar with no problem at all. I finished the second half when I got home.
Remember those books you’ve been wanting to read? See if your library offers them in audio format. Technology is blossoming these days and while many people are resisting the change, others are profiting from it—and you can to.
Work smarter, not harder
As an administrative assistant, I spend a lot of time on the computer. Now that I’ve picked up blogging, I spend even more time doing the same things over and over. Do you know how to use keyboard shortcuts? Do you actually use them? You need to. I’ve made a quick and easy reference of the ones that I use every day. You can download it in the Blog + Biz Collection. You’ll need the password to access it, so leave your e-mail below.A man who dares to waste one hour of time hasn't discovered the value of life.―Charles Darwin Click To Tweet