As Entrepreneurs, we need good time management skills to achieve our goals. Since there is no fixed pay at the end of the month, literally everything rests in our hands.
I’m an Illustrator, Comic Artist and Blogger. Which means, aside from creating comics, and creating cute little Digital Printables, I also handle everything in my blog from writing long and detailed blog posts to illustrating all the fun and colorful illustrations for each blog post.
If you want to start a blog from scratch, I have a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how you can start your blog on Bluehost and actually monetize it using some incredibly simple techniques.
I also have a husband and two dogs to care for. And when I’m not working or taking care of my family, I make time read the books that I want to or I spend time researching because I love learning.
Unless I’m superwoman, let me tell you that it is close to impossible for me to find the time to do all of these things without losing my mind.
But, it is possible.
Yes. It is.
If you plan your day properly and actually cut out all the distractions, it is possible to finish everything you set your mind to.
Now, over to you.
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then fear not little grasshopper. I’ve compiled a neat little list of time management hacks that I use personally to get things done.
Oh, you’re already hating me, aren’t you?
I know this is difficult for a lot of people. But this is the first step to learning proper time management.
Heck, it was hard for me too.
You must be thinking, ‘The reason why I became an Entrepreneur was to make my own schedule!’.
That may be so but getting up early has a lot benefits. Those quiet early morning hours are perfect for clearing your mind, organizing your thoughts and finishing your morning rituals (i.e. tidying up/cooking/taking care of your family needs/planning what you’re going to accomplish) before you sit down to work.
Keep a planner (this can be a notebook or a mobile app). I usually prefer a notebook, because I love the feeling of writing on paper and actually ticking the task off when I finish it. My planner actually helps me to blog more efficiently. Having a notebook with me has drastically increased my productivity.
Make a “To do” list before you start your work. Having proper targets helps you focus better. You can have categories. They may be Work Related or Personal. You can even write down a motivational quote to get you through the day.
I’ve created this super cute Digital Daily Planner that you can print (as many times as you want on A4 or A5 paper) to help you become better at time management.
It is important to prioritize your tasks. We usually finish simple tasks before the cumbersome ones. By the time we move onto the heavy tasks, we may be exhausted and push them off to the next day. In order to avoid this, perform the most important tasks first.
If you need to be reminded of what to do, when; then use a Reminder app. There are lots of apps that you can use to organize your life better and become better at time management. This post has talks about some great apps to maximize productivity. I like using Planner Pro. And I set reminders to help me remember to take my dogs outside 5 times a day.
Let’s face it. With trending social media apps, we tend to get carried away and forget our priorities.
Social media kills productivity. If a two minute break on Facebook becomes a one hour game on Candy Crush (guilty), then it is time to make a change.
Keep all your Social Media apps off your home screens and make a deliberate attempt to NOT check your notifications throughout the day.
I only check my social media twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening. When I do this, I make a point of looking into which posts did well on my business page and re-schedule those posts into my social media queue.
I used to do this all the time in College and it actually helped. I’d give myself 1 hour to finish 1 chapter of my lesson. I’d view the number of pages, the difficulty and then calculate the time it would take me to process it all. After this, I’d set a deadline and go for it!
Most of the time, I’d manage to finish it with a few minutes to spare. Similarly, setting deadlines will help you accomplish your goals faster and rock at time management!
For egs, writing a blog post is quite a big task and may seem difficult if you look at it at a glance because there is so much that goes into writing a blog post. So I break it up into little tasks.
And I cross off everything as soon as I finish it. This way, I manage to stay sane and my target goal is accomplished with a little break-up.
This is my NUMBER 1 TIP for time management.
Much as we think we can, we can’t. It affects the quality of our work.
Talking on the phone to your mom + Cooking + Working on your Blog Post = Angry mom (for delayed responses) + 1 burnt dish + half completed blog post.
Trust me, it doesn’t work. You will have low productivity, multi-tasking. Instead of flooding your brain with multiple tasks, serve one master at a time.
If you’re stuck waiting for your husband to finish swimming, or waiting for someone to finish their phone call or waiting at a doctor’s office, do something useful!
You can use this time to check your e-mails, or write down more tasks you need finished. You can organize your thoughts or read a book.
Do something that will help you grow. Never sit idle unless you’re super tired and just want to breathe.
Do not over-work yourself. I know this post is on time management, but our brains begin to slow down after 45 minutes of concentrating on just ONE thing.
Take a break.
If you want, you could get up from your seat and do some stretches. Or get yourself a glass of water. Or just go play with your puppy who’s been nudging you with her ball for half an hour. This will not only refresh your mind, but will relax your body and help you focus better.
There are also times when we cannot find an answer. We rack our brains for it but with no solution. This is a sign. An important sign to get up and relax or do something different. Go clean the house. Or just go for a walk.
It may just result in an epiphany.
If you are over-burdened with work and just can’t handle any more, don’t take up more tasks than you need to.
Learn to say no, politely.
Take it easy. If you keep your daily goals in hand, you will know how much you can finish in a day. Before you agree to take up more work, make sure you are not too stressed and can take it on.
I personally hate watches. They remind me of schools so I do not own one. But I have clocks in every single room.
Always be aware of what time it is.
In time, you will have an idea what time it is without having to look at the time.
For egs: If you have to run out for a meeting, make sure you take your grocery list with you. Instead of wasting another trip (and fuel), you can just stop by a store on your way home and finish another mundane task!
This is again a short and quick way to recharge your body and mind before you take on the world and all it has planned. Remember, stress builds up slowly. And if you do not take enough breaks, you will break down eventually.
If you feel like wasting time, tell yourself this, ‘Time is money.’
What you can accomplish today, do not put off for tomorrow. You will thank yourself in the long run. And if you need some inspiration, you can check out this cute little printable wall art that you can buy here.
Make a stabilized routine in the morning to increase your productivity. For egs:
Stick to your morning routine even on weekends. You will become über productive.
Sometimes, you may have an urgent task to pursue after your current meeting. All the important discussions are over but people are making small talk and you are too polite to interrupt.
Try and cut it short as politely as you can.
Remember that you have other important things to do and if they aren’t finished, they will just end up getting postponed to the next day. Remind yourself that you need to be punctual in order to stick to our timetable and be successful at time management.
A lot of us who are in our 20s think we can overwork ourselves to make a better income, at a faster rate. because we’re young and our bodies will catch up.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but this not the case.
Although we assume that we can pull it off with no serious repercussions, we are wrong. It is not a good habit to pursue and we should avoid sacrificing sleep.
Being over-stressed and tired all day will not help us accomplish our goals any faster. Our ability to brainstorm and pull off last minute magic tricks will be lost to exhaustion. Remember, sleep recharges and refreshes you so try and get those hours of sleep your body is begging you for.
If you get hungry during the day and waste time standing in a queue just to buy a sandwich, then there are two ways you can fix this.
Observe your surroundings and take notes of how you could get better at time management.
Lastly, allow yourself to learn from your mistakes. Nobody is perfect. And if you haven’t managed to finish your daily goals, you can try better tomorrow. Life is all about making mistakes and becoming wiser. Give yourself a chance to be the person you want to be.
Remember to try and follow as many of these tips as you possibly can. I guarantee that you will see the difference. You will find time to do the things you love.
You will find time to give your family and friends more love and affection and most importantly you will be able to make time for yourself.
Are you already practicing some of these time management hacks? Let me know in the comments below. Take care and have an amazing week ahead!