If blogging has taught me one thing, it's how to juggle several responsibilities in a productive way. Whether I'm planning outfits, meeting with brands, writing a post, or long-term planning, I rely on time management techniques that I've tested along the way. Since it's always nice to find systems or tips for managing time, I wanted to share mine with you guys! Here's what I like to do to maximize my days:
1. Dreaded tasks first
This isn't the most fun to put into play, but the level of helpfulness is worth it to me. Instead of having it linger in the back of my mind and waste time doing basically anything else, I like to get dreaded things out of the way first. Once it's done, I tend to get through everything else more quickly and I'm not anxious about it.
2. Find the hours that work for you
I've heard that it's great to get up early to knock things out, but that doesn't always suit my personality or schedule. I tend to be productive at night, so if I have a lot going on, I'll schedule my day to favor that. I think it's important to find the pockets of your day when you like to focus, and manage your schedule around that. If you're not your best in the morning, that's a good time to get mindless tasks or chores crossed off, and save work for later in the day. Or vice versa if you're a morning person!
3. Single task
I talked about the Pomodoro Technique in this post, and it's very helpful for managing time. I find that focusing on one thing at a time is a crucial way to stay on task without wasting time. Plus, it helps your brain to be more efficient when it's only tasked with one thing at a time. This tip includes turning off your phone or any distractions (hi, Snapchat) :)
4. Track your time
This is a cool thing to do when you're trying to plan out your days. Use a timer when working on something to get an idea of how long each repetitive task actually takes – like a blog post. I know that my blogging tips articles take longer than others, so I'm able to plan more time in my day for them. I find that scheduling your day in pockets around how long tasks take is amazing for time management.
Getting enough sleep is something proper time management relies on for me. If I'm tired, everything takes me longer the next day – plus I'm out of it. If I have full energy, I have better focus and can cross things off my list a lot easier and faster. Prioritize your sleep – even if you don't think you have time for it! – and it'll definitely pay off. I shoot for 6-8 hours personally.
6. Schedule social
I rely on scheduling certain social media posts – usually ones surrounding a specific blog post – for a couple reasons. First, it eliminates me leaving another task to go post, and secondly, my mind is already concentrating on that blog post. For example, this blog post: instead of waiting until it goes live (in a couple days in this case), I'll go ahead and schedule 2 tweets and 1 Facebook post when I'm done writing. My social posts end up being more relevant to the blog post and I love that it's one less thing to remember when the article goes live.
7. Ask for clarity
I've started delegating tasks I'm not great at which has been a lifesaver. I've also started asking for clarity in certain situations instead of guessing what someone means in an email or campaign requirements. It gets rid of time trying to interpret what someone wants or needs, and I don't blow time doing work that isn't right.
8. Store passwords
This is one of those sneaky, hidden time constrictors. Instead of not remembering my password to every login, I now actually keep track of them! There are apps for it (LastPass is what I use), or you can store them in a way that works for you. This little trick has saved me tons of time. Simple but effective.
9. Take time off
I feel like this is key for all things in life and maybe it seems like an oxymoron to the idea of managing time, but it's so important! If you're not taking time away from work or mundane tasks, you'll get burnt out and won't use your time well anyways. Like sleep, taking time to do things you love and that are opposite of work is necessary! And do yourself a favor and don't always schedule off-time – that can feel like work. Instead, I like to see how I'm feeling and assess whether or not I need time away or a little self-love – then make time for it.
I hope some of these tips work for you! Have you used any before? Do you have any other ideas for me?