Ok, so I am going to admit that the last month or so has been a little bit of a scattered mess for me. Meaning that I have a lot of things that I want to do, but only so much time in the day. I would spend more time figuring out what is I should focus than actually doing it. A little time management was need.
What did I do?
I took a step back and just looked at some of my habits and tried to look at the big picture. Really evaluated my day and what I spent my time on.
What did I find?
Well first, another confession… I am a little bit of a procrastinator, especially on things I really don’t want to do. So I would actually build up a bunch of not so fun things to do, which in the end, makes things worse.
Also, I found that it was really hard for me to focus on one thing. I would multitask and try to do everything which meant that nothing was really getting fully completed on time or with good quality.
Make a List
Seems so simple right? But it really does help.
I just sat down one day and started a list of everything I needed to do or wanted to do. (It’s important to know the difference here.) I took everything that was building up and everything that I thought was a daily or weekly task.
Organize and Prioritize
What do you do with the list now of all of your to dos? You organize it.
I broke up my list into workable pieces. Figured out what I have been procrastinating on that if I just did it real quick it would be over with. Then I figured out what you must do verses what would be nice to do. And what needs done daily, weekly, or monthly.
In order to get ahead you need to get caught up.
I took everything that I was procrastinating on that was really a do once type thing and spent some time catching up on just those items. Like, make a dentist appointment, get my windshield fixed, and get a quote on my roof. Since I am not always a huge fan of picking up the phone these are the types of things that personally build up for me. This way I had a fresh start.
This did take me a few days to get fully caught up and I did sacrifice some TV time and things like working on my blog. But the feeling of relief was so worth it.
Time Slot Your Day
Bucket out the big “must do” stuff. Like going to work and sleeping.
I bucketed out my 8 hour work day, but left a blank spot for lunch, and a couple 15 minute breaks throughout the day. I bucketed out the time I expect to be sleeping. Then prioritize the time in between and be a little creative. Do not forget your commute if you have one! Read more about Time Bucketing here.
Make a schedule
Now to schedule your to do list.
I took a look at things that I could multitask and do.
Like I could listen to some training videos while doing dishes. Or I could organize my junk drawer while watching TV. Be careful about multitasking though, you don’t want to try and do two things that require full attention. Like watching training videos and writing a blog. You are never going to get the quality you need.
Then look at the things you could do on breaks at work.
On my 15 minute breaks at work I could write down some blog ideas, or make a meal plan, or start my grocery list. During lunch I can check my emails or even make that dentist appointment. I use my driving time to catch up with my grandmother or a friend, if you have hands free in your car, be safe! Or you can listen to something you enjoy for some “me time” like an audiobook or music.
Take a look at the remaining items and pencil it.
What must you do every day? Figure out when is your best time to do it. For me, cleaning the litter box is something that if i don’t do it first thing I may find that I forget to do it. So I recommend doing the important, less fun things first to get them out of the way. Trust me you will feel better. Then do the less important things later in the day. Keep your WANT to dos on the side. Then if you find yourself with some extra time you have a list of things you know you want to work on.
Now that you are caught up and you have your general schedule, you want to make sure you stay ahead.
I now keep a running to do list. Meaning every time that something comes up I feel I need to do I add it to the list. Then every evening or morning I take a look at the RUNNING to do list and make a TODAYs To Do list. Actually, I even have a white board I where I write out my today’s to do list. I no longer procrastinate, I put those items on my whiteboard and I just run through my to do list quickly and check it off as I go. I love to physically be able to check of items, its more satisfying than using an app on your phone.
Once you run through your to do list each day if you have extra time then you can tackle your WANT to dos. I have found that just focusing on one task at a time and running through the list has saved me a ton of time. I have more free time in the evenings to do things I want to do . My weekends are no longer spent trying to catch up on things. It has been great for relieving some of the stress as well. A little bit of time management goes a long way.
What do you do to stay on track?