People often have one of two complaints: not enough money and not enough time.
Usually what this means is we are not being responsible for our money and time (which is why we don’t have any). We spit out ‘I don’t have enough…’ as a reason for not taking risks or taking action.
Guess what happens then? You are STUCK with no time and no money. See how that viscous cycle goes?
So let’s talk about creating a time management plan. Here are 4 simple steps to follow that will have you warping out of the twilight zone you’ve created and adding hours to your day.
1) Log your time suckage. For a whole week, log what you have done for every hour of the day. Don’t try to be sneaky and all of a sudden use your day wisely—be honest with yourself and track what you are doing with your time.
2) Review and analyze time suckage. Don’t cringe just yet, this is the fun part. :) How much time were you actually doing something productive? How many hours were logged watching TV, playing games on your phone, or scanning Facebook? Here’s a winner: how much time was wasted being upset over something, mulling over what that woman at the store said to you or how your friend looked at you weird?
3) Cut out time suckage and build a time management plan. So if you are like most, you might notice you don’t use your time effectively. Now, I’m not saying you have to give up Glee but this is the thing about time: when you do things with PURPOSE and focus, you get a lot more done. Follow this strategy below:
- Prioritize your ‘to do’ in to 2 lists: A-list of MUST DO today (like your life depends on it) and B-list of to dos that have some flexibility.
- Block out your day into hour blocks, leaving 50 minutes of activity and a 10 min break. Your brain will explode if you don’t give it a break. Okay, maybe not explode but you will be less productive as the brain loses focus after 50 minutes of anything. Set a timer to keep you on schedule.
- Give yourself twice as much time than you think it will take you. Fill your schedule with A-list activities and B only if you have extra time. If you work a job with a lot of phone calls, schedule a block in the morning and afternoon to return/make calls.
- Schedule in ONLY an hour for emails and social media—at the END of the day. Honestly, most emails can be answered in 40 minutes. Put an autoresponse up for your email that if people really need you, to call you because you only check email once a day. Unless you are playing that Farm game (time suckage!), 20 minutes on Facebook is enough to update your status, post a video, and say hi to your friends.
4) Communicate your new time management plan. Listen, YOU are the master of your schedule. If you don’t want people calling you and emailing you all day, you need to tell them that they can only reach you during certain blocks and that unless blood and near death is involved, they can’t call you during any other time. 95% of what people think are emergencies are things that can wait a couple of hours. The hardest part is you putting your foot down.