How to develop time management skills

I know this may sound like a boring topic but hear me out. Time management is one of the best skills you can practice. I get a lot of questions about blogging, instagram, managing your own business, juggling school work with your social life, etc. and I think this is the perfect opportunity to dive into this topic. After all, poor time management is the underlying issue for many self-employed people. Unsure if you suffer from poor time management? Well, answer this question: do you find yourself wondering where the your time goes most days?

Yes? Well….you might have poor time management skills. To be clear, I am not here to point fingers. I’m 100% guilty of this. Everyone is at some point. The difference is, I’ve made changes to my daily routine to fix this little issue that was slowly becoming a bigger problem.

I used to have these big grand days planned for myself and suddenly it’s 4:00PM, I haven’t accomplished much, and I’ve mentally checked out for the day. I need 5 solid days of productivity. Not only does my business need that, my mental state requires small accomplishments to keep moving forward. Managing my time better ensures that this happens week after week.

You’re probably going to roll your eyes, but GOOD time management is a lifestyle. Because, once you’ve mastered proper time management, other elements of your life will start to fall into place. Suddenly errands, chores, tasks, obligations won’t be so tedious; you will become more organized and purposeful. This mindset should (in my opinion) be applied to all areas of your life. Read on to see what I mean.

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Plan ahead. And think ahead. Don’t just rush into anything–think about the most efficient way to get it done. I like to do an overview month plan and then each week right down everything that needs to get down and plan accordingly.

-Consider traffic. If you live in NY/LA always plan on being in traffic. If you luck out and don’t hit traffic, sit in your car for those few extra mins and put on your favorite podcast. Better that than being late.

-Make a list. Love a to-do list. But if the list isn’t readily available it’s pointless. Use your phone’s Notes app, email yourself, write on a physical piece of paper, whatever works for YOU.

-Be strategic. Cooking is a great way to practice time management. Knowing which dish to prepare or cook first in order for the meal to come together at the right / same time took practice. It’s a strategy game but if done correctly, you will win. Practice through your dinner/lunches and apply it to you work/social life.

-Meal prep. This is more of a hack rather than a “practice”. If you find that you need more hours in the day and you’re spending too much time preparing lavish meals, spend a Sunday making your meals for the week. You’ll find you have extra time to yourself in the morning and even at night if you have something already prepared.

-Wake up earlier. I’m SO not a morning person, but forcing myself to be awake within the 6:00-7:00AM hour really helps me have productive mornings and starts my day on the right foot. Sleeping in just naturally puts me in a lazier state of mind.

-Wear a watch. Funnily enough, I wear a watch but never look at it. Sometimes I even look at my phone and don’t actually check the time. I get it, though. We are so distracted by everything else that time doesn’t always register. Try to make an effort to check the time.

-Limit social media and / or TV hours. It used to be that kids were allowed a certain amount of time in front of the TV, but now it’s social media that consumes us. It’s tough, especially when my entire business revolves around it, but it’s crucial to my sanity, vision, and time. Social media can suck me in for literal hours before I realize I’ve just wasted so much time that I’ll never get back. 30 minutes in the morning (usually when I’ve just woken up), 2 minute increments throughout the day (set a timer), and 20-30 minutes before bed is my goal. Just making yourself aware of this is good. Baby steps.

-Set timers. I allow a set amount of time for certain activities in my life and it is amazing how quickly time passes when a timer is set. For a while I was carving out 60 minutes everyday to read a book and I was always depressed how quickly that timer would go off. Being aware of time will help you realize just how valuable it is.

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