Before I started implementing Time Management, my life was pretty much complete chaos. As a mom and business owner, my time is my biggest value and one that I do not give away very freely. I knew I needed to implement some big changes, but wasn’t quite sure where to start.
So after doing my research, I took all the information I accumulated and created a list of my Top 10 Takeaways on how I could use the idea of Time Management to take control of my time and be more productive. Let’s dive into my Top 10 Tips on how to manage your time and be more productive.
1. Plan the Night Before
Planning your day the evening before is key to waking up to a productive day. I take about 10-15 minutes every evening before bedtime and plan my daily tasks for the next day. This is also a perfect time to go over my tasks with my husband and make sure I’m not forgetting anything. He is my second brain, or my back up brain I should say. This is one of my favorite books that has helped me master this concept, Organize Tomorrow Today by Jason Selk. Get it on Amazon HERE —>
2. Make a Daily To Do List
Part of my planning the night before includes brain dumping a list of all the tasks that I need to complete for the day and sometimes even week. This concept helps me clear my mind of all the ideas, goals, and plans I have flying around. It also helps me relieve stress by getting things down on paper. Just the act of clearing my mind and creating a list allows me to sleep better and think clearer. If you want my free Brain Dumping Downloadable, you can get that over in the Freebie Library.
3. Prioritize Your List
Now that you’ve emptied your mind on paper, it’s time to prioritize your list. Some items may not even be a priority for the next day, but it feels good to get them down on paper.
Put your items into 1 of the 4 different priority categories: Do, Decide, Delegate, Delete
The items you place in the “Do” box are of highest priority. These need to be first on your list.
The items in the “Decide” box are important, but not urgent. These items can wait and you’ll need to determine how long or if they can be completed once you get through your “Do” list.
The items in the “Delegate” box are items that can be delegated to someone else. For example, I often delegate laundry folding to my kids. (Can I get an Amen?)
Then lastly, those items in your delete box are just wish items that have no real deadline attached to them. Get my FREE Task Organizer in the Freebie Library.
4. Set Daily S.M.A.R.T Goals
I am a huge advocate of having daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals! Setting daily goals is such an important habit to create. It will give each day a purpose so you know what you’re working towards. Let’s talk about what a SMART goal is.
S.M.A.R.T Goals >>>>
T- time based
So every Saturday or Sunday, you need to take a few minutes to sit down and plan out what high-level milestones you want to accomplish in the upcoming month and weeks, then break those down into smaller milestones by the day.
Once you’ve listed out your goals for the month and week, break them down into smaller milestone chunks by day, so you know exactly what needs to get done each day to reach your overall goals. It’s no good setting goals if you then forget all about them – you need to revisit them and check on progress at least once a day, or however often you feel you need to.
5. Use a Planner
Using a planner has been my saving grace. I have literally spent hundreds of dollars trying to find the “right” one. Most of the time I’m pretty simplistic and minimalistic in nature, but my planner is my brain. I need it to have all the things and finding a planner that has everything I was needing and wanting was no easy task. Then I found it…..the holy grail of all planners.
Learn About My Favorite Planner
Let me introduce you to the Start Hustle Planner. It comes in a daily or weekly option. I have personally owned and love them both. The only real difference is the size so if you want one you can carry with you in your purse, I’d suggest the daily planner. It has ALL THE THINGS!
If you need a time blocking planner that also has goal setting trackers, meal plans and shopping lists, daily to do lists, project planner, financial and budgeting trackers, daily and monthly health check ins, daily inspiration, and SO MUCH MORE……then you will LOVE this planner! They also have so many other addons for entrepreneurs, teachers, etc. Make sure to check out my favorite planner HERE!
6. Do Your Miracle Morning Routine
Have you heard of The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod? It’s a very well known text that has many different variations specific to your niche.
This book has helped me in so many ways, but mostly because I am not at all a morning person. Waking up early and creating a morning routine was not easy for me until about 1 week in and when I realized how crucial it was for a productive day. Whether your a stay at home mom, working mom, or entrepreneur creating a miracle morning routine can drastically increase your productivity and help you get more done in less time. It also creates focus on positive mental health, self development, and exercise.
Here’s what my miracle morning routine looks like:
-4 min of meditation and prayer
-4 min of self affirmations
-10 minutes of journaling and reflection
-30 minutes of at home exercise
Practicing self care is crucial to have a productive day and managing your time. If I skip this part, it tends to become too easy to allow some negative energy to creep in to my day. If you want help creating your own miracle morning, make sure to snag the book here! —>
7. Eat Energy Giving Foods
Being more organized and productive extends beyond office hours.
Take a close look at your diet, and make sure it is not holding you back from achieving all you are capable of.
Some foods – particularly refined carbohydrates such as cakes, cookies and fast foods – actually drain your energy levels and make you sluggish and unresponsive at work. By fixing your diet, you are well on the way to creating the perfect recipe for success!
‘You are what you eat,’ or so the saying goes, and you’d be amazed at how much the food you eat influences how you think, how you feel, and how it impacts on your overall health.
When you’re a busy person with lots to do every day, it’s easy to take the easy option and eat out a lot. The problem with this is that usually eating out does not guarantee healthy food in the right quantities to maintain a healthy weight.
If you make it a point to eat natural, alkaline-promoting foods, you will feel WAY more energetic when because you are eating healthily. It’s a night and day difference. It gives you the energy and productivity to live an organized and productive day, every day.
My Favorite Energizing Supplements
One of my all time favorite drinks that I add to my morning routine helps me balance my diet and take charge of my health. It is a plant based green drink that can be taken alone or added to your morning smoothie. You can grab the same drink that I use HERE and if you need more help with focusing then I recommend THIS!
8. Time Batching and Time Blocking
Ok listen closely because these two concepts alone will literally double if not triple your productivity level as well as multiply the amount of tasks you can accomplish in less time. When I started implementing these into my business I was blown away and how much I was able to accomplish. You can also use this concept just for simply running your household.
Let’s start with time batching. Time Batching is a simple time management productivity hack that allows you to take advantage of your full concentration by grouping a bunch of similar activities together and doing them all at the same time. This is so super helpful so you’re not jumping from one task to another unless they are similar tasks. It improves focus, decreases daily clutter, and reduces start up and slow down time.
After you batch your activities you’ll want to implement time blocking. Time blocking is a type of scheduling that can help you manage your time by blocking out a set time to accomplish a specific task or set of tasks. Once you batch your like minded tasks together you will then carve out a specific amount of time to finish that task.
There are so many ways to time block. You can use a simple sheet of lined paper, starting with the time you wake up, and go all the way down numbering the paper until bedtime -OR- you can use an app, a google sheet, a planner, or your Google Calendar. I personally like to use my Hustle planner and a project management tool called Asana that also has an app and syncs to my Google Calendar. I’ll list some examples below.
Google Calendar Time Blocking
If you need some help with time blocking, check out all my FREE resources in the Freebie Library.
9. Set A Timer
Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique? It’s a time management technique that was created in the 1980’s that is still commonly practiced today. The concept is that you break down work into intervals typically 25 minutes in length separated by short breaks.
There are six steps in the original technique:
- Pick a task to be completed.
- Set the timer (traditionally to 25 minutes).
- Begin working on the task.
- Stop working when the timer goes off and put a checkmark next to the task on your to do list.
- If you complete less than four tasks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 2.
- After four pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.
10. Stay Focused and Don’t Multi-task
Contrary to what you’ve probably been told, multi-tasking can actually be very harmful to your productivity. This is because it spreads your attention thin if you’re trying to do too many things at once, and due to that, no single task actually gets the time it needs to be completed. Whatever task happens to be next on your list, give your FULL attention to it. You will complete it quicker and, above all, it gets done. This will help you accomplish things faster, and the more tasks you accomplish, the more empowered and energized you’ll feel.
Single-tasking is the new Multi-tasking!
Imagine how much better that feels as opposed to trying to do everything at once and not getting anything done – this would make you feel demotivated and can make you lose belief in your ability to accomplish things! You really don’t want that. Stay focused on what you need to do, get it done, and then move on to the next task. You’ll accomplish a lot more doing it this way rather than multi-tasking, and these are just some of the reasons why…..
-It focuses your shift from task to task
-It’s more stressful
-Very taxing for the brain
-It reduces efficiency
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Question of the week: Which task(s) are you most excited about implementing and why? Share with me in the comments below. I would love to know!