15 Time Management Tips for Successful Women
First things first, let’s start with the big question. Why? Why do we want to manage our time? What’s your goal? Do you want to make time for something or do you just want to stop the panic and everyday hustle and get rid of the unncessary stress & burnout?
The goal is to become more efficient and effective with how we spend our minutes and delegate our tasks. I was always about that hustle lifestyle until I found out that the outputs I was producing were not really on par with what I would be proud of. Something I believe everyone should understand is that productive doesnt always necessarily mean busy and busy doesnt always equal to productivity.
In the book called The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, he said that we should view time in an Einstein manner. According to him, we are the source of our time and we have full control over it. Can you wrap your head around that statement? Of course some would say, noo I have school and a job, two jobs actually, and family and friends or some other excuse. But I think that thinking in that way would be very limiting. To be able to have enough time to do more things that are actually important to us, we should take full responsibility and control of our time, especially our “free” time.
In this post, we're all about being accountable and disciplined with how we spend our time. Im giving you 15 time management and productivity tips because if we don't run the day, the day is going to run us!
- Get enough sleep. and actually wake up early. Tada! Nothing new here. Just the basics. But seriously though, having enough rest gives us the energy and fresh mind to work on our tasks the following day. And being up early, not rushing and knowing you have the whole day ahead of you feels SO good. Like, carpe the freak out of that diem! And, a set morning routine helps a lot too with staying motivated, too. Tried and tested!
- Find your best time. Not everyone can be a morning person, not everyone can stay up late to work with great focus, certainly not a sleepy girl like me! But we all have a time period where our focus and attention is the sharpest. So once you figured that out, let's say 5pm, use your energy in that time block wisely. Dont use your 5PM taking naps, or I dont know whatever you do at 5pm. I found that Im most productive from 6am to 11am during and after my morning routine. And then 4pm to 9pm just before my bed time so during that, Im just, work work work!
- Think on paper- because, say it with me, what gets written down, gets done. At this point, Im assuming at this point everyone already has a planner or a to-do list system of some sort because if not, Im judging so hard. Haha Im kidding! Soo to do lists, I swear, whatever that is, dont trust that youll just remember it later because more often than not, we as humans tend to forget. So record that ish down! Everything that needs to be done, its constituents, event reminders, grocery list, packing list. Just lists! Im all for lists.
- The 2 minute rule. If it can be done within 2 minutes. Do it right away. Just get over with it. Like replying to messages/emails. Dont let it sit in your inbox for hours. Get it out of the way so you can continue to focus on your day.
- Practice productive procrastination!! Because come on, let’s be honest here, we cant really be productive 24/7.. and I dont think we can FULLY get rid of procrastination. HOWEVER, we STILL can do other productive things while procrastinating. Does that sound paradoxical? Because it does to me.. So what I mean by productive procrastination is doing other smaller, easier and non urgent things on your to do lists such as organising your desk, or maybe taking your dog our for a walk, or folding the fresh laundry. That's so much better than bingewatching youtube pranks, right?
- Time blocks. Time blocks for everything. 2 hours for this. 5 minutes for this. Give yourself a deadline for every task and take breaks in between them. Use it for some stretches, bathroom run, get some water.
- Be intentional with social media. Dont allow yourself to just mindlessly scroll through it. Clean up your following and only follow those who beneficial to your wellbeing and energy. Something Im really grateful that I did is turning off the notifications for my social media. Not only did it let me focus better because of the avoided distractions, it also made me feel alot better about myself.
- Write down priorities or what you want to make time for. For example, I once read a book wherein the author interviewed people and theres this one girl. So the story is she’s, like most us, busy in her day to day life and then one day her kitchen sink broke and then of course she had to get it fixed, she ran errands for it and all, contacting the tube guys idk haha, and then at the end of the week, when she reevaluated, it turned out that the whole broken sink thing cost her 7 full hours. She never wouldve imagined that she could fit 7 more hours into her work week. But I think thats what happens when things are urgent and important and we know would cost us a great consequence if we didnt do it. What I wanna say here is that, we can treat whatever we want to do, our hobby our passion, as that broken sink and find time for it. If it really is that important, we would make time for that.
- Set boundaries. Declutter tasks. You dont have to always say yes, do things or go to events that you arent really obliged to. It’s okay to be selfish with your time! I think many people are afraid to be alone or to miss out or to offend someone, but it takes courage and discipline to set our priorities straight.
- Schedule schedule schedule. People know that the biggest act of treason they can do against me is cancel a schedule and make me erase something on my bullet journal. Haha! Also be smart when doing schedules. For example, you have a meeting this day, schedule your salon appointment or groceries after it. Not only will it save you transportation time, it will also save you time on getting ready, your outfit and energy!
- Do similar things in batches! When we do different things at a certain time, there’s a tendency for us to be easily distracted so it's more ideal to focus on one type of thing at a given time block. This way, our mind doesnt have to shift on different modes or whatever. So when Im writing, Im just writing. I dont do administrative tasks or visuals or any kind of editing. However, as much as what I previously said can be true, it can also be beneficial to have a rotation of tasks to avoid burnout. It will be good for you as it is to what you are working on.
- Schedule a digital clean up day where you go through your email, camera roll, hard drives, desktop and organize them! Of course with your room you can clean up for 15 minutes daily, but for digital, I like doing weekly clean ups to give way for pending works and cache that I still need.
- Figure out what works for you, there are heaps and tons of methods, principles and resources out there about time management. What works for one person, may or may not work for you. I love my bullet journal and I think my life would be a mess without it, but other people use digital or traditional planners or even sticky notes for their events and reminders. There really is no one solution for everything so it’s up to you to figure out what’s the best for you. Is it doing the hard and scary things first? Or is it getting smaller things out of the way so your whole focus is on the big task afterwards?
- Most importantly, listen to your own body. Rest when it needs to. Whenever Im working with friends, they kind of get surprised that Id stop working even if the deadline is in 2 days. But I know myself more. I can only work for so long and put out this amount of energy on something until Ive reached a certain working plateau and then after that Ill just be frustrated with my own work. So I rest. Id rather wake up super early, feeling refreshed and ready to work instead of feeling frustrated and burnt out the whole night. Our bodies know what it needs when it needs it. So listen.
- Take baby steps. Be patient with yourself. It is a gradual process. You cant just wake up early tomorrow and expect yourself to be a time management expert or something. And dont take it so heavily! I believe that we can manage our time without losing our ability to be spontaneous and allow ourselves to enjoy a movie or a night out with friends.
They say time flies, but you know what? You're the pilot.