Time Management Hacks for a More Productive Day
By: Pamela Cooper
Today as I sat down to collect my thoughts about time management, I set my phone's timer. Some call it simple, some call it a tip, and others live by this hack. Organizing for other people, getting my kids to school on time, housework, writing, and even the tasks for our business and side hustle … when done in small chunks of time, it's easier to manage. As it turns out, this is called “time blocking”. Often you may have a long to-do list for the day/week; when you block off time in your schedule (say, in 2-4 hour blocks), you actually find more freedom and at the end of the day, more productive. Stay focused during your time blocks, and resist the urge to multitask! Some other time management hacks include: Use a planner. My preference is a paper planner, although I realize there are plenty of electronic versions and apps available. When I write down my to-do list, my goals, thoughts, etc., it becomes more personal, achievable, and a reality. Prioritize your daily tasks. You may have 30 things on your to-do list, but in reality only 8 of them are a priority for this week. The other tasks would be nice to have done, but if it doesn't happen today it would be okay. Focus on those 8 things. Delegate. I recently was talking with a business owner who identified “delegation” as a skill he knows entrepreneurs should have – and one that he continued to work on. Remember those 8 tasks on your list that you “must do” today? What if your business partner could do 2 of them (easily), your virtual assistant could begin to manage at least one of those tasks, and you could even call to ask your spouse to take care of that phone call? Just because it's on your list doesn't mean you're the one who needs to actually do it; be sure it gets done, manage the process, and free up your schedule. Do the hardest thing first. Have you heard of the phrase “eat the frog”? It's the idea of doing the hardest task on your list before anything else. Because after you accomplish that, everything else in your day will be easier! Personal Development. Make time in your schedule to learn more about your industry, or a topic you aren't comfortable with. Listen to an audiobook while driving to your appointments this week. Better yourself, and stay motivated! Your Environment. What is your physical workspace like? Do you have a desk or table designated for work/side-hustle tasks? Is it comfortable and inspiring? Take the time -and make the time- to create your space to work for you. Organize it so you can accomplish more tomorrow! Downsize items and keep important items close by. Self Care. If you're sitting at a desk for the majority of the day, remember to take breaks to stand up and walk around. Schedule some time in your schedule to go to the gym. Get enough sleep each night, and drink plenty of water throughout the day. What's your most productive time management hack? What will you change this week to find more freedom and be more productive?