Ok, I need to legit preface this post by sharing that I am NOT perfect with time management and I do not get this right a LOT of the time, but I try! In the shower this morning (where I do all of my good thinking and chat with God), I was really discouraged by my lack of consistency with things. I make these big goals, plans and routines and within days I’ve completely fallen off and my new life routine goes out the window. I jump back on and fall off more than I’d like to share but I keep it real with y’all so I’ll just say, I’m trying.
Another side of this all is our schedule is never concrete, meetings ALWAYS run over, things come up and when all is said and done, I’ll kick my to-do list to the curb and say I’ll just get to it the next day. This is bad. It creates a HUGE backlog for me and then I’m rushing to cram everything in. I wear a lot of hats so organization and time management needs to more essential for me.
So I’m sharing my Time Management Tips with you today in hopes that maybe a few of them can help you conquer the neverending to-do list without losing your ever-loving mind!
Get A Planner
I am planner obsessed so this one is a no brainer for me, but some gals are like Nahhh, I don’t need that nonsense. You do! A planner will keep you from missing appointments, deadlines and outings! I use a few planners bc I’m crazy but let’s just go with this, k?
I am OBSESSED with Brendan Buchard, his podcast and his book High Performance Habits. He is SO knowledgeable and I use SO many of his suggestions so when he came out with his High Performance Planner, it was a quick add to cart for me. (You may remember me sharing it in my Morning Routine Post). This planner not only helps you to time block your days, but it also helps you identify your goals for the day, your MUST do’s and asks questions in the morning to set your intention for the day and then again in the evening to see where you did well and what you need to work on. It also includes weekly and monthly recaps and for $15, it is TOO GOOD to not grab! We’ve been using ours since January 1st and I am seriously loving it! Not sure how I got anything done before this thing!
You can grab a High Performance Planner HERE
Erin Condren Life Planner
You’ve most likely heard of the Erin Condren Life Planners. They have a cult following and rightfully so! Its a jam packed planner that you can personalize just the way you want it! It has daily and monthly layouts, goal sheets, stickers, notes and all kinds of fun snap-in options. I could go on and on OR you can check out this post I did awhile back with a full walkthrough of my Life Planner. I love mine for actual daily planning for all areas of life – not just workwise. The High Performance Planner does not have a monthly page view so I use these two together to see what’s coming up in our schedule to help plan my to-do’s for the week.
You can grab an Erin Condren Life Planner HERE
Use Your Phone
I mean, you’re on your phone all the time anyways, why not make good use of it?? I use a few apps on my phone to help keep everything in check while managing my day the best I can.
The Reminders App on my iPhone is set with 1,002 reminders (not literally) and they keep me accountable so I don’t miss trash day, my vitamins or anything else! You can schedule as many reminders as you want and the days/times you want your phone to remind you of something. A notification will pop up when your reminder is due and won’t go away until you check it off. Just an easy way to keep everything in check and it’s already on your phone!
I’ve shared Wunderlist with you all before but I’m still using it, its free and its bomb.com. Why I love Wunderlist is bc its a digital to-do list and you can split them up into a million categories: Groceries, Business, Kids, anything! You can also share lists with people so if Mike needs me to do something he can add it and even put a due date on it so it’ll remind me when its coming due. Once I’m finished the task, it’ll remove it from the list as well. This is also great for food shopping too! We’ll add stuff we’ve run out of at home and while I’m meal planning for the week or just hitting the store randomly, I can check Wunderlist to see if there’s anything else I need to grab!
Yes, even though I have TWO planners, I also use my iPhone’s calendar as well. Why? Well for one, Mike and I have a shared calendar so we can add in meetings and it shows on both of our phones so there’s no forgetting to tell each other what’s going on. This is a LIFE SAVER for us when it comes to multiple meetings each week (and most days too!) in addition to our boys’ sports schedules, etc! I shared how to make a shared calendar in this post last fall – be sure to check it out!
Another thing I use to help management my day is This Notepad. Yes, I use TWO planners, my phone AND a Notepad. (I use a notebook too). I told you I was crazy, its your fault for thinking I was joking! This notepad helps me to list everything I need to do for the day along with some “maybe” tasks and a notes section. I list my Top 3 and then star all of the 5-10 minute tasks I have and I knock those out first. It usually only takes me about 30 minutes for that and it ensures I get the easy stuff done that I’d usually just pass off til the next day. Being intentional about it makes SUCH a huge difference!
So the notebook, yes I always carry one! I make a broad weekly to-do list in it and I also use it for notes that I don’t want to forget! I also have this thing with notebooks and cannot resist a pretty one! These are always a fave and TJ Maxx has a great selection as well on the cheap!
Don’t work on anything for too long! Research has shown (this is per a podcast I heard – can’t remember which one so I can’t source anything here but trust me, k?) You should not do any task for longer than 50 minutes. Your brain needs to rest and you need to get up and move around, hydrate, etc. Lauren Evarts from The Skinny Confidential recommends this time cube to help keep track of this or you could always use your phone’s timer. Try it sometime, its kinda been a game changer for me!
Every time I think I can just remember what I need to do, I get nothing done and then get mad at myself for it. If you take a few minutes each evening to look at the next day and put together a to-do list, there are no excuses the next morning bc its already done for you!
Gals, we are B-U-S-Y!
Some of us have multiple jobs and streams of income to keep straight, some of us are moms, but ALL of us are awesome chicks who want to get stuff done and enjoy life! Being intentional about managing my time from a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly standpoint really helps me to be able to enjoy life and not drown in all of life’s to-do’s! Again, I don’t always get it all done and most days its kind of a mess, but its better than nothing – am I right?!!
Have some great Time Management Tips? Leave ’em below in the comments! I would love to hear them!