It's not easy to manage your time, especially when it feels like you have a pile of tasks that have been piling up for months!
On the other hand, it is crucial to be able to regain control over our schedule. Otherwise, it's the perfect recipe for a burnout.
Not only is managing your time super good for your mental health, it's also one of the first steps towards achieving your goals. By managing your time, you'll be able to keep up to date on the progress of your goals without tearing your hair out.
I've put together a short list of do's and don'ts for managing your time well.
What to do
1. Plan ahead
One of the first things to do in order to take control of your schedule is to plan your schedule in advance. Personally, I recommend planning your month first and then planning your weekly schedule.
When you have a better overview of your week, you can go deeper into it by breaking down your weekly goals into daily tasks and voila! It's that simple. I advise you to plan your week on Sunday evening. Making a plan ahead of time will help you focus on your priorities. This way you can see your plan for the week at a glance, it's much less scary.
It's a good idea to set low priority tasks for times when you know you have less energy. For example, do not put your biggest tasks of the week on Friday afternoon, you know that you will be tired at this point of the week. Start noticing your moods and plan your schedule accordingly, you will notice your increased productivity!
Psst. Looking for the perfect tool to manage your time? THE Planner Blue Latte & Co. has been specially designed to help you keep track of your activities. From small to large.
2. To-do List
I'm a big proponent of to-do lists. I think writing down what we need to do eases our mental load since now we don't have to remember all our tasks, they're all in one place on our list.
First make a weekly list and break it down into daily lists related to your daily planning.
Keep your list simple and realistic, there is no point in putting a ton of tasks if you know in advance that it is almost impossible to complete it. There's no better feeling than having a finished to-do list!
3. Set goals
Set goals! It sounds obvious, but it's hard to manage your time well if you don't know where you're going. If you have a good understanding your goals generally you will be able to migrate them to smaller lenses that contribute to the big picture.
4. Give yourself a time limit
I always say be kind to yourself, but sometimes you have to be able to kick your ass a little bit. This is why it can be interesting to set time constraints. It will help you be more focused and efficient.
The extra effort of deciding how much time to allocate to a certain task also allows you to identify potential issues before they arise. This way you can find a way to prevent them.
For example, writing content for Bleu Latte's blog is time-consuming. This is why I usually prefer to write and schedule my articles well in advance so that I can focus on other tasks. So I gave myself a time limit to write all my 2022 articles in advance (yes, 2022). I then looked at my schedule properly and gave myself the months of January and February to write and schedule all the articles for the year.
5. Take breaks
As you know, taking breaks is beneficial for our productivity and therefore for the good management of our time!
If you don't take breaks, you will be tired and distracted. It will probably take you twice as long to complete a simple task. Make sure to schedule time to take breaks from your schedule, this is very important!
6. Organise tes messages
Email overflow, we've all experienced that! Before you panic, organize your messages. From the most important to the least important according to the different projects it affects.
It will then be much less scary to attack the reading of all these emails. Remember, it's one at a time! An email is someone else's emergency, not yours. Don't risk your sanity for urgent (but not really urgent, TSE) mail.
What you should not do
1. Not using your to do list
It's good to make a to do list, but if you don't use it, it's a real waste of time.
Not only will you forget a ton of important tasks that are there, but you'll be back in the hell of disorganization since you won't be able to.
Another mistake is to misidentify your big projects. It's one thing to have them on your list, but you absolutely need to detail the small tasks that this big project includes so that you can complete them and see the project up to date.
2. Not Tracking Your Goals
Setting goals is great. On the other hand, it must be followed up! What's the point of setting goals if we have no idea of our progress 6 months later?
Managing your time is a task in itself. But don't see it as a chore. Taking the time to take stock of our journey helps enormously to make readjustments and prevent potential issues. Maybe you've set yourself an unrealistic goal for the workload you have. That's okay, take the time to make the necessary changes and incorporate tasks that work with your daily routine.
3. Not prioritizing
From the perspective of not following up on your to-do list. Not prioritizing is a major mistake in time management. It sounds simple, but you still have to take a moment to really think about what really matters and what doesn't.
Sometimes the urgency of one is not the urgency of another. It is therefore crucial to learn how to decide on your priorities.
I advise you to read This article, or I explain in more depth how to set your priorities.
Aaaaah procrastination, we have all been victims of this syndrome from one day to the next. It's when you keep putting off all your tasks because you dread them so much.
The big problem with this is that deadlines are approaching faster than you think and soon you will find yourself with an insurmountable mountain of work. You are almost certain to run out of time to do everything and you have pushed yourself downright to failure.
A little trick to help you with this is to tell yourself that you will be working on the project in question for only 10 minutes. It makes the task seem a lot less daunting and it will help you attack it faster and surely more effectively!
5. Getting distracted
There's nothing worse for wasting time than getting distracted by other, more interesting things. Everyone is to blame for looking at their phone maybe a little more often than necessary.
There are apps to help you keep your phone out of distraction by turning off notifications or even blocking it completely for several hours. If you suffer from Syndrome.
Another way to get distracted is multitasking: trying to avoid it. You'll end up doing a million half-done little tasks without actually accomplishing anything worthwhile.
Clearly establish your boundaries with yourself and those around you. You have the right to say no and you have the right to postpone less important tasks. In the long run, it will help you.
6. Overdoing it
Don't take too much on your shoulders. I am to blame for this defect, it is so me to do too many things at the same time. If you're like me and have a hard time saying no or you're just way too edgy and always have 10,000 projects rolling at once, you're probably exhausted. I understand you.
Unfortunately, the only solution is to learn not to overdo it. Even if it hurts, you have no choice but to put some projects on hold, maybe ones that don't serve you as much as you think in the big picture.
Having too many projects can also send you into a downward spiral of poor performance, stress, and low morale. In short, avoid it at all costs.