Time flies by on some days.
And on others, it feels like it doesn’t go fast enough.
But everyday, I used to end up feeling like I did not have enough time each day – even though there were several hours where I could have been working on my goals. I knew I needed to be more accountable and more strategic with my time management skills. So today, I’m sharing with all my Bijou Gal’s what exact systems I use to be a savvy blogger and business lady. If it weren’t for these systems, I’d probably go crazy!
1. Set Priorities
I find it hard to start my day right if I don’t at least have a priority for what needs to get done or focused on. The night before, I set up a maximum of 3 priorities that I should tackle the next day. I list them from highest priority to lowest. My top priority right now is graduate school so I make sure that I tackle at least one assignment each day – whether it’s reading chapter, starting my paper, or organizing my files.
My other priorities usually include: business tasks for Bijou Social, admin duties for The Blogger Crew, and shooting or editing for The Petite Bijou.
Bijou Tip: Set only 3 priorities for each day and don’t worry about getting all of them done. It’s better to finish one goal very well than all three sloppily.
2. Create Mini To-Do Lists
I believe that splitting up tasks into mini to-do lists is really helpful in getting tasks done. I like to break the bigger 3 priorities down into micro projects. Here’s what my mini to-do lists look like for each of my priorities.
That way, you can cross out mini tasks that lead up to the bigger tasks being done. It’s so much easier to have a plan of action rather than just doing tasks on a whim.
Bijou Tip: Create micro to do lists for each big task. Keep it placed near you when working,
3. Time Blocking
This strategy has become my new favorite thing! Time blocking really helps plan out my day hour by hour. It forces me to do certain tasks only at a certain time. I like to print out a hourly calendar on google calendar for each day of the week and then fill them out the night before. I place these calendars in a clear protective sheet and place it on my desk where I know I’ll see it.
Here’s what a typical schedule looks like for me:
8 AM: Wake up, breakfast, and listening to my favorite podcasts.
9 AM: I’ve already gotten ready for the day (clothes, hair, makeup) and I look at my time blocking sheet/priority list to see what needs to get done. I start on the first task which I ALWAYS plan in the morning. That way you get the toughest thing over with right when you get up and you can then take it easy.
10 AM: At this point I am doing administrative tasks for each business and blog. I respond to emails, schedule calls for collaborations, respond to comments, engage with my audience, and do whatever client calls I need to get done.
11 AM: Mid morning break to do yoga or catch up on social media.
12 PM: Lunchtime! I don’t like big lunches, so a salad or sandwich just works.
1 PM: FREELANCE WORK or shooting photos for the blog.
2 PM: FREELANCE WORK If there’s any homework I haven’t done yet, I only have a few hours to do it. I start or finish any homework I haven’t worked on yet.
3 PM: FREELANCE WORK and I end all administrative tasks and set up system for the next day.
4 PM: We have to eat dinner early since my classes are just in an hour and don’t end till late.
I suffer from several health problems which don’t allow me to work a 9-5. Freelancing at home and picking up jobs here and there is very useful to me, and it also means I get to take care of my health FIRST. When I’m not working, I am doing physical therapy sessions (usually 2 hours each day) to help me get stronger. Each day is different depending on what needs to get done and if I have appointments. The weekends are strictly no work time – as I like to dedicate it to self learning and family time.
Bijou Tip: Block out your time so that you only work on the things you are supposed to at any given time. Get it done, girl!
4. One Thing At A Time
I’m a HUGE multitasker. But that’s not a smart way of using my time. If I do something, I make sure to focus on only that task. That means no facebook, no instagram, no snacking. Nothing. Focusing on one thing a time really helps me get the task done. And like I previously mentioned, I like to tackle the bigger projects first. If I feel like I have enough time to multitask, then I will keep it down to 5 minutes.
So let’s say I’m waiting for something to download or have just finshed up a project – I’ll hop on twitter or snapchat to interact with my audience and comment back to people. This is strictly a no “just swiping” time. I go in with a purpose and that helps me stay on track.
But that’s the thing! FOCUS.
My intentions are never to just do something because I’m bored. I do something because IT MATTERS.
Bijou Tip: Focus on one thing at a time and give it all you got – I assure you it will be a great use of your time and you won’t feel like you can’t manage it.
5. Give Yourself A Break
that being said, it’s very important to leave time in your schedule for a lot of breaks. I don’t follow any of those “work 50 minutes take a 10 minute break” stuff. I take a break when I feel like it. It’s almost a creatives worst nightmare. I can work hours on end and take 1 break for 5 minutes. Or I can work for only 5 minutes and need an hour long break. You’ve got to be in the mood for it. The mindset needs to be there.
If I’m not feeling it – I take breaks. They are a great time to recharge and replenish. Have a snack, do some yoga, cuddle with your cats. Do what you love and with a purpose.
Bijou Tip: Take breaks – and often. Breaks help you refocus your charge and help you stay sane in the daily hustle.
Extra Bijou Tip
It can get really overwhelming to keep it all together at times. When you have a zillion things to do, the last thing you need is negativity in your daily life. Schedule in some unplugged “me” time to relax and unwind. Do this everyday. You deserve it!
What time management tips do you implement? Are you going to start using any of the ones above?
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