The Smart Gal’s Guide To Time Management

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!

The Smart Gal's Guide To Time Management | The Petite Bijou

 

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?

xo Mariam

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The Petite Bijou is an online destination featuring wholesome yet sophisticated living and styling tips for women. The site is run by survivor, lifestyle influencer, and writer Mariam, who also runs The Bijou Show, a self help podcast.

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Leave a Comment

29 Comments

  1. Donna wrote:

    These tips are amazing!! Thanks for sharing I’m going to try some of this out! I’m so big on to-do lists but i think a macro one might be even more helpful! Have a beautiful weekend!! XX, Donna
    wwww.onthedllifestyle.com

    Posted 9.24.16 Reply
  2. Courtney wrote:

    Those are such great tips! I also have big health issues and freelancing is the best option for me but i need to be better at blocking my time.

    La Belle Sirene

    Posted 9.23.16 Reply
  3. Really needed this today – such a great read!

    Posted 9.23.16 Reply
  4. Angelle Marix wrote:

    These are great tips!! I’m learning the hard way to apply them everyday!!

    xoxo,
    Angelle
    http://www.dashingdarlin.com

    Posted 9.22.16 Reply
  5. Such good tips! It is one of those things that I wish I had more of, but I realize I just need to set more realistic expectations for myself and practice effective time management. I have heard such good things about time blocking–I am going to have to try it out!

    Posted 9.22.16 Reply
  6. This is great!!!!! I feel inspiration for another blog coming on!!!!! <3

    Posted 9.22.16 Reply
  7. Such a good reminder while I’m sitting here trying to multi-task! LOL

    This was my favorite part 😉

    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.

    I do that – and it’s a game changer! Always love your stuff mama.

    xoxo
    Krista
    http://www.hundredblog.com

    Posted 9.22.16 Reply
  8. Dia wrote:

    This is wonderfully written. Our organization system seems to be very similar. I think we all say how busy we are but forget how much time we waste or don’t fully utilize.

    Posted 9.22.16 Reply
  9. Ashley wrote:

    Great tips! I will be saving this post to refer back to. I am the type of person that needs to remember to break and take one thing at a time. Easier said than done.

    Posted 9.22.16 Reply
  10. Nicole wrote:

    Thank-you so much for sharing these tips. Definitely going to be implementing some of these!

    Posted 9.22.16 Reply
  11. These are such great tips!
    XO Amanda | http://www.glitterandspice.com

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  12. Emily wrote:

    I love this, some of these things I really swear by!

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  13. Jenny wrote:

    Yes to all of this! I am pretty organized but always welcome time management tips.

    xoxo, Jenny

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  14. Agnes wrote:

    I have busy 9 to 5 job so I pretty much only have a few hours after work to do other things. This is very helpful and motivating!

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  15. Brittany wrote:

    I used to be much more scheduled but the last couple of months have been kind of hectic and it fell to the wayside. Thanks for the timely post, it is time to get back on it!

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  16. Emily wrote:

    I rely so heavily on having loads of to-do lists. I’ll have one for each category of my life, then one culminating one for all of them. I love the feeling of crossing things off, and actually writing them down helps me to remember!
    Emily
    http://darlingdearestblog.com

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  17. Such great tips! I make a list of things that I must get done and try to get small and easy things out of the way first.

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  18. Lauren wrote:

    Prioritizing is huge for me, but I need to be better about focusing on task at a time!

    Fizz and Frosting

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  19. Cristin wrote:

    Such great tips!! I love a good list. 🙂

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  20. Amanda wrote:

    Great tips! I make to-do lists the night before so I know what I need to have done for the next day.

    xx,
    Amanda || http://www.fortheloveofglitter.com

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  21. Chelsea wrote:

    I really need to start doing these things! I get soooo scatterbrained!

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  22. Great tips I have been working a lot this year with time management and have it down kind of..I am always learning new things and I have learned some new things from this post! Thank you so much!

    Courtney Bentley || http://www.courtneyvioletbentley.com

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  23. Love this post Mariam!! I’m finding I really need to not only make a “To Do” list, but also a plan as to when I’m going to complete the tasks. Otherwise I just get overwhelmed by the number of things I need to do with no end in sight.

    -Katherine
    Engineering In Style

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  24. Jo wrote:

    These tips were all so helpful. I have a few health issues too and it can be hard to stay on track while working from home. Definitely going to start using your tips!
    Jo
    http://www.LeFabChic.com

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  25. Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes!! NAILED IT on all 5!!

    Jenna from http://www.visionsofvogue.com

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  26. Kim L. wrote:

    Great post – I definitely agree with the blocking off time. This has helped me so much lately. Also, I’m trying to focus more on ‘focusing on one task at a time’ – easier said then done though, right?! Haa! Thanks for sharing <3

    XO,
    Kim

    http://www.simpleyetchic.com

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  27. Kate wrote:

    Love these tips!

    Kate
    fortheloveoffancy.com

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  28. Emily wrote:

    awesome tips! I get so overwhelmed.
    xo Emily
    http://www.thehipsuburban.com

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply
  29. sarah lindner wrote:

    These tips are great! I def need ways to manage my time lately and give myself a break!
    xoxo
    Sarah Lindner
    http://www.thehouseofsequins.com

    Posted 9.21.16 Reply