Did you cringe when you read Time Management in the title?
I use to as well which is why I wanted to write about these powerful time management skills and strategies that helped me get a grip and be in control of my time rather than let my time control me.
I think it’s safe to say the majority of people struggle with managing their time wisely. How often has an entire a day, week or even month passed by to look back and see how little you accomplished? (hand raised hoping I’m not alone) 🙂
I hate that feeling. I spent many years of my life miss managing my time and in return didn’t get nearly as much done as I wanted to. Then I finally discovered the answer to all my problems……(drum roll) Time Management Skills And Strategies!!
Just kidding, it obviously wasn’t the answer to all my problems, but it sure did help a majority of them. Before we get started let’s define what time management actually is….
The Definition Of Time Management
According to Wikipedia, Time Management is….
the process of planning and exercising conscious control of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity.
BOOM!!! I definitely want some of that in my life. Whether you are a working mom, stay at home mom, mom-boss, or really any human being on the planet, you will only be as effective as you are able to manage your time.
Simply put, if you do not manage your time, someone else will. I’ve spent many seasons of my life running around like a chicken with my head cut off doing all the things to make other people happy. Which left me feeling depleted and full of resentment.
And now……The moment you’ve been waiting for!! I give you…….(drum roll)…..
17 Time Management Skills And Strategies To Implement Today
Start With A Brain Dump
One of the very best skill’s I’ve learned about time management is doing a complete brain dump. Take out a piece of paper and write every single thing in your brain down. Those are your goals 🙂 Easy, peasy, lemon, squeezy 🙂
Goal setting is crucial when it comes to managing your time. I make it a habit to set daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and even five year goals. I sit down each week on Sunday and write out my top goals for the week in my planner. Then I can make a plan to check them off the list.
Write Your Goals Down
It SO important to write your goals down. By writing them down you will be able to prioritize and create an action plan.
Having goals bouncing around in your head causes stress, overwhelm, and is the perfect storm for time wasting and getting nothing done.
Prioritize By Importance
Once you have your goals written out, you will be able to identify those of top priority. I typically create two columns. Column one are tasks that have to be completed that day or week. Column two are items that should be done but can wait a bit.
Create A Schedule
Once you’ve prioritized your goals, you need to create an action plan. I think this is a huge step that people miss. It’s not enough to just write down your goals. You have to set a realistic action plan to attain them or they will be nothing more than an item you wrote down in your schedule.
Visualize Your Day
I usually spend the first 15 minutes in the morning playing out my day in my mind.
Example: I will leave the house at 8:30 am, drop kids off at school, go to the gym, hit power toning, stop and pick up clothes from the dry cleaner, pick up kids for school, take them home and have lunch by 12 pm. It seems intimidating but it’s really not. It’s just doing your thinking ahead of time.
That way when you drop the kids off you don’t need to think “hmmm…what am I going to do now”. Rather, ‘I’m going to the gym because that’s part of the plan”. Make sense?
It sounds crazy but a lot of times if I am stressed out about a busy day, if I take the time to play each task in my mind, it seems less overwhelming. Your brain is so powerful and I think messy thoughts make things seem much more difficult than they actually are.
Block Time Out For Each Task
Time blocking is GOLD. I repeat, gold!! How many times have you finally gotten some spare time and ended up wasting it scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest? I write out blocks of time for everything in my schedule. Even laundry. This is another strategy to take the thinking out of the equation. You’ve already blocked time out for that item so you have no excuse not to do it.
Make A Decision Not To Waste Time
No matter how many goals you set, how you prioritize them, or how many blocks of time you write in your schedule, you have to deal with a HUGE problem beforehand…..YOU. We are our biggest stumbling block when it comes to time management. You need to make a decision every single day to be the boss of your time and refuse to waste it.
Track Your Time Diligently
This point comes down to being self-aware. I’ve talked to so many people about time management and they refuse to recognize or admit where they are spending their time. We all have the same hours in a day. If you are not able to get everything done, then you need to either re-adjust your schedule or you are wasting time on meaningless tasks. In order to know exactly where you are spending your time, try tracking it.
Get out the notes app on your phone and write down each task you did and how long you spent working on it.
Put Your Blinders On And Manage You
Once you’ve set a goal, prioritized it, and blocked out time, you need to just do it. This can be easier said than done. Especially as a mama because there are never-ending opportunities to get distracted. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve spent hours on tasks that should have taken minutes because I didn’t put on my blinders and just get it done. So annoying!
Learn Self Discipline
This is where the rubber meets the road. Sometimes you’ll get to that block of time that you’ve planned for and set aside but you really just don’t want to do that task. I get it, trust me. I’m a super creative person and I love to fly by the seat of my pants. Sometimes that’s ok. Not with time management. Learn to discipline yourself and stick to your schedule to get your tasks done.
Set Time Limits
This is an easy trap to fall into. Once you get in the flow of working on a task, it’s easy to spend hours on it. If you have that kind of time flexibility, by all means, keep at it! There’s nothing better than getting in the zone and getting stuff done. But for most people, we have a limited amount of time to spend on each task.
Make a commitment to only work on each task for the scheduled amount of time. That way you will chip away at it without drowning in it and neglecting everything else you need to get done.
Do Not Multitask
Multitasking is the enemy of time management. I use to think I was so cool because I was an expert multitasker. I prided myself on it. In reality, I was just doing a lot of things halfway. It’s a really terrible feeling to spend all day working through projects halfway and end up getting nothing done.
Learn Choose The Best Yes
I find this to be especially difficult for mamas because they are so used to taking care of everyone. When I had my first baby, I want to be a “yes” lady and help all the people. But that really meant sacrificing time my family and business. It is important to be able to help others, but not at the expense of your health and family.
Pick a few times that you are able to do and that work well with your schedule and say no to the last minute requests that are going to put your priorities on the backburner.
Find What Motivates You
For me, it depends on what type of task I am about to tackle. If it is a house cleaning project, I cannot get motivated without music. I love to put on one of my favorite upbeat songs or a good podcast.
For work-related items, I find so much motivation in inspirational writing. I love to listen to a good motivational book or podcast before I sit down to get some work done.
Find something that motivates you. A fresh cup of coffee or a tall glass of water is a good place to start.
“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.”
Delegate the things you can delegate. There are some tasks that are simply more time effective to delegate than to do yourself. Identify these items, and outsource them.
Setting boundaries with the people around you will enable you to better manage your time. You need to set boundaries with your spouse, kids, and friends. It’s important for these people to know and understand that you value your time and they need to as well.
These time management skills and strategies have been so beneficial in becoming a more productive and happy person. By becoming a master at managing your time, you will be able to live in the moment of each task and learn to be present which will create high-quality work and play.
I hope these tips were helpful and would LOVE to hear which tip stuck out the most to you! I invite you to leave a comment and let me know <3
Now check out: Beginners Guide To Meal Planning
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