Time management is a difficult habit to master. The reason most of us feel like we’re running around with our hair on fire in our personal lives is because many of us ARE constantly putting out fires and playing catch up.
The last three years have been very busy for me. I was working full time while completing graduate school, planning a wedding and starting a blog. I like being busy so this type of schedule has forced me to investigate and try out some time management techniques. I decided to share some techniques with you in hopes that it might help make your life easier and more balanced.
To Do List
Description: Planning out activities that need to be accomplished within a day or week.
What I like about it : You can plan your to do list for a day or for several days to make sure that you get everything accomplished. It makes a huge task-such as planning a wedding a little more manageable. It also helps me to remember everything I need to do when I am pushed to my limit. Is there anything better than the feel of checking off an item on the to do list?
Description: MIT stands for Most Important Things. This time management technique involves picking three things a day that are the most important things that you need to get done that day.
What I like about it: I use this technique during the week when I have work. I pick 3 MITs for the day. For example my three MITs for one of the days last week was 1. Edit pictures for a blog post 2. Answer blog emails and 3. Workout. I like this because I get all three MITs done 99% of the time and go to bed feeling productive.
Description – This time management technique involves using a time cube to block off sections of time. You will do one task for a set amount of time and then when the timer goes off you can take a break. For example, you would set the time cube for 15 minutes and only answer emails for those 15 minutes.
What I like about it – I like using this technique on weekends when I have more time. We’ve all had those times when we sit down to do “work” in front of the TV and it takes four times as long as if you had just busted it out.
I normally use a mixture of the time management systems above to keep me on track.
Here are a few other time management tips that have helped me get through the week:
- Meal Prep. Meal Prep. Meal Prep. Making a double meal on weekends and freezing it allows me to have healthy available evening meals during the crazy week for up to several months. On the weekends, I usually make smoothie bags for quick and easy breakfasts, roast up a bunch of vegetables and section out my lunch and dinners for the week!
- Trying to make sure that I work out a minimum of 3-4 times a week. Taking care of yourself and working out lowers stress and makes you a happier person. I know sometimes that it seems like you don’t have time to work out but taking care of yourself should be at the top and must do on your list.
- Learning to say “No”. I learned that last month when T and I went to a friends wedding and did a NYC visit in one month. Two trips in one month might be fine for some but I discovered that one trip a month was all I could handle. The laundry pile was taller than me and food prep was totally out the window. I was playing catch up all week and did not like it. I am not a happy camper when my house is cluttered and in chaos. Some thrive in that environment. I don’t. Each person needs to accept their limits.
- Work smarter not harder. Set up small daily tasks that become habit and free up your weekends. Designate certain day to accomplish household tasks so that your to do list is not overwhelming on weekends. Pick up after yourself and throw away or donate items that you don’t want anymore. The point is to simplify your life and make it more efficient.
- 7-8 hours of sleep. It is important to be well rested to be effective and efficient. This one is hard from me because I find myself many times working until I go to bed at night. TURN OFF social media and electronics decompress before hitting the sack. Set up routines that help you sleep better-like a relaxing shower before bed or aromatherapy.
- Be thoughtful in your life. Examine how you are spending your time and determine if is providing value or creating happiness for yourself or others.
The dress I’m wearing in these pictures is from Boho Bus. Boho Bus is an online boutique that also has an adorable VW bus that you can rent for events. I love this dress because of the boho vibe and the bell sleeves. This dress has cut outs at the top so I wore a nude camisole underneath. You can find the dress here. Make sure you check them out to see the rest of their adorable clothes!
Photography by: Horn Photography and Design