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There are only so many hours in the day. You can’t store it, nor can you borrow more for later. But you can use good time management tools and strategies to make optimal use of your time.
Only you can decide what you spend your time on. Naturally, you’ll want to spend your time on things that add value to your life. But with life being so busy in these modern times, what with jobs, kids, and other activities! How can you have time for those things that matter the most to you?
Luckily, you can use time management tools & techniques that are tailor-made for busy women. Discover techniques that help simplify how you work, ensuring that you get tasks done more efficiently and giving you more time for whatever you choose.
See How Time Management Tools & Strategies Can Free up your Time
- Organize your work around your energy levels. Your productivity levels are directly related to your energy levels, so schedule your hardest tasks for when your energy levels are at their highest.
Any low-value tasks that require little energy, such as responding to emails, can be scheduled for the times when your energy levels are lower.
2. Make a plan for the day. Before you go to bed, write a to-do list for the next day. When you plan ahead, you’re mentally preparing yourself for any challenges you may face.
This will also help to limit procrastination at the start of the day and ensure that you work faster and more efficiently.
3. Start your day with the most important task. When you start the day off by completing your most important task, you’ll give yourself a boost of momentum and a real sense of accomplishment.
4. Prioritize tasks. When every task is a priority, nothing is. Urgent tasks should be the highest priority, then look at any high-value tasks, while relegating low-priority tasks to the back of the queue.
5. Learn to outsource. You don’t have to complete every task yourself. Especially those low-priority tasks. Sometimes it’s better to outsource these tasks, so you can focus your attention on the more pressing tasks.
6. Automate repetitive tasks. Nowadays there is technology available that can help automate many of your tasks. There are tools to schedule your social media postings, create canned email responses, and automatically fill in online forms at the touch of a button.
Automating these tasks could save you hours a week.
Constant Distractions Are the Enemies of Good Time Management & Productivity
7. Cut out distractions. When you are distracted, it can take a while to get your focus back. This can greatly limit your productivity.
- Consider turning off the notifications on your phone.
- Invest in a pair of headphones, as this makes others less likely to approach you when you have them on.
- Browsing social media is a big distraction and should really be avoided if you want to increase productivity.
8. Realize that things don’t need to be perfect. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to make everything perfect. However, perfectionism will slow you down and could result in deadlines being missed.
Having the attitude of “that’ll do” will save valuable time. Your work will be adequate, and you’ll finish in less time.
To start, try each of these time management tools and techniques. Once you find those that work best for your situation, use them daily. Your productivity will increase, and you’ll save precious time in your busy life, giving you the time to do what matters most to you.
The Bullet Journal: Your Secret Time Management Tool
There are plenty of time management tools and organization systems. But right now, there’s one organizational tool that’s very much “in vogue” and highly recommended on productivity/self-improvement blogs. That tool is the bullet journal.
The bullet journal is ideal for business professionals or anyone who just wants to make the most of their time.
What is a Bullet Journal?
A bullet journal is essentially a journal that you use to organize your to-do lists, as well as to keep other notes and a log of things that you’ve already done. You do this by using bulleted items, which is where the name comes from.
So, it’s just a book of lists then?
Well kind of, but it’s also a fair bit more attractive and useful than a book of lists. To better understand, consider the components of a typical bullet journal and how you might go about setting one up for yourself.
Sections of a Typical Bullet Journal
- Daily Log and Key. The bulk of your bullet journal will consist of a daily log. Each day, you’ll create a list of items, which will act as a to-do list as well as a place to keep your general notes and ideas you want to jot down.
- You might be wondering how you keep all this in one place without it becoming cluttered. You use a key in order to distinguish different types of notes.
- Instead of simply bullets, you use crosses, circles, dots and other elements that you predefine. You also create a key for reference which will explain what each of these things means.
- While it’s up to you precisely what kinds of items you want to include, you’ll typically have a way to indicate: To-do tasks, Tasks already completed, Tasks that are deferred for later, and Notes to yourself. You might also include quotes and other items.
2. Tracker. Many people include a tracker for their daily logs, which will track such things as workouts, nights that you got more than 7 hours of sleep, and more.
3. Future Log. At the front of the journal will normally be a page for you to plan out your year. You use this similarly to the daily log, except here you might place important key events, things to remember, or goals to achieve. Trackers can also go here.
4. Monthly and Weekly Logs. These operate just like the future log, except they work for each month and week.
5. Module. A module is a page that you dedicate to… pretty much anything you want. These typically take the form of lists, but don’t have to. This might mean that you list films to watch, gift ideas, recipes that you want to try, inspiring quotes, rules to live by, or anything else.
Some people insert modules as they go between their daily logs and simply turn to the next blank page to insert them.
Others start their modules at the back of the book.
6. Index. Finally, you include an index and page numbers at the front of the journal. This is useful for quickly and easily finding the items you want.
The great thing about the bullet journal is that it’s entirely adaptable to how you want to use it. And when you apply a little creativity, it can also look very attractive. Happy bulleting!
Time Management vs Energy Management – Which is More Important?
Many of us are all too aware of time management tools and strategies. It seems that there just aren’t enough hours in the day and, as such, we feel the considerable need to make the most of the time we have.
There’s nothing wrong with that in theory. It’s commendable to want to make the most from our day and to achieve as much as possible. The issue, however, is that in many cases, we overlook something that is arguably even more important: energy management.
You Don’t Have Enough Time…Really?
Many of us feel as though we’d like to have more time in the day and that we could accomplish a whole lot more if we did.
What would you do with an extra ten minutes?
- Perhaps you’d start a home business.
- Maybe you’d work out and get into incredible shape.
- Maybe you’d just keep the kitchen tidy.
But you probably already have all the time you need.
Think back to the week you had. Was there any point at which you weren’t being 100% productive?
- Maybe it was when you were flicking through Facebook.
- Maybe it was when you watched that 20-minute YouTube video that you really didn’t need to watch.
- Or maybe it was when you binged on four episodes of Game Of Thrones back-to-back.
In other words, you had plenty of time, but you just didn’t make the most of it. And most of us are like this.
And why didn’t you make the most of it? Simple: because you ran out of energy.
Everyone knows that time is limited, but they forget that energy is limited too.
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Energy is Finite
This belief that we can do as much as we want to, as long as we can fit it into our day, is responsible for a lot of unfulfilled goals and ambitions.
Consider how many people plot a new training program. Often, they will start out by identifying they want to get into better shape (so far so good). Next, they decide they are going to follow a training program that consists of 5 workouts a week, each lasting about an hour (oh dear). What’s more, is that they do this while eating less.
The reason they were probably out of shape is that they didn’t have the energy to commit to being more active in the first place. Being stressed and tired likewise caused them to want to eat more things that weren’t conducive to weight loss.
So now, they intend to go from that, to adding four hours(7 if you add driving to the gym, showering, and more) of exertion, while having less energy in the form of food to help power them through it!
Geez, why do you think that doesn’t work?
The solution is to recognize this finite nature of energy and to realize that you need to dedicate some of your time to resting and recovering.
Just because you have the time to do something, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it.
So, if you want to start a new training regimen, then what does this mean? It means that you need to first stop doing something else. That could mean finding ways to make other tasks less time-consuming or stressful, such as getting a ride to work instead of commuting on a crowded train, for instance.
And if you want to be more productive and get through more of your to-do list at work, what do you do?
Energy management is just as important as time management – and more relevant. Don’t ignore it!