Are you stuck trying to figure out how you are going to accomplish everything you need to do in one day? Like most people, I bet you have about 50 things you need to accomplish today but are either too overwhelmed by it all or just don’t want to even start as you know you won’t be able to finish. Well, I am going to give you a crash course on time management 101 to help you feel relaxed and ready to take on the tasks you have to do.
Working from home can be a struggle. Especially as you feel there are no boundaries between home and work. You know the work is piling up but you still need to tidy the house. These are some tried and tested methods I use to organize my day and make sure I have done everything I need to do before I pick the kids up from school.
Yes, I complete everything before then.
Time management 101
First of all, you can do this in a number of ways but the best way is to work out how many hours you have to complete the tasks you need to do. Then write a list of the activities you need to complete and spread the time between each task. Make sure to include breaks if you need them.
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So my day would be something like this:
Between 9.10am and 2.45pm = 5 hours 35minutes
- Make a list of what I need to complete today = 5 minutes
- complete diary for week = 5 minutes
- read/respond to emails = 30 minutes
- put the dishwasher on = 5 minutes
- clean the kitchen = 5 minutes
- hoover the house = 15 minutes
- tidy the living room = 10 minutes
- complete some work on laptop = 1 hour
- complete phone calls = 30 minutes
- work on blog = 1 hour
- Read/respond to emails = 30 minutes
- lunch = 20 minutes
- Walk Ava = 1 hour
Total = 5 hours and 35 minutes
Now this will vary from day to day, this is just a standard day in my house. Sometimes I have back to back meetings where I don’t spend any time at home, then my schedule just needs to be adapted for that particular day.
Setting Time Limits
So for the list above, I set a time limit for each task. This is good if you are like me and get distracted very easily. I get so overwhelmed by each task I need to complete I end up not doing it at all. Or I start a task and then don’t end up finishing because my mind has thought of something else I need to complete. Writing it down also gives you a visual to look at and you can cross off the tasks you have completed. Making it look easier and you feel more accomplished.
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Steal Time Where Possible
I will use the above example again, in this, I have set aside 1 hour for my blog. Now some days I can actually steal time away from this activity and add it to another one, as my blog is a side project and not something I need to concentrate on 24/7 (even though I would love too). Say I need to do the clothes wash, I haven’t added it to this list but if I did need to I would steal about 10-15 minutes from my blog time and add it on. Pro Tip: Try not to steal time from a break or your lunch, eating is very important and so is rest, you don’t want to burn out because you think you haven’t got enough time.
Streamline As Much As You Can
Do you think I could put hoovering the house and cleaning the kitchen together? Well yes, yes I could. This would save me some time. It wouldn’t take 20 minutes to hoover the house and clean the kitchen, so you could streamline them both. Win.Win. Write down everything you need to do in the day and then add the tasks that match together. That way your list looks smaller (making it seem like you have less to do and don’t feel so overwhelmed) and you save time.
You can also set a timer on your phone, this is a good way to track how much time you have spent on one task or if you’re like me and sometimes get carried away it’s there to warn you and tell you to move on.
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Write It Down, Make It Pretty
I am a big believer in writing things down. That way it needs to be completed. I have a brilliant journal from Paperchase, which I can actually bullet point everything I need to complete each day. I made it fun by adding colour to every page and I absolutely love it! It makes it so easy to see where I can do things and when I have crossed them out I feel like I have achieved something. Find what works for you. Maybe its a diary, or a word document, a list on your phone or just in your head. Making the list look pretty also helps you to visualize what you need to complete and helps you use the right “creative” side of your brain.
Some days, there is no way I can complete all the tasks I need to do in one day. I have a full-time job, a blog and a house to run. It’s ok to say that you need help. If you have the money pay for someone to do it for you, a cleaner once a week will relieve so much stress.
But if you don’t have the money, your other half is brilliant for this. If you make tea, they wash up. Or you put a wash on and they get it out the washing machine. Little things will make a huge difference to your day. Rope your kids in if you need to. Get them to bring down their washing before school, or give extra money for completing an extra chore. It will help you in the long run.
Move It Over or Get Rid of it Completely
Do you need to complete it today? if it’s a no move it! Don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things you have to do today, the washing can wait for one day. You don’t need to iron that towel or pair of pants. You are only one person. If you are feeling stressed out take a day off! this is what I have to do some days, I do the essentials, like respond to emails and complete my job but that’s it. I sometimes even take a nap. You know when your body is too overwhelmed to complete something so don’t try to force yourself to do it. You will hurt yourself in the long run and get completely burnt out.
The best time management 101 advice I can give is to take one day at a time and write it down. Make sure you have a break or two or three.