Somehow, day in and day out we feel like we are racing against the clock to get everything accomplished. We get home feeling tired and ready to just collapse in front of Netflix and then do it all over again the next day. Finding the perfect work/life balance is doable but it takes a small amount of planning, organizing and prioritizing ahead of time. The reward of extra hours at home to hang out with friends and family will make the effort worth it! Here are some time management tricks to get the clock working for you!
Track time wasters/ distractions
Phones: Phones are one of the biggest time wasters and distractors. Time spent scrolling on Instagram and Facebook can quickly turn from minutes to hours in a day if you aren’t careful. Although it might sound counterintuitive, you can use your phone to help decrease phone usage. There are apps such as “Break Free” which will track how much you are on your phone and will lock your phone for you when you are trying to be productive.
TV: We are all guilty of falling into the habit of crashing in front of the tv as soon as we get home. Instead, decide a certain amount of television to watch per day and stick to it. This will help you from falling into the “I’ll just watch one more episode” trap and end up watching an entire season of The Office (let's be real, we are all guilty of this).
Sharpen your focus: Close other tabs and browsers on your computer and put your phone on silent so that you won’t be distracted and can focus on the task at hand.
Be productive during travel time: If you take transit, see what work you can do-- answer emails, listen to voicemails or just schedule your week. If you need more privacy for those tasks, commit to a brief meditation practice or make sure you’re carrying a book with you for even five minutes of downtime.
Delegate: Delegate other tasks around the house either with your partner or your kids. Even a five-minute task like unloading the dishwasher can save you much more over the course of a week.
Identify top priorities
Work smart, not hard: Look at where you are investing your energy and make sure you are not wasting time on things that don’t deliver results.
Lists: Making a to-do list will be your best friend when it comes to prioritizing your time. Seeing your to-do’s makes them more real-- plus it is so satisfying crossing them off!
Schedule: Manage your time first by the week then by the day. Look at your most pressing deadlines and then schedule your time accordingly. Follow the adage of “eat a frog for breakfast” -- do the most important/ hardest tasks early in the day to get them completed.
Measure and Calculate:
No one has the same schedule or the same habits, so find out what works best for you. If you are a morning person try waking up 15 minutes earlier and use this time to get two tasks done. Calculate how much time you have saved each week and decide where you can make cutbacks the next week.
Reward yourself for all your scheduling and list making by planning fun events in the evening: plan a board games night or host a dinner party. Plus having these events will help you prioritize your schedule to ensure that you have the free time to do the things you want to be doing!