Today I wanted to share the biggest time management lessons I learned from both being an entrepreneur and blogger, but also by graduating high school and college a year early each. I graduated college at just 19, which took a huge amount of dedication and time management skills. Here are my best time management tips.
Having a To-Do List is Essential
If something isn’t on my to-do list, it isn’t getting done. It’s as simple as that. I’ve always had a daily to-do list, although it’s changed how I do it throughout the years. I’ve used both a virtual to-do list and a paper/pen one, and currently, the later method seems to be working great for me.
I had a period of time in my life where someone told me I planned too much so I just did everything flying by the seat of my pants. That was the year that my blog barely got any attention and my views went from 15,000 views a month to zero views. Planning ahead makes everything easier, I promise.
Make Plans for Outside Work
During that year period, I also found that if I didn’t plan out my days to include cleaning, working out, eating and breaks, I’d either wind up watching Netflix for 12 hours straight, or I’d work for 15 hours with no breaks and be so burnt out I couldn’t work for another two weeks. Plan on doing things that you either have to do or want to do.
Get a Morning/Night Routine
Having a morning and night routine really sets you up for success every morning and night. My morning routine includes things that get me ready and settled for the day, and my night routine helps me sleep and prepares me for the next day.
You should be taking breaks both all day long and once or twice a month. Your breaks all day should be five-fifteen minute breaks with a few one hour or more breaks thrown in there. No one can work for fifteen hours unless you’re on drugs, so don’t do it. Once or twice a month (at least!), you should take a day, or even just an evening, to do something other than work.
This is more of a life tip than a time management one, but one that really can help improve your time management. Take classes, read books, read blogs, listen to podcasts – whatever, but try and challenge yourself and learn something new once in a while. Learning doesn’t have to stop when you finish school.
Maybe it’s those huge metallic balloons that you bought and got blown up to take pictures with to celebrate ten thousand Instagram followers. Or it’s just a simple ice cream bar for getting all your blog post planning done for the month. No matter what, celebrate the little things. It’ll keep you motivated.
Have Some Sort of Daily Routine
Having too rigid of a daily routine can actually make you less productive, but having some sort of rough outline of how your day usually goes can help you be more productive. For example, going to the gym before you start work, working until lunch, taking an hour for lunch, working for a few hours, walking your dog, and then working a few more hours before closing up shop is a great rough daily routine.
Review Your List & Schedule Before Bed
Before you go to bed, look over your to-do list and schedule for the next day. Make sure you know of any appointments or events you have, so you can plan your day accordingly. Looking over your list can mentally prepare you for the day but also help you plan your day as well. For example, I just filmed my ‘everyday makeup routine’. I looked at my to-do list before bed, and decided to do my makeup later in the day. That way, I could film it.
Use Your Downtime
While you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or commuting to work, use that downtime to get some work done. You can use this time to listen to a podcast that will teach you about growing your blog, learn a new language, check emails, respond to social media comments – you get the point.
Thanks for reading!