Lately I’ve been struggling with being productive (as the lack of posts on both here and Instagram shows). I think most of the issue has to do with time management. Yes, I’ve had more time to myself since I started this internship, but I think I just didn’t know how to manage it correctly. I was spending time doing things that just didn’t help me reach my goals in the end, and then I was upset when I realized that I was nowhere near reaching my goals? That didn’t make sense.
So I tried to turn my life and manage my time better. Throughout the years, I’ve learned a few time management tips that have helped me be more productive, so here are some of the best time management tips for more productive weeks!
Find what motivates you
One of the top reasons why we can never seem to get anything done is because we have no motivation. I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been feeling so unmotivated, especially when it came to blogging. I didn’t know what to blog about, and I felt like my 40 hour-week at my internship was draining me of my creative juices. Whether you’re a blogger or a college student, motivation is something that is important if you want to succeed. You have to find something that’s going to push you forward, no matter what. For me, it’s the possibility of monetizing my blog. You might know that this is one of my goals for the year, but I’ve yet to collaborate with a brand just yet. Set up goals for yourself, remind yourself why you’re doing it. This is important if you’re going to keep on doing whatever it is you’re doing.
Your motivation is what is going to help you stay productive. When you know why you’re doing it, it’s a lot easier to accomplish the tasks that are going to help you reach your goals, even if you dread those tasks! It’s also a lot easier to find the time to get your things done when you love what you’re doing.
I wrote a whole post about finding your motivation and staying motivated, if you need help with that!
Write it down
Probably by now, you know just how much I love my planner and my to-dos. I just couldn’t survive without them. If you’re not using those tools, what are you waiting for? You’ll see, it makes a huge difference and you’ll be so much more organized! Write everything down: your to-do list, your goals, your schedule… everything. Writing helps you remember, and you’re a lot more likely to commit to what you’ve planned if it’s written down! You wouldn’t believe the amount of times I was in a meeting at work, was told to do something, and forgot to do it simply because I did not write it down. Also, there’s nothing more satisfying than crossing something off your to-do list, am I right?
Sometimes, there is just too much on our plate. That’s totally okay. We all have to deal with some extremely short deadlines and it’s not always easy to know what to do first when you’re literally bombarded with work. Trust me, I know what it’s like. #marketinginternlife So sometimes, you just can’t do it all – you’ll have to prioritize.
Find what comes first. As a college student and a blogger, I always make sure college remains my #1 priority. That means that I’ll always choose studying and completing an assignment over finishing that new blog post. That’s just how it is. And the same goes for work. When I was working part-time at my local library, I always made sure not to take on too many hours so I would still get enough time to study, sleep, and live my life!
Now, at work, sometimes I have to choose my battles. I might not be able to finish that project on time. So I prioritize in order of date and importance. Was it announced that this project was launching on X date? With an event, for example, you can’t really push back the deadline. Once it’s out in the world, you have to commit to it. Whereas a memo can always wait, even if it’s about an important matter. You have to use your own judgement (and ask your boss and colleagues if you’re not sure!).
One of the best ways to make sure you have time for everything is to schedule everything. Have an appointment? Schedule it. Have a meeting? Schedule it. Study time? Schedule it. Sleeping time? Schedule it. Write everything down. Remember when I said that writing something done made it easier to commit to it? I wasn’t lying. I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing worse than looking at your schedule and seeing that you’re not following it. It makes me feel guilty, and frankly, a little disoriented. I personally do not write everything down. I know my schedule well enough not to have to do that, but sometimes, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, scheduling every single part of your day can help you figure out what’s wrong and whether or not your current schedule is realistic.
Make sure you keep some off-time to set back and relax in your schedule! That’ll also give you a little buffer in case you’re running late. That off-time can work as a reward or as extra-time to accomplish harder or more time consuming tasks.
Set up a routine
If there are tasks that you know you have to go through every day (reading your emails, getting coffee, catching up on social media, etc.), set up a routine. Those tasks are usually quite easy to do and not all that time-consuming. By setting up a routine, you’ll be getting them out of the way early, leaving you with more time to do things that are really important!
Get enough sleep
Have you ever noticed that you are more productive when you are well-rested? You are more alert, your brain is -more active, and therefore you are more productive. Try to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night. That might seem like time you are losing, but trust me when I say your body will thank you later!
Learn to say no
Have too much on your plate? Have you ever thought that it might be because… you say yes to everything? Trust me, I know what it’s like to be a go-getter and working hard all the time. I have a tendency to say yes, even when I really want to say know. Why? Because I just want to please everyone. I want to keep everyone happy and don’t want anyone being mad at me, so I always say yes to whatever it is people ask me to do. There’s also the fact that I love being busy. I hate feeling like I’m wasting my time. I need to be doing something, otherwise I feel terribly guilty, and kind of terrible altogether.
But sometimes it’s just too much. When you’re on the edge of breaking down, you have to take a step back and think. It’s okay to say no sometimes. I understand wanting to please everyone, but you have to think about yourself first and foremost. You’re not doing anyone (including yourself) any good if you’re too tired to do anything.
Distractions are the worst time-consumer, pointblankperiod. They can suck in so much of your time without you even realizing it! Just writing this post, I had to stop at least 4 times to check social media and read my emails. This little routine made me take, I am sure, twice as much time to complete a task that could have been finished way earlier. So find your productive environment and setting, and put distractions away. It’s always harder to look at your phone when it’s another room just saying… Keeping distractions away will allow you to finishing your tasks earlier, meaning you have more time to do everything else!
What are your best time management tips?