I work a full-time job and run several websites under the Live Popular brand. Those websites won’t promote themselves either. I’ve written or co-written six books in the last two years and regularly speak and consult.
I also like to workout at least five days a week and I have a family. Yes, they see me at least somewhat regularly! If you think my schedule sounds overwhelming, you’d be right. However, I keep my life sane by managing my time.
If you want to be successful financially and have a vibrant social life, you’ll definitely need to develop some time management skills. It’s especially important in this day and age when we have countless distractions all around us. Below are four of my favorite time management tips and strategies. Hopefully these techniques will help you manage your life and time more effectively.
I know it is common sense, but you’ll need either a schedule book or an electronic device that does it for you. Google calendar is a great free service that you can sync with an Android phone. And, if you are especially busy (or want to be), then jot down everything.
I am not a naturally uptight person, so writing “family time” or “workout” into my schedule strikes me as rigid. However, there are some days when I absolutely must schedule those activities or they simply won’t happen. If you have a schedule to keep and want an activity accomplished (no matter how mundane), then write it down!
Maximize Your Hours
Many people fritter away their time doing meaningless activities. I wonder how many hours of productivity a person loses in a week just playing around with a smart phone! There are only twenty-four hours in a day, so, if you want to maximize your success, then you’ll have to get the most from those hours.
To do this, find those mindless moments in your life and try to cut them down. A little mindlessness is good (see tip four), but too much of it means your real life potential is likely being destroyed along with those structures you virtually destroy in Angry Birds.
Some activities that people do mindlessly are: surf the net, stare at a television, play with a smart phone, and watch sports. There are many more. Do an inventory of your schedule each day and try to cut these out or trim your time doing them.
I love watching football on Sunday. But, instead of just sitting there watching the Cleveland Browns lose, I also write articles, revise my book, promote my work on Facebook, etc.
If you can take time you have scheduled for another activity and find a way to increase your productivity at another one, it’s all the better. I am able to do a relaxing activity I enjoy (football) while also getting important work accomplished. Another example would be trying to accomplish all of your errands during one time period.
Obviously, this isn’t always possible. For example, I don’t recommend operating heavy machinery and updating your Facebook page at the same time. However, if you can double up activities in some way, it will help you with managing your time.
“All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy” is the old saying. The same is true for you. If your entire day is over-scheduled with no time for relaxation, then, in the long run, you’ll be less effective in using your time. If you are burnt out after several weeks of rigidly managing your time, then your overall productivity will suffer greatly.
Sometimes we need a break from work. Breaks recharge our emotional and intellectual batteries. Using your time effectively means being mentally focused enough to follow your schedule and maximize that time.
So, schedule in some relaxation time. Or just do it if you need it. If you’re drained and unproductive, watch a funny YouTube clip, go out with friends, play some video games. It can be mindless or even mindful, like meditation. In the end, it will keep you charged, focused, and productive.
These time management tips and strategies help me immensely in getting my work done effectively. Hopefully, they will help you too.