When you wake up, what is the first thing you do? Do you silence your alarm clock, take your phone off the charger and shuffle through posts and videos on social media? Are you the person that can brush off your covers, put on fresh underwear and be out the door with a cup of coffee in under 5 minutes?
For me, it's hard to leave a soft comfortable bed in the morning! Most of the time when I look at my massive never ending to-do lists, I get so overwhelmed that I'd rather just snuggle up in a blanket and watch Girls. The truth is, is that time management encompasses a lot of different things. Making the time to get the most out of your day takes dedication, concentration, will power and real effort.
There are many tools that you can use to get yourself organized and focused, but don't overload yourself with them. If you have too many spots where important things are written down, it'll get confusing and your brain will get all jumbled. I'm a writer and I have ideas flooding through my brain every day. Whether it be a new post idea, story concept, poem or epiphany I keep the same notebook with me every day to track down my new ideas and thoughts. The key to having a successful work day is to first get organized!
- Notebooks are great for storing all of your ideas and notes in one spot. Pages can be chuck full of plan layouts and outlines. You can make multiple notebooks for designated projects.
- Calendars are good for a quick glance at your events coming up in a monthly format.
- Planners are best when you've got a lot of meetings or appointments to attend during the week. There is much more space for particular events that may include additional information like deadlines, instructions and times.
- Sometimes I use Boxes and Folders to separate paperwork into different categories. This helped me a lot during school. If I had a class one morning all I would grab would be my folder, notebook and laptop and I would be set. Keeping everything together in one box, like papers, photos, signatures, or whatever it may be, helped out more than I realized.
- Highlighters and Post It Notes are great when it comes to color coordinating topics and to jot down quick reminders.
Now that you have the tools, let me give you some tips!
As you've heard before, practice makes perfect. Managing your time to get the most out of your day won't magically work overnight. Jump start your work or studying time with these simple yet helpful pieces of advice!
- Make It A Habit >>> Turning any act into a habit will take consistency and repetition. Whether it's waking up at the same time every day, keeping up on current events, 2 hour study sessions daily or whatever you want; If you do it every day, it'll naturally come over time.
- Designated Spot >>> Create a work space for yourself where you can go to every day where you get things done. A quiet place where there are ideally no distractions and you can dedicate at least an hour or two to your projects and work.
- Tackle The Big Monster >>> It's easy to get overwhelmed by a long list of things to do. Take a moment to prioritize your list, see what tasks can wait and see what needs to get done right away. After that, tackle the biggest and most important task first. You'll be much less stressed out when you've got it out of the way!
- Break Time >>> Everybody needs breaks. During long study sessions for a class, I would take 10 or 15 minutes for every hour of studying to either walk around, grab a snack, or surf the web. On your busy days, make sure to take time to relax and refresh your mind.
- No Distractions >>> I mean it. No phone and no social media. If you're actually going to get stuff done, then you need to buckle down and get it done.
- Plan Ahead >>> This is something that I find doing every single night, makes the next day seem to be so much more productive. I can honestly say that when I plan the night before, I feel like the next day I get so much more done! Making a plan of attack can make you feel prepared.
- Healthy Choices Make A Difference >>> Get enough sleep, drink lots of water, eat healthy and exercise regularly. We've all heard it multiple times but your eating and exercise habits affect you and how you work! Take care of yourself.
- You Can Say No >>> Don't bite off more than you can chew. Be realistic with what your involved with and the projects you can work on. It's better to complete one project that is really well done instead of doing multiple projects with mediocre results.
- Detox and Relax >>> Don't ever forget to take time for yourself. You're not a work horse, even though you may want to be. Close your eyes, take a breather and clear your mind. Every day remember to slow down and relax. When you feel like you accomplished a lot for one day, then you can do what I do, and treat yourself to a bubble bath!
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