Time management is a topic we’ve all heard and read about. It’s more popular than the latest spring and summer trends because it’s not seasonal; it affects us all year long and especially now since the school year is wrapping up, and our summer schedules are starting. Whether you’re a working professional, a stay-at-home mom, or a college student, you have no time. Even I want more time, and clients come to me for help with time management.
We’re all swimming in so many resources with time management tips and tools, but we have no time to try them. Trial and error can truly be a major timesuck! Especially for the tried and true time management tips that simply don’t work for you!
Because all of you are looking to us (and let's be honest, we also want the benefit of time) we set out to research the latest and most popular time management tips that we were NOT currently using and see if we should make the switch and adjust our current systems and routines for great results.
Here’s what worked (and what did not work for us):
- Complete the most important tasks first. For us, often the most important tasks are unexpected. Instead of starting each day tackling these first, we found it’s important to stick to our usual routine, which involves a few daily tasks, and then tackling the most important tasks. Otherwise, we get off of our routines, lose consistency, and get sidetracked by new and exciting opportunities. For us, while we know these are important, so are our current commitments. We say, stick to your routines, but allow for flexibility. After you complete the usual, head to the most important! Don’t get sidetracked or lose the systems you have in place that keep you organized. We also like to take the first 15 minutes of our day to plan.
- Devote your entire focus to the task at hand. Since we often have a lot going on, it’s easy to want to multi-task. By planning out our days, breaking up our To Do Lists, and focusing on one task at a time, we find that we are more productive and have more time. There are often several bigger, long-term projects that we are working on, along with our daily and weekly tasks. While we work, we find that our phones are lighting up with notifications — social media, emails, and phone calls — often from some of our favorite people with exciting email subject lines. To not let these interrupt us, we simply turn our phones over, devote our full attention to the task at hand, and designate specific times and intervals to check email, phone calls, and social media notifications. This semi-eliminates distractions and allows for more efficiency and ease!
- Learn to say “No.” This one is key. Unfortunately, in this business, we have to lean more towards saying "yes." We say “yes” to new opportunities to expand our business and diversify our services. Because of such, Rachel and Company has expanded to include closet design, organized moves, and online courses. We have a fear of missing out on new and exciting opportunities for growth, so we would rather prioritize, delegate, and problem solve to accommodate client needs. However, we agree that it’s about honoring commitments, knowing what you have time for and care most about, and deciding whether or not you can accept new opportunities and overcome obstacles.
- Don’t think of the totality of your To Do List. Unfortunately, we have to. Although we break up our To Dos into multiple To Dos, and focus on sections at a time, we always have to go back to the master list so that we can prioritize and do not forget To Dos. Especially since we plan events, we must think of the totality of our To Dos in order to manage them most effectively.
Here’s what you can do now. See how you can apply some of these tips to your own workflow and lifestyle for better time management, more productivity, and more time. Here are some resources, below, too, which can help. Every situation is different, but we can learn from each other! We wanted to test out some of the most common tips, enhance our own time management systems and routines, and share with you! We want to know what works for us, so that we can help you figure out what works best for you!
Please share this post and comment below with your questions and time management tips and solutions that have worked for you and those that were major time suckers! We would love to help you figure out how to adapt and adjust your routine.