Time management is one of the most powerful skills you can have.
You want to make time for everything you want to do. And I know that sounds pretty daunting because I’m sure a lot of us want to do a lot of things.
You probably have a huge list of to-dos, but also a list of things you wish you could do if you had the time for it.
I’m going to share some tips and also an exercise you can do to help you organize your schedule to make time for everything that you want to do.
1. Cut down distraction time.
I think that most of us, we feel that our schedules are so full, we have no time for anything, when in reality there are so many parts of our day where we lose track on social media, whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram, wherever.
You don’t notice it but sometimes you just trail off, and there goes 15 minutes and another 15 minutes there. You actually waste a lot of time getting distracted. So the best thing is to learn how to focus and make the most of your time with what you’re doing, right now.
2. Focus on one thing at a time.
Some techniques are: You can use a Pomodoro timer, which is a 25-minute timer to set, and then you focus down for 25 minutes. You can’t really do anything else for 25 minutes.
Start to take note of where your attention goes throughout your day, whether you’re actually being productive or not.
If you’re getting distracted, if you find yourself trailing off, opening new tabs, and just looking at random things, then I highly recommend you either go on a social media detox or download those apps that block certain websites. Or find some way, Pomodoro technique or something else, that will help you use your time more wisely and focus down.
Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking is a myth. It’s actually not more effective or productive. It’s so much better to focus on one thing at a time, instead of constantly switching between different tasks.
3. See how things fit into your routine.
Next thing I’m going to share is this exercise to plan out your ideal day and your ideal week, filled with all the things that you would want to do.
This is just an exercise that will help create a guideline for your schedule because it actually helps to see how physically things can fit into your schedule and how you can actually make it work.
Even though it might seem rigid to some of you, just remember that this exercise is just to be used as a guideline, not like a strict schedule that you’re supposed to follow every day.
4. Decide on your non-negotiables.
These are the things that you have to do or the things that you absolutely want to do, you need to do.
Decide on all of those. Most likely, it’s school, it’s work, and then maybe you have some other things that you’re like, “No, this is non-negotiable. I have to do this thing in my life in my schedule.” Make a list of all of those non-negotiable things.
5. Bring out the dreamer in you.
Write down a list of all the things that you want to do in your ideal life, in your ideal week. While you’re making that list, estimate the amount of time that you want to spend on each item on that list, per day or per week.
For example, I love to do yoga. That’s something that you want to do every day for 20 minutes. I also want to meditate, but I would say I would meditate at least 5 to 10 minutes.
6. Design your ideal week.
Map out all of your waking hours in a week, from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, Sunday through Saturday–or Monday through Sunday, however, you want to count it.
7. Schedule your non-negotiables.
What you’re going to do is: First, you’re going to put in your non-negotiables. Schedule them, whether it’s your school schedule, your work schedule, whatever you can put in there. I know some things are very flexible, but just do the best that you can.
Next, we’re going to look at your list of things that you’d ideally want to do. And then we’re going to see if we can incorporate them into either your morning routine or your evening routine.
8. Incorporate things into morning or evening routine.
The reason it’s best to incorporate things into your morning or evening routine is that, in the middle of the day, so many things could come in and out.
You might have errands you need to run. There are just life responsibilities.
Usually, you can carve out time for yourself in the morning and in the evening, whether you want to wake up earlier to write morning pages and have your coffee or whatever.
Or in the evening, when you’re winding down, that’s when you have a lot of me time.
You know what’s best for your schedule. But my recommendation is: If you can fit it into morning and evening routines, do that. But if it makes more sense to put it in the middle of your day, then do that as well.
9. Do your best to build out your ideal week.
Also, for those activities that you decide you want to do once a week or twice a week, assign those activities to specific days.
Carve out space in your schedule to do that thing, and make that time non-negotiable as well.
For example: If a friend calls you and asks you if you’re free during that time, you’re like, “No, that’s my online class-taking time.” You have to set aside that time and act as if it’s a part of your real schedule.
10. Have some rest.
As you’re creating this ideal week, make sure to leave some time for rest. It’s always important to have space between
Don’t pack it super tight, because you know, in reality, things don’t always go according to plan. So just keep that in mind, schedule time for self-care, social events, and just space, in case anything happens.
11. Utilize your time properly while doing mundane stuff.
We all have to do things that are pretty mundane, like driving, doing chores, showering, going to the gym, running errands.
That’s the time that you can actually use to do something else at the same time. I know earlier, I said no multitasking, but this is like the one exception.
It’s when you’re doing something that’s kind of mindless. Like when you’re driving, you can use that time to listen to audiobooks or listen to a podcast.
Think about ways that you can incorporate, where you’re taking advantage of your time, doing something that’s enhancing your life, while you have to do those mundane things like cleaning and washing the dishes because life is life. You have to do those things, but you can also listen to something else, while you’re doing that.
12. Cut out tasks which are not important.
Alright, now that you’ve scheduled your ideal week, most likely, you’ll be able to see that it is possible to fit all these things that you want to d in your week if you just manage your time better.
Some people out there might be a little real ambitious, so maybe your schedule is looking a little packed. So be real with yourself here. Does this schedule look doable? Did you leave enough space for yourself? If not, then it’s time to go back and cut out more tasks.
13. It’s all about time management
Decide what is something that you can let go of, decide what’s something that you can save for later because remember: It doesn’t mean that this is the schedule you have to do for the rest of your life.
You can do this now, focus on these items now. And then maybe in two months, you can switch it up and learn something else in two months.
You can try out a new hobby in two months, but maybe you don’t have that time to fit everything into your schedule now.
We can make time for the things that we want to do. It all comes down to time management and actually scheduling that time in your planner to make it happen. Because so many times, we’re like, “Oh, I really want to do this,” but that day never comes.
You know, if we don’t schedule it in, it most likely will not happen. Do your best to make it work. With better time management, you can make the time to do all the things that you wanted to do.