inspiration

5 of the Best Time Management Tricks That Actually Help

Since I’ve been traveling for the past week, I’m looking forward to sitting down at my desk and getting everything in my life back in order. I’ve been pretty good at staying on top of things, but I could absolutely use a few days of non-distracted work to make sure nothing is slipping through the cracks. Sending Maxie a little “thank you” through the Universe for the motivation to be as productive as possible!

Time Management Tips

5 of the Best Time Management Tricks That Actually Help

Guest post by Maxie McCoy

It seems like there is always a new “time hack” that everybody’s trying. “Write in the morning’s!” or “do twenty minutes, on ten off!” or “Here’s the new planner that will save your day!” It’s hard to tell what’s helpful and what’s simply just a fad of the season.

But whether we like it or not, time is one of the most precious resources that we truly never can recover. We can’t rewind. We can’t bank time. We can either show up as present as possible and create strategies to make the most of every minute we get, or it’s lost.

Hear me out on something super important though: what most people miss when trying to be more effective with their time is that it’s not always about doing as much as you possibly can in any given window. Rather, it’s about creating the most amount of value possible with the time you do have.

It doesn’t matter what you have on your list of goals for this year– whether it’s to improve your relationships or get your finances in order or finally cross planning that road trip off the list– these are my favorites way I’ve found to be productive and to get the most important things done:

Sunday Night Planning
Every Sunday night I take twenty minutes to schedule my weekly priorities. I get out my little Nomad planner, and I jot down everything from the nights I’m staying in to social dinners. I schedule all of my workouts for the week, and I put three things down for each day that I know need to get done. Bonus: looking at the week and getting ready always helps me minimize those Sunday scaries.

Go Dark
Your most important work needs 100% of your attention. And we are all SO distracted. (You don’t event want to see how many tabs are in my browser right now!) My favorite thing to do when I’m writing or putting a lot of thought into a big project is to go completely dark. I turn everything on airplane mode and minimize all distractions and work from one window so I can make progress on the things that take real effort.

Bucket Time
There’s a big difference between the skills needed on external calls, on creative writing, on emails, and on analytical tasks, etc. I’ve found that if I bucket my time according to the type of energy or skill it needs, I can get way more done because I’m not having to constantly bounce from left brain to right brain a million times in any given minute. So create buckets for types of work within your day and week – it’ll help.

Hide the phone
Especially, especially, especially when you’re with your people, Hide. Your. Phone. Just put it away. And here’s why as it relates to time– when you’re doing many things poorly, you’re doing nothing really, really well. So if you’re using your time to be with loved ones, REALLY be there. Don’t be half at dinner while you’re obsessing over notifications on your phone. You might as well have just thrown those hours away.

The monthly UGH
We all have things we hate doing and drag our feet on. It might be finally scheduling those dentist appointments, dealing with taxes, or cleaning out the closet. Every month I schedule something that I’m not excited to do but I’m excited at the thought of it finally being done– and I give myself a date. By February 28th I’ll have switched to a higher yield savings account (that was mine last month).

If you feel like you’re swimming all of the to-do’s, you may need to try being more intentional with your time. And remember, it’s now about how much you can jam into a single living week…it’s about how many high-quality hours you can create for yourself.

For more good stuff like this from Maxie, check out her weekly emails.

15 Comments

Karen

I’m so guilty of committing all the sins. Keeping my phone on me, multitasking, failing to plan ahhh! Thanks for the inspiration I’m going to *try* remember these things as I start my workday tomorrow.
Have a great Monday!

Much Love, Karen

[Style Smorgasbord] [bloglovin’]

Reply
Sophia

I needed this right now! Bucket time is something I definitely need to implement and i’m also a big fan of Sunday planning!
Thanks for posting 😀

Reply
Dottie Mae

“it’s now about how much you can jam into a single living week…it’s about how many high-quality hours you can create”

Good point, Carly! Thank you, I really needed to hear that. 🙂

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Sofia

Ah, so well timed! As a blogger, you juggle so many hats: blogger, social media analyst, admin, photographer, stylist, etc. And each of those requires attention. These tips are great for managing all that!

xo, Sofia
http://www.thecozie.co

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Taylor

I really love the idea of tackling the “monthly UGH” and giving yourself a deadline. I often find myself stressed over these “extra” things because I keep putting them off, so I am definitely going to start scheduling one big task a month. 🙂

xo, Taylor
http://www.taylorashleyblog.com

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Nidia

I’ve always dreamed of Sunday planning, but for years I haven’t been able to make it happen. I made a resolution this month to be more productive and will be bookmarking these tips to get me there. Thanks for the post!

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Southern & Style

I totally agree with Sunday night planning (this works especially well for me as a teacher, to make sure everything is set for the week) but I’m also a big fan of making sure I get everything I possibly can get ready for the following day, done the night before. It helps my work go smoother if I have everything sat at the ready for when I walk into work the next day!

xoxo, SS

Southern And Style

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