Do you ever wonder why some people have no issue with managing their schedules?
It’s like they have an innate time clock that keeps them on time and juggling every duty efficiently.
How in the world they are getting everything done?
Most of us haven’t been endowed with those natural gifts and we need help along the way, and I am TOP on that list.
So for the rest of us, I wanted to put together the best aids and resources for time management – ones that can help you work both efficiently and effectively.
1. Priorities. Priorities. Priorities!
Most people can’t seem to wrap their head around this simple principle. That’s why it’s imperative that you write a list prioritizing every moment of your day, week and month.
This takes but a few short minutes. If you take the time and do this at the beginning of every new week, you will accomplish everything you set out to do.
Every Monday morning, write a list of everything you want and need to accomplish that week. Then, break that down into daily tasks. You will be amazed how much this simple task helps. It was a game-changer for me.
2. Divide Your Workload Into Chunks!
Have you ever heard the saying, “You can eat an entire elephant, one bite at a time”?
I live by that saying. When I get overwhelmed, I visualize what it means, and the pressure lifts.
Break down your projects and tasks into small, bite-sized chunks.
- Write down everything that has to be accomplished along with the deadline date.
- Next, prioritize by project due date. Place the work that has the closest deadline at the top of your list.
- Then, break down each project by the amount of time necessary to complete each one. Assign a date and how much time you will spend that specific day or days, until it’s completed.
As you break down each job into chunks, you will be able to “digest” them much easier and much more efficiently.
4. Avoid Social Media During Working Hours Unless it’s for Your Business! (Especially Facebook!)
Facebook is the biggest time-waster there is on the planet! And distraction is something that happens to the best of us.
Here’s a likely scenario: You go on Facebook to post on your business profile. You check your watch. It’s early. So you choose to take a peak on your Facebook home page. You scroll down and you see … oh my … your friend just got engaged! You have to congratulate her so you go to her page and do that. Right under your post is one from an old friend you haven’t spoken to in ages. You say hello. She inboxes you and you catch up on old times. How wonderful. You smile. Then you look at the clock. An hour went by in a split-second! Facebook will do it to you every time! It will suck production right out of your day!
So what do you do?
Control the urge to “just check” Facebook or Twitter. Have the discipline to post what you do for your freelance writing Business Page and then jump off. Use breaks as a reward time to check your social media profiles for personal use.
3. Put a Lock on Your Office Door!
Other than social media, the biggest time wasters for a freelance writer working from home are interruptions.
One of your kids needs you to tie his shoe… the other one needs math homework help… your husband wants to know what tie he should wear to his business meeting… the dog is hungry and everyone is yelling because they can’t find his food, and on and on.
Lock your door!
And if you don’t have a door you can lock, then get creative.
Set a timer in front of your family and tell them that other than for a legitimate emergency, they are not to disturb you for any reason while you are working.
I realize we all have family responsibilities, but over time, you can start to set boundaries your family will understand. Schedule breaks where they can talk to you or give them exact times of the day you are available.
This simple timer can help you stay on track and focused.
E.ggtimer is efficient because it counts down seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months and even years. Once you visit the website, set it up for the amount of time you need and it will begin counting down. When the allotted time is up, it alerts you with a beeping sound.
Once you have a task that has to be completed in a specific timeframe, decide how long it should take you to finish it. Set your timer for that amount of time and begin. You will be astonished at how quickly you will work just to beat out that timer!
It’s a simple and free way to increase your writing productivity.
This application keeps you off of social media as well as any other tempting websites!
SelfControlapp.com is free. Well, the app is free that is. Self-control…or lack of self-control can be expensive. After all, wasted time can cost you a lot of money as a freelancer!
This application blocks you from accessing any websites, including social media websites, mail servers, etc. … literally anything other than what you are working on.
Set a specific amount of time for SelfControl to block you from surfing online, and until your time expires, you will not be able to access those sites. Even if you delete the application, restart the computer or try to figure out a way around this, until that timer goes off, you are locked out.
Yes, it’s a serious app. If you need it, it could save you a lot of wasted time!
Take Back Your Time
Follow these time-management hacks, and your productivity will increase and so will the size of your wallet. If you have any other time-management tips and applications, please let me know in the comments and share them with us!