Time management has not always been my strong suit to be completely honest. Growing up I found myself over involved in all of the activities, then in college I was taking too many classes to count and was well over 15 hours a semester, as well as being involved in a many organizations on our campus. I had to find a way to find a way to keep up with it all without letting my grands end up in a dumpster fire. These are just a fraction of the methods and tools that I used to maintain some kind of time management.
After graduating college with my BS in animal science and a minor in biology from Tarleton State University in Stephenville Texas, I worked retail and as a bank teller for 6 months before getting married and moving to Germany as a military wife and becoming a stay at home mother. Any people know that life in the military let alone having kids is all about time management, and these strategies have helped me tremendously in my every day life outside of academics. And I have recently realized how important these practices are in starting and running your own business, which is why I thought getting them down in black and white would not only help other potential virtual assistants out there but also any other business owner out there that just feels like they do not have enough Tim win the day to get done with the things that matter.
- Set realistic expectations
- You can’t always be productive and to expect that is not realistic. Wasting time beating yourself up over being unproductive is just going to set you back further and will not serve you in the grand scheme of things.
- Multitasking does not work
- If you are not giving the task at hand your full attention you’re not only spending more time on that task but you are more likely to make mistakes.
- Set deadlines
- Setting deadlines gives you a clear vision and plan of attack for a task. Setting smaller incremental deadlines will ensure that you have ample time to complete what needs to be completed without fear of procrastination cramming.
- Using the time blocking method will let you see what you have to get done that day or week and you will be better able to schedule things if you block your time according to how long you think the task should take.
- The biggest thing is going to be finding the routine that works for YOU, routine is not going to be one size first all so don’t go out looking to copy someone else’s Pinterest idea of a workable routine because nine times out of ten it won’t work for you. That being said, sure look up some routine ideas but make sure you are considering YOUR life when chiseling out your own routine. Then STICK TO IT!
- Always be taking notes
- Determine your preference for taking notes, is it pen and paper? A document on your phone that you can always reference from any device? Consider the accessibility of your method of note taking. If you have a thought, are on a call or are working on a project it is always great to be taking notes as it can better keep you on track and serve as a reminder later.
- Automation and batching
- Automating as much as you can will help save you time, and for things that you can’t automate consider batching the work.
- Shut out distractions
- Hear me out on this one, this is about turning off the distractions of choice. Turn off the social media, the tv, anything that can take your attention that is not essential to either your project or your environment. Understand that it doesn’t men locking yourself in a quiet room, you’re still a human and you have needs, and if you’re working from home you have no other support and you will have to take care of say your children or your pets, that is understandable. We are talking distractions of choice, not of obligation.
- Break your weekly goals into daily tasks.
- This one kind of falls under deadlines but is a tool worth mentioning on its own. By breaking the weekly into daily you can save time by not saving it all to cram into one day and fill your life with anxiety over it. You can be calmed by knowing you’re working toward your goal every single day.
Bonus: Visual Task Lists, think vision board but as a to do list.
I really hope these simple time management tips help you in whatever direction your life is going. I know that without effective time management my life starts spinning into chaos and nothing gets done. I don’t want that for you, I want to see you succeed!
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