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If you’re like me, sometimes you wish there was more than 24 hours in a day. And as much as we all love sleep, if we could have a few more hours in the morning and night to finish the things we need to get done, everything would be great!
Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen for any of us. What we need to learn is how to properly manage our time. With a little bit of structure and dedication in your life, you’ll be well on your way to properly managing your time and being as effective as you can at tracking your schedule.
Tips on how to manage your time
When you properly manage your schedule, you’ll be surprised by how much extra time you have on hand! Managing your time can free up your schedule significantly and keep you effective and efficient in life. Here are our recommendations on how to best manage your time to make the most out of your schedule.
1) Schedule Out Your Day
Like… everything. We know that sounds ridiculous, but schedule out everything – getting ready in the morning, meals, work, meetings, etc. Anything that you know will take up a chunk of time (at least 20-30 minutes) deserves a spot on your schedule. This will help you to get a better grasp on where your time is being spent, what things you can move around, and what things can be cut down.
Consider the following ideas when scheduling out your day:
- Meal Prep: Set a specific time of the day to prepare your breakfast/lunch for the next two days. Removing the need to cook every day is a huge time saver and a relief. Not only does it make you accountable for your health, but it also saves you some money that you would have spent just ordering from a restaurant.
- Clothes Prep: We are terrible at deciding what to wear in the morning. Our recommendation is to pick out your clothes in advance the night before. You’ll notice yourself just being ready faster in the morning that way.
- Use mobile tools: There are plenty of things on the app stores on both iOS and Android that you can use to manage your day. For starters, simply using your built-in Calendar on your phone to set up reminders to schedule your tasks for the week in advance goes a long way. You know exactly what to work on and when to work on them. To keep track of who you need to speak to during the day, whether it’s friends, family or work, we highly recommend downloading a personal CRM that you can use. Not to toot our own horn, but I essentially use a mixture of a detailed Calendar for my daily tasks and UpHabit for my contacts. Find what works for you and use it to your advantage.
2) Decide on Social Media Consumption Time
Deciding how much time you will spend on social media in advance can help you to properly manage your schedule. We often waste so much time by scrolling through Facebook and Instagram without paying attention to how much time is actually getting wasted.
This isn’t always easy for everyone however. Some of us just need more tools to stop us from this infinite loop of scrolling for new updates. Both iOS and Android support the ability to keep your digital wellness in check. In iOS 12 update, Apple unveiled the ability to manage your screen time. Google has the same set of features available too in their Digital Wellbeing settings. Essentially both of them help you understand where you are spending the most amount of time digitally.
You’ll learn where you are spending the most amount of time in apps. Addicted to Instagram? You may not think so but realizing that you’re spending up to 4 hours a day on the platform might say otherwise. Part of managing our time effectively is knowing where we currently spend the most of our time. Try to really understand where those hours are going and note down what you really need to cut down on.
3) Wake Up Earlier
Tons of research has suggested that those who frequently wake up early tend to feel more rejuvenated throughout the day and have more effectively managed schedules. Getting in a routine of waking up between 5:00am-6:00am may help you find more time in your day to spend it the way you want.
Waking up early has a ton of other benefits too. You can enjoy your breakfast at a calmer pace, have more time to read, exercise, and even just getting to work on time by beating the traffic. Overall, there are many big wins that can result from just waking up earlier and starting the day. Let’s be honest, that “just 5 more minutes” snooze button just never really works so might as well make better use of your time.
4) Have An Accountability Partner
It may sound silly but having an accountability partner can help a ton with managing your time. It can be anyone – a sibling, spouse, or friend. Someone who can check in to ask how you are scheduling your time, what time you’re getting up, etc. Essentially, they are there to ensure that you stick to your plan.
This piece of advice can work for anything you struggle with. Can’t find the will to exercise, have someone accountable to make sure that you work out. Not studying when you should, let someone motivate you to. Having someone who cares about what is best for you is goes a long way. They want you to succeed because if you win, they win.
Managing your time doesn’t have to be difficult! It really all boils down to awareness – the more you become aware of how much time you spend on your phone and in your various activities throughout the day, the more you realize where you can spend time in other areas. Having someone to keep you accountable as you start a new regiment of waking up early and scheduling out your day can be helpful, as it’s far too easy to give up in the early stages of your new journey.