Let’s talk about time management.
Last week on Instagram, we talked about monitoring your time to see how you were really spending your day. It can be shocking when you realize how much time you spend on things like scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. Or watching a show on TV that you can’t even remember right now! Ugh. These are hours that can be used for things like reading, writing and building your author platform.
This week, I want to talk about some time management tools to help you regain those hours and help you become more productive. This is a big part of my coaching. Most authors come to me feeling like they can’t take on another thing. The truth is, if it matters, you will find a way. So let’s find a way!
Step 1 – Use a planner
I know that sounds obvious, but a lot of people simply rely on their phone calendar and that’s often just not enough. It doesn’t matter what kind of planner you use – paper or digital, dated or undated, daily or weekly format – you just need to use it. Make it beautiful or let it be messy. I think this is when we need to sort of push those perfectionist tendencies aside, and just do.
I take time every week to fill out and plan the next week. And then I take time every afternoon/evening to review what I’ve done that day and plan for the next day. This takes minutes and it is so worth it. I use one color ink for personal to-dos and another for client work and appointments. Then I use highlighters to block of time during my day to help me see where I’m busy and where I have free time.
Step 2 – Time blocking
The other time management took I use is a timer. I use 30 and 60 minute increments to block off time and just get stuff done. Time blocking has become an powerful time management tool for me. I always recommend that my clients block out time every day for writing and marketing. And then guard that time. If you struggle with time management, I highly recommend you read “ReWork” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. These guys literally wrote the book on time management and are the creators of Base Camp.
You don’t have to do everything.
I really believe that if you feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done, then maybe you’re trying to do too much or not doing what you’re supposed to do. For me, when I successfully manage my time on a daily basis, I have room in my my schedule for things I didn’t expect, both personally and professionally. AND ultimately, more time to do more of what I want to do.
I hope that helped!