Time Management – Let’s Do This

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Tick Tock – Tick Tock

 

Okay, let’s talk about time management. 

First off, I have to laugh because I’m totally hot and cold about time management. I’m either so good at it you’d think I was a robot or SO BAD that you start to question everything about me. I’m never in between, which is all part of my charm… or so that’s what I tell Ryan! 😉 

Last week I got three e-mails about how I manage my time so flawlessly while I was most definitely having a pull-that-dirty-shirt-from-the-hamper-and-spray-it-with-perfume-and-call-it-clean kind of week. I was so far behind on life. I actually laughed out loud by the time the third one popped up in my inbox. The truth is, life is completely bananas, probably much like yours.

I juggle a business, two enormous families (immediate and in-laws), a friend group that could fill a small football stadium, Ryan’s treatments, a puppy that never stops moving, and a house that needs tending too.  It can all feel… overwhelming. But you probably have all those things too, even if your list looks different than mine.

The truth is all these things are worth juggling and I’m glad that I’m the one who gets the honor of doing so. Which means when things start to fall through the cracks and balls start to drop, then I need to stop, reevaluate, and make a new plan because that list of responsibilities is non-negotiable.

 

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So today I thought I’d share with you my five favorite ways I manage, plan, and re-evaluate my time. Hopefully, they will help you and serve as a reminder to me.

Let’s be honest, we have only one life to live and I’m all about filling it up with the good stuff which includes… clean laundry! 

 

My Top 5 Time Management Tips 

 

1. Do The Hardest Thing First – This is a principal, a fact, a golden rule. I know when I consistently do the hardest things first that my day will go INFINITELY better then if I put them off. For me, the two hardest things to accomplish each day are my work out and writing the next day’s blog post. One takes physical energy and the other takes sooo much mental energy.  They both have to get done. There is nothing I loathe more than sitting down at 9:45 at night to write the next day’s blog post. Each post takes me anywhere from 2-3 hours start to finish depending on if I have to edit images, find links, etc… So it’s never a good idea. Same with my workouts. If they’re not done early, I just won’t do them… and then I’m irritated all day that I didn’t do that one thing for myself. Prioritize and do the hard/important things first.

2. Keep Your List Small – Now this one is hard for me. I’m a to-do list maker and lover.  Nothing gets me more jazzed than a big to-do list, a cup of coffee, and a pair of noise-canceling headphones.  On the other hand, nothing makes me more sad than not being able to cross everything off. So I stick to 3-5 things that HAVE to get done that day that are aligned with my long term goals. Then if I have extra time I work off my giant list that’s on a separate page. 

3. Time Block – Ryan and I are King and Queen of time blocking. I can’t tell you how many times a day one of us say, “I’m going to be returning e-mails for the next 2 hours… and I’m setting a timer.” We set timers for everything, especially during the work day. 2 hours for e-mails. Let’s meet in 30 minutes go over your notes. etc… We are serious about the time blocking.  Also, if really helps if you know that you only have 2 hours to finish all of our e-mails, you won’t get distracted by your phone, the news, or jcrew.com… 😉

4. Re-evaluate Your Yeses – I’m a yes girl, I love saying yes to events, volunteering, parties, girls nights, ect… If there’s an invite, I usually am dying to RSVP yes! But that’s where I can get myself into a major pickle. Even though I may have that night open on the calendar, I know myself.  I know I need more nights at home than most. I’m an introvert at heart (I know, shocking) and need time to recoup after an event before I can put my best foot forward at my next one. I’m not one to advocate saying “no” just for the heck of it, but I do know that when I say “yes” I want to be rested and ready.

5. Keep Business Hours – When running your own business this is next to impossible, seriously. But I do try my best to keep them the best I know how. When you are self-employed you feel like you have “so much freedom” to go to lunch, talk on the phone, do whatever your cute little heart desires.  In all reality, that is the FURTHEST thing from the truth. Just because “I can” doesn’t always mean “I do”. Also, my parents, who are also entrepreneurs, would tell me growing up that “When you own your own business you wake up unemployed every day”… both insightful and kinda dark. ha. But it’s true. I can feel like I need to be in the office 24/7 because I know it’s all on me to make it happen. But whether you own your own business or work for someone else, the principal is the same. When you keep business hours you’ll be forced to manage your day better and you won’t miss out on the important things in life, the vast majority of which occur outside of work!

 

Those are my five!

But now you have to return the favor… do you have any tips for me!? I’d love to hear how you manage your time. 

 

8 Comments

  1. Stacey
    September 27, 2018 / 8:31 am

    I love this post. I always get praised by my friends and family about how well everything gets finished. But all the while I feel like a chicken with its head cut off. I work full time (have to be here 830-5 M-F), have 3 daughters (14 in early college, 9, & 6), my husband works on the other end of the state and comes home on the weekends. I struggle with getting the bare minimum completed. I love the tip on doing hardest first. I need to make myself get up at my first alarm to do some exercise. I know that makes life easier and head happier. What I have to do to make sure everything is done and all task for all 5 of us ate completed is I keep a detailed monthly calendar with me at all times. I alot for how much time needs to be put away for those task. I’m a natural procrastinator so I have to make myself follow up on my list. Prayers and love to both you and Ryan.

    • Ashley Brooke
      Author
      September 28, 2018 / 10:32 am

      Stacey!

      Thank you for taking the time to write this! First off, you are a SUPERWOMAN!! And second of all, you will have to let me know how these tips end up working for you!

      xo – Ashley Brooke

  2. Okiegirl
    September 27, 2018 / 9:13 am

    I agree with everything you said! I am *quite* the Type A personality, so I thrive on structure and crossing things off a list. I usually have a work list and a personal list. I work from home for a family business, as well, and I need to implement more of idea number 5 into my life. There are definitely perks to working from home (i.e. doing laundry whenever it’s convenient and going to the grocery store at 10am when few people are there), but I often find myself checking emails at 9 pm….just in case. 🙂 This was a great post, and I think that even if we are doing these things, it’s good to have a refresher course and see where we might improve on this, which in turn improves our quality of life!

    • Ashley Brooke
      Author
      September 28, 2018 / 10:28 am

      Thank girl! I love hearing all of this and I am so with you on ALL OF THIS!
      xo – AB

  3. Molly
    September 27, 2018 / 1:51 pm

    I don’t have anything to add, but just wanted to say that I also have a giant -to-do list and then have to make a separate one for the day including just a few possible things – otherwise I can focus on anything or anyone else bc I’m zeroed in on a huge to-do list and sad when it’s not done. Didn’t know what time blocking was, so loving this idea! I think this fits my personality so well, going to try it!

    • Ashley Brooke
      Author
      September 28, 2018 / 10:25 am

      Molly!

      Love hearing this! Also, Time Blocking will change.your.life. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

  4. October 17, 2018 / 9:54 am

    I love this post Ashley! Such great tips! I have been working from home a lot lately and I love the part about setting a timer and making a smaller to-do list. I am ALWAYS putting way too much on mine that I end up feeling depressed at the end of the day – even though I got a lot accomplished! I am definitely going to try these tips out!

    • Ashley Brooke
      Author
      October 18, 2018 / 7:42 pm

      Kristen! Thank you so much for your sweet note! Just made my whole day! You’ll have to let me know if they help!

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