Do you find that you are flitting from one activity to another, never completing any of them? Are you chronically distracted by every thought that floats through your head? Are you spending all your energy starting and stopping tasks, but making little progress on any? You sit down with a fresh cup of coffee to write a blog post, get distracted by an update from Evite, remember you needed to send a quick message to a friend, go into facebook to message her, start reading posts on facebook, notice someones birthday is soon, decide to quickly shop online for a gift, go to amazon, see a sale on Star Wars legos, begin browsing toys for your son’s next birthday (best to plan ahead, right?). Realize your coffee is cold, go to heat it up and find the microwave needs cleaning, discover you are out of paper towels, start a grocery list, remember that you have not planned for dinner, look in the fridge for left overs or dinner inspirations, hear that the baby has waken up from her nap. Feel frustrated that you have made no progress on your blog on time management. Comfort the baby, nurse the baby, look for your (now cold again) coffee…
Sound too familiar?
1. Try Blocking & Chunking ~ sounds harsh but is super effective! Maybe you’re going to write 5 blog posts. Maybe you have 2 hours of email time or 2 hours of blog reading & commenting time. Save your social media commenting and posting for a certain time. Create content during a focused block. Chunk your time. I do all my coaching and counseling on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I tend to my email before noon each day. I separate my domestic time from “working from home” time. Try to stay in the kitchen if you are cooking dinner, plan to shop for and cook several meals at once during time set aside for those tasks.
2. Set reasonable attainable goals for the time you have. Is it realistic to write five blog posts in one hour? Set realistic intentions and stick with them. If you decide to spend one hour a day on email, don’t use that hour to surf vacation rentals. Complete your email catch up, then enjoy having completed a task.
3. Prioritize– identify what tasks you dread, tasks you have put off, or tasks that are weighing most heavily on you. Tend to them first. Refrain from checking the fridge, calling a friend, refilling the copier paper etc, until you have made the difficult phone call, responded to a challenging email or completed the procrastinated report. We spend more energy avoiding and putting off less desireable tasks then if we just dealt with them first and cleared space work to on the less demanding or more enjoyable tasks.
This is smart and makes YOU in charge of your time. Get in a flow. Multi-tasking can be a myth, as most of your energy is wasted starting, stopping, switching gears, and feeling overwhelmed. Cars get better mileage on the highway then in town.
What are your favorite time management tips?