6 Time Management Strategies to Free Up Time so You Can Be Present in Life
I Don’t Have Enough Time Mindset
I get it, girl. You’ve got so many roles to play — student, mom, wife, friend, and entrepreneur.
You are not alone.
With two part-time jobs, a brand new blog, and family to take care of all while in school for a Masters, it is far from easy for me as well.
It’s safe to say that at one point in our lives, you and I have fallen prey to the age-old line, “I don’t have enough time in my day.” We wish for that “perfect” responsibility-free day to enjoy our hobbies or to practice some self-care, but we may never get that type of time if we’re constantly bending over backwards for others while also having no plan in mind.
I got tired of wishing for more hours in a day. I was done ending and starting my day stressed, exhausted, or both. Life was clearly telling me to make a change, so I listened and changed my mindset.
Work Smarter, Not Harder Mindset
I’ve come to learn that I’ve got to be the boss of time if I want it to work in my favor — and that means accepting and efficiently working within my confines. You only have 24 hours in a day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work with what you’re given.
When you fail to recognize that time is your most valuable asset, you start to drown in your responsibilities. That said, you need to obsess over time (in a healthy way, of course).
If an activity is not helping you work towards a goal or doesn't bring you happiness, stop doing it. - Mike Schultz
A lack of a planning or poor time management usually leads to operating with a reactive mindset. You spread your time and attention all over the place, jumping from task to task, meandering through your day only to end it feeling like nothing was accomplished.
Does this hit home with you?
I’ve felt this way before too, but I can assure you that we all have the ability to shift to a proactive mindset, one where we work smarter, not harder. Here’s 6 strategies to improve your time management and productivity skills, so you can free up time that is being underutilized and do more of what makes you feel ALIVE.
Time Management Strategies
1 // WRITE IT DOWN
Writing down your tasks, ideas, and deadlines has to be the quickest and easiest strategy you can put in place now. Whether you choose to hand-write or type them, the first step is taking them from intangible thoughts to physical existence. They now exist outside the realm of your mind, so it’s impossible for them to get lost in your thoughts.
Personal tip: Write your to-do list in no specific order. Let your mind go and prioritize what’s important and urgent after you’ve completed your entire list. This works best for me because when I go back to organize my list, it helps me better visualize how my day will unfold as well as the actions I need to take.
2 // BREAK YOUR TO-DO LIST DOWN
If you have complex tasks on your list, break them down (especially useful for you ladies with little to no large chunks of time in your day)! For example, one task can be broken down into 5 smaller tasks that take about 5-25 minutes to complete. Doing so not only makes the end goal easier to visualize, but those small wins along the way build momentum. You’re a step closer to your end goal and that feel-good motivation you’re experiencing only fuels the fire!
Personal tip: Obsess over time so you don’t underutilize it but rather optimize it.
Here’s an example of how I break down the task of writing my blog posts:
Keyword research // 15 minutes
Do research on my topic // 15 minutes
Merge my thoughts and information from resources into an excel spreadsheet // 25 minutes
Identify headings and main talking points // 5-10 minutes
Write the blog post // Time varies
Review blog post // 10 minutes
Create the blog post image // 20 minutes
Schedule my blog post!
3 // TIME-BLOCK YOUR DAY
Now that you have your to-dos for the day, decide in advance how much time you will spend on a task. When you have a rough idea of what that may be, you can block off certain times in your day. You put your to-dos in motion by identifying the time you’re going to start and end a task. Now, stick to it.
Personal tip: If you don’t finish a task in the time you gave yourself, determine how you could work more efficiently next time. Did distractions get in the way? Can you implement a strategy to simplify part of the task?
4 // LIMIT YOUR DISTRACTIONS
Identify your triggers and find ways to minimize or eliminate them. Yes, that means putting your phone somewhere out of reach and not checking the latest Instagram story. By eliminating the potential for distractions, you are less likely to waste time.
Personal tip: If you want structured and focused work with additional break times, try the Pomodoro Technique. You can save Instagram or YouTube for your short break!
5 // AUTOMATE
You can automate anything from finances to daily tasks to social media marketing. It frees up time that is better spent doing something more worthwhile and rewarding to you. If you want to know if automation will work for you, ask yourself two questions:
What process do you currently have in place to accomplish a task?
Can it be streamlined for your success without requiring your attention to get it done?
Personal tip: If it doesn’t need significant personalization and your immediate attention, automate it!
Here’s three examples of how I automate:
AutoPay for bills
Grocery pickup services
I’m loving the Walmart Grocery Pickup service right now. It’s seriously a life-changer because they do the shopping and they load up my car when I arrive. This is a personal fav. because I waste so much time at a grocery store roaming around and buying unnecessary items! Want to try it? Click here for $10 off!
Auto-delivery of household items and dog food
6 // CHECK YOUR PROGRESS
Check in at the end of your day. Is there room for improvement in certain areas? Reflect on your progress and figure out what worked and what didn’t. Remember, part of continuous progress and growth is self-reflection. With this practice, you give yourself an advantage and now you’re ready to tackle tomorrow with clarity and intention.