Guest Post by Brittany Harris
You know what quote I hate? The one that says that I have the same number of hours in a day as Beyonce. While technically this is true, I don’t have a team of assistants to help me with all the tasks that I need to accomplish on any given day. I’m a single mom, I work a full-time job, I run a blog and podcast, and I have a business on the side. There’s work work, housework, laundry, and side hustle work. So much work.
Many people ask me how I stay on top of all I need to do and manage not to drop anything. It’s been a lot of trial and error for me, but I’ve finally come to a point where I’ve come up with a system that works for me. When it comes to doing all the things and to managing my time, here are 4 things that I do.
Keep A Master To-Do List
If I didn’t write things down, I would never accomplish anything. I would forget something. Always. The best way for me to make sure that everything I need to do gets done, I create a master to-do list. This list has to include everything! Every assignment that I get from my clients, the things I have to do at work, the things I need to do for my daughter, like sign permission slips, and even the things I need to do around the house, like laundry and clean the kitchen. I don’t take for granted that I would remember to do anything without this list. As new tasks come up, I add them to the list. And when I complete something, I cross it off. This is my number one rule for me. WRITE IT DOWN. I’ve seen my productivity increase so much because I write them on my list.
Set Days for Certain Tasks
I’ve found it easier to manage my time by creating a routine. The best way to create routine is to do certain tasks on specific days. Sundays are for grocery shopping, meal prepping, laundry and throwing something in a crockpot. Mondays are when I have client meetings and add client tasks to my to-do list. Tuesdays are the time I set aside to spend with my daughter. No work, just our time. Wednesday is a workday. So on and so forth. By giving every day a specific task, I know what I need to do on each of those days. I can take my master to-do list figure out which days to do which tasks.
Make Time For Myself A Priority
A very important part of time management is making sure that you take time for yourself so you don’t burn out! With everything I have to do, if I didn’t make myself a priority, I would keel over from exhaustion. Every week, I set aside time for myself. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but it’s time needed to recharge. I watch a show on Hulu for an hour or two, I make sure I spend time with my friends and family or I read a book! Whatever I need to do that week, me-time is included in that. I am more productive, more creative, and more rested when I take this time. If I didn’t, I would be a good employee, a good mother, or good for my clients.
Determining Non-Negotiables vs. “Can Do Laters”
The thing about managing your time is that life happens. Sometimes things come up that you cannot control no matter how great your plan. When these things happen and you have to scrap your plan, you must be able to determine the negotiables vs. the “can do laters.” What do you have to do vs. what can you do at a later time? What has a deadline this week vs. what can you put off to next week? I had to learn not to try to kill myself when my plan got derailed and just go with the flow. This is a crucial time management skill that many people don’t think about. Roll with the punches and keep the momentum. There’s always another week coming. When your plan doesn’t work the way you thought, give yourself some grace and keep moving.
Managing your time is possible even when you’re juggling several things. Find the system that works best for you and although you don’t have a Beyonce team, you can still run the world!
Brittany is a blogger and podcast host where she shares the life lessons she learns and how to help others grow from her experience. Visit her website.