Time. According to Oprah and many other leaders in this beautiful world, time is the most expensive currency.
How can we give ourselves more time? Where can we save time so that we are able to be more present during our day to day?
This topic has always been of interest to me because I was born with time on my mind.
I’m that girl who’s constantly thinking about what’s next, how long XYZ is going to take, and how I can squeeze the most out of every minute.
Sound like you? Great! Hopefully, you find a few new tips in this post. Something you struggle with? Even better! I hope today’s post helps a sister out!!
TIP 1 | WORKING IN TIME BLOCKS
Whether you’re a content creator or an accountant, one thing that works really well is setting up chunks of time during your day to get into your zone and get sh*t done.
My favorite time block is 90 minutes of fully focused, uninterrupted work. This is a time where I put the phone away, close my email tab, and focus fully on the task at hand.
On days when I have no meetings (my favorite kind of day – wish it happened more!!) – I try to knock out 3-4 time blocks of uninterrupted work.
TIP 2 | COMMUNICATION TIME BLOCKS
With the above mentioned, I also like to work any communications into time blocks vs trying to multitask all day long. As a recovering multi-tasker, this is a HUGE work in progress for me.
But what does this look like? For me, it’s 30 minutes of non-stop communication. I check my work inbox, blog inbox, personal inbox, text messages, and Instagram messages. Sometimes I’ll add in my Facebook and LinkedIn messages.
But I give myself a block of time to focus fully on communicating with others *outside of* getting actual work done.
In my day to day, this time block usually happens around 8AM, 12PM and 4PM.
I consider myself an expert multi-tasker, but TBH nothing wears me out faster than trying to do five things at once. I’ve noticed I am MUCH more productive, energetic, and creative when I focus on one thing at a time.
Now, I know this can be hard to do – especially during a time that you’re busy AF. Trust me, I get it. But it is possible. Start out by planning one day in your week like this. Then add in another. And another. Until it becomes routine for you to only communicate/respond to people within your “communication” blocks.
Unless you’re an ER doctor or in a profession where response minutes matter, this works out well. You’ll have three opportunities throughout your workday to communicate with others and be present with their needs and requests.
TIP 3 | CALENDARS
I would not have a clue about what was happening in my life without my Google calendars. I think most of ya’ll can relate here. I have a separate calendar for my company, for the blog, and for personal (shared with my fiance). Each of these Google accounts have individual calendars as well for things like meetings, employee calendars, photoshoots and tasks.
EVERYTHING I do goes into the calendar the second I plan something. This is ultimately my lifeline. I strongly prefer Google calendars.
I used to be a “write things down” kinda gal – but the problem is my planner didn’t make it with me to all the places I go. And when I was making plans with a girlfriend or scheduling a meeting on the phone in the car, it was not helpful.
I switched to only using Google calendar about 5 years ago and will never go back. It’s the only way to always know what’s happening whether you have your phone, tablet or computer close by. Oh, also your Apple Watch – I check the Google Calendar on my watch daily!!
TIP 4 | THE ULTIMATE TO-DO LIST
Have ya’ll heard of brain dumping? It’s this thing where you write down everything on your to-do list – both work and personal. Some people like doing this at night before they go to bed, and some people like to do it first thing in the morning.
I usually start my Monday mornings with drafting up a to-do list of everything that comes to mind for that week. From there, I prioritize what needs to get done and schedule it throughout my week, putting the hardest tasks at the beginning of the week.
Recently, I invested in a software for my company called Monday and it’s a literal game-changer. My weekly handwritten to-do lists have become shorter because I already have planned ahead what’s coming up in Monday.
I have boards for different projects. For example, each client has a board. This blog has a board. Sales initiatives has a board. Marketing tactics has a board. And within each board, there are multiple tasks – some recurring weekly or monthly – and some are one-offs.
They have a due date and a progress bar so I know where I’m at with that task. Monday has become my second most important lifeline. I wouldn’t know what to do every day without it!!
TIP 5 | PLANNING FOR THE ACCURATE AMOUNT OF TIME
One of the things I struggled with in my earlier twenties was allocating enough time to do something. I was that person that would say, “oh, that’ll only take 5 minutes,” and then 20 minutes later it’d get done.
Now, I put together a rough estimate of how long it will take to accomplish something. And then I’ll add an additional 15-30 minutes to the end of it. This is super helpful and helps eliminate stress and anxiety around getting sh*t done.
Saving time is so important in our world of technology and constant stimulation. I love reading about more ways I can save time and I hope this was helpful to you!!
What are some ways you save time in your daily routine? I’d love to hear!!