Do you ever write out a To Do List.. look it over, see the 20 things you've written down with cute little hearted I's and swirly T's and think - I'm going to get all of this done and with time to spare, only to find yourself at the end of the day with 1 item checked off and your head deep into an episode of The Bachelorette? Same. Except it's not The Bachelorette, it's Love Island. I've always struggled with time management. I still do. It's not easy to plan out your whole day, your whole week, or even year efficiently and not get overwhelmed.
I've always been a planner, but that doesn't mean I get everything done that I want to. In fact, I often miss the mark on completing any task on a to do list. It's always been a struggle for me, but the past few years I've really tried to buckle down on how I use my time. I'm annoyingly aggressive about it. I have a physical planner, a google calendar, and about 4 apps to keep me on track. It's a lot to juggle, but it works for me. That's the trick, really. You have to find what works for you. Need help? Maybe one of my tips will help you get the ball rolling.
Buy yourself a planner. Just do it. I know some people hate sitting down and planning out their week. Maybe you like to live in the moment and be spontaneous. You can totally do that, but how about you write out the really important things that you have to do or places you have to go and then spontaneously get Burger King on the way home and call it a day. Okey? I personally love passion planner. I'll link them here. I love that I can reflect on each month and goal set while I plan out each week. You don't have to be fancy like me though. Go to your nearest CVS and pick up a planner for $5. A planner is a planner.
To Do List's Come First Okay so I'm really bad at this one and I'm trying to get better at it but - every morning, before you take on a task or go anywhere, write your to do list first. When I don't write my To Do List first, I end up faffing around for about 4 hours before I actually start doing anything. Yes, you can have a cup of coffee first and yes I did just say "faffing."
Set aside time for Yourself
It probably feels weird to write down "meditate" or "journal" on a to do list, but sometimes it's necessary, especially if you're piling way too much work on your plate. I've learned the hard way that not taking care of yourself, just f**** up your whole rhythm. If you don't practice self care in some way, shape or form - you will crack. I wish I could put it delicately but, I find being blunt around this topic works better than sugar coating it. Make at least one item on your to do list something that is strictly for you and you alone. Take a walk, watch a YouTube video, throw on a face mask, whatever it is - do it.
Set an Intention
This can go two ways. The first way is to ask yourself if there is one thing you could get done today, what would it be? That's your intention for the day. All the rest is fluff. If you achieve more, great. If you don't, so what? The second way to do this is to pick an intention and then make your to do list around that intention. Say my intention was to feel accomplished. My to do list then might be an assortment of chores I'd been putting off for a long time. Say my intention was to set boundaries at work. I might then fill my list with things like set a timer to shut my computer off at 5 or call Julie to catch up on my lunch break. Your whole list doesn't have to look like this, but a good chunk of it can. Sometimes it helps to look within and figure out what it is you truly want out of your day. Then build your day around that.
I know that sounds ridiculous to say. Getting things done is stressful. Correction - not getting things done... is stressful. One thing I've learned though over the years is that giving yourself a hard time about it, doesn't help. There will always be things to do. You will always be busy, in some cases, even until your old age. The weekend before my Grandmother passed she was in Atlantic City playing the slots. She kept a very busy schedule with friends, family and casino's. What I'm trying to say is, you will never "catch up." You don't need to. All you need to do is do your best. The rest (success) will follow. No one ever achieved anything by doing it perfectly. So when you check off those boxes and a few are left behind...I ask you whole heartedly.... who gives a shit? You did good.
I really hope these tips help. I'm still very much working on my time management skills. I figure I always will. Being intentional and kind around how we use our time is so important. It's so easy to fall on your bed, swipe open Tik Tok and get lost for hours, and sometimes that's okay, but the balance of accomplishing tasks can do wonders for our self esteem and our goals. Do you have any tips? Because I could really use them. Comment below.
Self care, self flare.