Establishing a clear schedule can be a difficult task when you have no idea where to start. Maximizing your time (especially if you woke up far later than you planned)is an essential move if you’re working towards achieving new goals or furthering your career.
The first step in learning to master time management in your life is to pay attention to where your time is going. When I fall into the pit of procrastination, I’m scrolling through social media, putting off my responsibilities for later in the evening to the point where it’s 10 P.M., and I haven’t even started. Procrastination is a creativity killer, especially right now, when we’re all trying to make the best use of our time as possible.
I was at a place where I was working well into the morning hours, running on little to no sleep, all because I wasn’t dividing up my time efficiently.
It doesn’t matter what time you’re trying to begin; what matters is how you use the time that’s available to you. It’s up to you not to waste any of it.
If you’re having trouble creating a consistent schedule, sticking to your routine, or trying to turn over a new leaf, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Write Everything Out Before You Tackle Your List
The hardest part about beginning is having too many things on your mind and feeling overwhelmed before you’ve even tackled anything. If I can’t see a clear place to start, I write everything I need to get done down on a piece of paper, even if they are simple and easy to remember tasks.
When you do this, you’re allowing yourself to see all of your work in front of you, and now it’s time to decide what’s time-sensitive.
Prioritize and Batch Similar Tasks
When I’m drafting new posts for the week, I usually like to stick to doing that for a few hours before moving into something else. This allows me to work down the list and cross of more tasks because I’m in the right mindset to keep the words flowing instead of breaking in between to do something else like answer emails.
By prioritizing and batching similar tasks together, you may even find that you’re able to get much more done than you initially thought, because you’re working through areas that share comparabilities, leaving you on a steady stream of getting more done.
Create a Solid Plan of Action
Now that you have an idea of what needs to be done, it’s time to make that list. Ask yourself how long a particular task is going to take and create a plan that will guide you through the day, keeping the stress far away from the work that needs to be done.
Write out a plan, a numbered or bullet-point list and cross off tasks as you go. This will allow you to keep track of your progress and make sure you’re well on your way to rounding out the workday finishing the most critical work on your list.
Keep Your Eyes Off the Clock and Focus on the Work
I know it can be hard not to look at the clock when you’re already starting your workday later than you originally planned, but it’s going to benefit you in the long run. It is going to take a little practice, but once you’ve gotten into the habit of recentering yourself whenever you get off track, it’ll become easier over time.
Maintaining focus is integral to the creative process because your work relies on you being able to remain working for long periods. Take a glance at the clock when you start your task and forget it exists until you reach the finish line.
Cut the Urge to Waste Time With Activities That Keep You Creative
Procrastination is going to creep back in when we least expect it. What we have to do is make sure to check ourselves whenever we realize we’re wasting time. I sometimes reflexively reach for my phone when I’m writing to start scrolling through social media, and now I’ve managed to stop myself before I even unlock it.
Learning to chuck procrastination altogether is going to take time, so don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t focus for long periods right away. What matters is that you’re making an effort to encourage change in your daily schedule, and you will find that it’ll stick around once you’ve kept with it long enough. Don’t be afraid to start and allow yourself to make the most of your day, every day.
I hope these tips help you master time management and continue to produce incredible work!
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.
Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes.