Mastering the Art of Time Management

Grace, Faith, & Glitter | Mastering the Art of Time Management | Productivity

You know the quote: “You have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce.” I roll my eyes at that. Though it is very true, Beyonce has an entourage of chefs, assistants, managers, nannies, hair stylists, & maids and the money to pay for it all. I’m not saying that Beyonce has it easy. I’m just saying that if she did everything she needed to do without all the help that she has, she definitely would not have enough hours in the day. 

Grace, Faith, & Glitter | Mastering the Art of Time Management | Productivity

God gave us 24 hours each day to get stuff done. Why 24? I have no idea. But He deemed that to be enough, despite what our schedule may think. 

Let me just run you through my life right now: I’ve got two jobs, one full time & one part time. But let’s be honest, they both feel like full time jobs! I work one job during the day, and the other once I get home from work. I’m a BSF leader (which is a huge time commitment, but such a blessing in my life), which means 5 am weekly leader meetings, Tuesday evening Bible studies, & a week’s worth of preparation, studying, & shepherding. I’ve also started doing some freelance design work for another church. Then there’s this blog that I’m trying to get up and running, because I need an outlet for my crazy life. All of that, then actually trying to have a life which entails keeping the friends that I have, making new ones & if time permits, going on a date or two to keep my options open! To think, if I had a husband & kids…. I can’t even imagine that right now! It stresses me out just thinking about it. 

But somehow, some way I fit everything in while simultaneously keeping my sanity. 99% due to the pure grace of God & 1% due to time management skills. 

Since high school, I have been working diligently on the art of time management. I’ve been obsessed with the skill, to be honest. And now, in my adulthood, I feel like I’ve got a good handle on the art as long as I keep these following rules:

Grace, Faith, & Glitter | Mastering the Art of Time Management | Productivity

1. Keep a running to do list

I love the 2Do app that runs on my iPhone, iPad, & MacBook. It allows me to keep a running to do list, repeat daily, weekly, & monthly tasks, and color coordinates my tasks by category. I can schedule tasks a good year in advance if I wanted to. When I get a new client, I go ahead and fill my to do list with payment, follow up, email, & meeting reminders. Keeping a running to do list will allow you to put write down the things you need to get done in the future, so you can focus on the things you need to get done now. It frees up mind space!

2. Know your cut off time

Set a time when you want to get to bed, or essentially, stop working for the day. That’s your goal. Plan out your game plan according to that time. This may mean you can take your time on some tasks, and it may mean you’ll need to go hard & fast to complete other tasks. My goal for each day is to be ready for bed by 11:00 pm. Sometimes that means that I’ll have to skip a show one evening, or be super focused on the task at hand to make sure I don’t miss a minute of my beauty sleep. This is something you have to be strict about or the system is not going to work. Trust me, I’ve fallen into that trap several times & 2:00 AM will creep up on you before you know it!

3. Don’t stress out

Easier said than done, right? But really, stressing out about how much stuff you have left or fretting that you won’t get everything done is only time wasted that you could have used actually getting things done. I’ve come to realize that if I don’t get everything done, it’s ok! Unless you’re a doctor that has only a few hours to save a person’s life, know that nobody is going to die if you don’t get everything on your list done for the day. When you stop stressing out about this, you will realize that there will be pockets of time the next day (or the next) where you can catch up. What needs to get done will get done. Keep calm & carry on! 

4. Do one task at a time

You’ve heard the reports that multitasking is never really a good idea, and I have to agree. I picture it as a plate of delicious food. If you eat each course, one item at a time, you will be able to fully savor the flavor of each delicious delight, appreciating it all the more. I know that sometimes this just can’t be done, but try your best to do only one task at a time. This allows you to get your task done right the first time, & actually get it done. 

5. Stay focused on the task at hand

On the same lines as #4, don’t get distracted by other things, whether that be your other tasks, what your Aunt Gladys is doing on Facebook, or that undeniable craving for pistachio gelato. Focus, woman! The more you focus, the quicker you get it done, & the sooner you can eat that whole pint of gelato. Get in the zone & knock out those tasks one by one. Giving myself mini rewards after each (big) task helps keep me motivated on the task at hand. For example, after I complete a blog post & schedule it for next week (images & corresponding social media posts included), I’ll allow myself a few minutes to browse Pinterest or catch up on my favorite blogs. 

6. Get comfortable

I find that I do my best work lying on the floor on a blanket, “picnic style.” I don’t know why. That’s just how I like it. Figure out what’s most comfortable for you and get to work. Maybe getting comfortable isn’t really a spot, but having a hot cup of tea or your favorite jams near by. Whatever makes you comfortable and gets you in the zone. This may change throughout the day. Sometimes I’m comfortable on the couch with my Snuggie & pup snuggled up next to me. And before you even go there….stay away from the bed! That’s just a lie the devil feeds you to go back to bed and be unproductive. It’s the devil’s playground of pure procrastination. 

7. Take time for you

I feel like this is the most important tip for mastering the art of time management. Never, never forget to set aside time for you. Whether that be one day a week or a certain hour of the day. Mondays are my sacred days. That’s the day I say no to appointments, hang outs, meetings, & extra work. It’s the day where I can catch up on my shows, shave my legs, paint my toenails, take a nap, read a book, do fun things with my hair, whatever. This is a day or time where you do things for YOU, and not feel bad about it. Let me repeat that: YOU DO NOT FEEL BAD, GUILTY, OR STRESSED ABOUT IT. If you don’t take time for yourself, you will get burned out. And trust me, getting burned out is not pretty. It’s counterproductive. 

Mastering the art of time management is a process. It’s not going to happen instantly. Good habits don’t happen overnight, as much as I would like them to. But once mastered, it will be like second nature.

Got some time management tips? Share your tips below in the comment section!

DISCLAIMER: I’m giving this advice from a single 20-something point of view. I have no experience in being a wife or mother. I’m sure once my job description changes, I’ll have to revise the way I manage my time in a totally different way.