I am quite a busy person at the moment, between being in my final year of my masters degree and keeping up with this blog. I have a lot on my plate, but I’m dedicated to not letting either one slip this year. As a result, I’ve had to really work on my time management and how I organise myself so that I can actually fit everything in.
Now, this isn’t something that has come naturally to me. Throughout my high school days I was very disorganised and always stressed as I left everything to the last minute. So I have had to really work on my planning and organisation skills and find what works for me. I think I’ve come a long way since my disorganised school days, so today I thought I’d share my tips for planning and time management.
I am a big fan of to-do lists. I have to write down everything I have to do in a day or else I feel a little bit lost! Normally, I take my little to-do list pad to bed with me and before I settle down to read (or watch netflix…) at night I will plan out what tasks need to be done the next day. Obviously, things get added to the list as the day goes on, but I find it useful to reflect on exactly what I aim to get done.
My to-do lists aren’t just for work related things either – I will add the food I’m going to cook that evening, social events I have on that day or even just things like “wake up at 6:30”. I find that being able to tick off these things from my list give me a bit more motivation and make me feel like I am achieving something even if some of my larger tasks don’t go to plan.
Have a visual schedule
This is something that really works for me. I like to have a calendar or weekly schedule on the wall above my desk so that I can always see what is going on for me in the week/month to come. I normally find cute free printables on Pinterest (I currently have this Blog Brainstorming one on my wall) and update them every so often. I just find that having it there on the wall keeps me focused on what I have planned for that week or month and also allows me to remember key dates/events.
Having a visual plan that is in plain sight means that I always remember key dates and things that I have on. Also, I quite like being able to glance up at it when I’m sitting at my desk so that I can quickly see what I’ve planned to get done for that week. It gives me a bit of motivation and also keeps me focused.
Plan in advance
So planning in advance seems like an obvious thing, but I am meaning far in advance. I normally like to have each month pretty much planned out before it starts, to a certain extent. Obviously my daily to-do lists will have the specific tasks, but when it comes to planning my uni work and also blog content I will take a long-term look at things.
Now not everything will go to plan, but I do find it so helpful to have that structure to work towards. Especially as my uni work at the moment is based on quite large projects, I have to set deadlines for myself to get things done. As for blogging, I like keeping an editorial calendar (like the one mentioned previously) so that I can have ideas in place for what I want to write about for the entire month.
Have realistic expectations
This is something I’ve learned from having a lot more work to do recently. I used to set out huge to-do lists daily, with really broad aims for each day. When it wasn’t possible to complete absolutely everything, I would feel like such a failure. But the problem was that I wasn’t being realistic with my plans for each day.
It’s important to think about what really needs done that day and what is actually possible for you to complete. By being realistic with what you can actually do, you’ll be able to tick off everything on your list and feel much more successful at the end of the day!
So those are all of my tips for time management and planning! I’m definitely not perfect when it comes to being totally efficient and organised, but I think I’m getting better at it. Hopefully this has been a bit helpful to some of you – if you have any planning tips, please do let me know!