We're all busy; whether it's with work, a family, pets, side projects, volunteer work...we all have minimal time in our days, or so it seems. Personally, I have my day job in immigration, my 5-star AirBnB, this here blog, and Shop The City; I maintain my household of Z and our three pets. In addition, I'm planning a wedding. Yeah, I'm basically batsh*t crazy.
Everyone is always searching for ways to grow, learn, focus, and be all around better. Today I thought I'd share with you the things I do to effectively manage my busy life.
No Time is Wasted
Driving in the car or waiting for the metro, or even my lunch break I'm always multi tasking. In the car I listen to podcasts, growing my knowledge of life hacks and business tips. On the metro you'll always find me nose deep in a book. And my lunch break? I've been bringing my new laptop to work to catch up on blogging and reading all of my favorites! At home blogging? I'm probably also whitening my teeth. No matter what I'm doing you can bet I'm doing more than one thing.
To Do Lists Are Your Friend
At any given moment I probably have at least four to do lists. One at my desk at work, outlining my current projects, one in my planner outlining things I need to shoot and posts I need to write for the blog, one in my kitchen of things we need to buy...and a few on my iPhone that's a mix of them all, just reminding me that these things NEED to get done. I also used to have two planners, one for home and one for my bag so I never have an excuse for missing or forgetting anything. It's also been proven that writing things down engrains them in your brain!
Sure, you schedule your doctors appointments and dinner dates but did you know that the most effective way to use your time for your side hustle is to schedule it? If you really want to grow your blog or business put it in your schedule; set aside time where that is your main focus.
Besides time, schedule your media! I tend to do my blogging at lunch and after work. Some days I'll pump out a few posts at once, scheduling them over the course of a week or so. This allows me plenty of time to focus on the other aspects and what's to come. I also LOVE scheduling my tweets and other social media, making sure that I'm always present and not forgetting my SM in times of extreme business. I tend to schedule about a weeks worth of tweets over the course of an hour or two using HootSuite.
Take (mini) Breaks
We all know that staring at screens too much is bad for our eyes and our brains. Me personally, I feel like I stare at spreadsheets for days on end. I know I stare at them for days on end. But I don't go crazy. Instead, every 40 minutes or so I take a five minute break to either look at a pretty design blog, scroll through instagram on my phone, or take a lap around the office. Taking these breaks gets the blood flowing and has even been proven to help the brain the creativity and make you a more efficient worker overall.
Don't limit the breaks to work, though! Even if you're at home on a Netflix binge or blogging for hours straight take a damn break. You never know what will inspire you or how much better you'll work after a few moments away.
You can't keep yourself holed up, constantly consumed by work forever. It's important to get out there, at least once a week, and see friends or family. Heck, even turn your phone off for a bit, unplug, and enjoy some QT. You never know where your next bout of inspiration may come but you can bet it's not from only a screen. In fact, if you can, join a co-working space. It's amazing and inspiring to constantly be surrounded by other people trying to create, and you never know how you can all help each other.
DTS - Define the Space
Carve out a space for yourself, whether a desk in a coworking space or a corner of a room in your home and dedicate that as your workspace. Doing this trains your brain to be "on" when you're in this area, but also allows it to relax when you're in a more relaxing space, for example a couch or at your dining room table. Having a dedicated space definitely keeps everything in one place.