Hello readers! It’s never a manic Monday, but a motivational one! From the latest photo that I posted via Facebook, I mentioned that I would be posting tidbits of motivation every Monday to boost your spirit for the week! With that, let me share you my very first article (due to popular demand) on time management.
Whenever people ask me about my work, I sometimes quite hesitate to tell them (because for most people, it would seem abnormal for one to handle a lot of things) and with the thought of not intimidating them. I have mentioned in my Personal Branding Event that whenever people ask us what we do, we tell them the value that we give to others. Thus, I get bombarded with the following followup questions or statements:
Wow, how do you manage to do everything?
Isn’t that tiring?
Do you still go out with friends?
I think I can’t do that. You’re amazing.
And so on.
When I was in high school, I had instances to have the urge to become normal by trying not to be good at things. For example, even though I love talking about science, I’d rather talk to my friends with other things which is more normal for students, such as the next hangouts and the like. Nowadays, I found like-minded people who’ll just support me on whatever I do! Thus, my goal is always to break that mindset on the last statement above because hey, I don’t have superpowers to do things that I like, and we’re the same.
1. Have a vision. Make a long term goal.
Time management starts from a long-term goal. Everything you do must be intentional. How could you start your day if you don’t know what your end goal is? For example, if your goal is to have a house by 2020, all your efforts should be placed on making results in order to buy a house. If your goal is to have 50K likes on your social media accounts by the end of the year, the things you do for the day should involve creating useful content for your audience. If you want to achieve 53kg by January, then you should be consistently exercising. Things like these should be taken into consideration first before you start planning your day.
Make SMART goals.
I’m pretty sure you know this. If you have a goal, be smart with it! There’s no specific formula for this, but you just have to decide how you want your goal to be.
- You don’t say: I wan’t to be prosperous this New Year.
- You say: I want to have 200,000 PHP to start January right. I should be having it at exactly January 1, 2018. This fund would keep me secure for the year.
Everyone wants to become prosperous, but not everyone needs 200,000 PHP. Think that you should customize your goal because not all goals are fit for everyone.
Craft a vision board.
You might have seen on my previous posts or social media my affiliation with Smart Start Session, and we provided a workshop on knowing your goals by creating a vision board (Feel free to check out the step by step procedure here). Vision board is a great tool for creating a long-term goal and to keep you inspired as you see it whenever you wake up.
Lastly, if you want to be something, then be it! You don’t have to listen to 97% of the population telling you that what you’re doing is not the normal thing to do and not their way of life. Your vision is always yours, not theirs.
2. Have monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
Now we’re done with your long term goal, now let’s cut if off by months, weeks, and days. (Some people think that time management starts here). For some, they have yearly and quarterly goals as well but I won’t elaborate further as long as you get the gist of this procedure. Let’s take an example of an aspiring motivational speaker. Say you want to be like Tony Robbins or Zig Ziglar and you aspire to be a Filipino motivational speaker and perform in front of 1M+ audience by October 23, 2021 (let’s be specific here). Suppose that you already have a background on speaking in front of audiences with the engagements that you had before. Now you have 3 years to work on it. On your first year, you envision to speak on a crowd of at least 500 people.
How do you set your monthly and weekly goals with that?
This doesn’t have to be a complicated Math formula, say you’re aiming for 500 people at the end of 2019, try chunking it unequally but gradually:
- January – 10 people
- February – 50 people
- March – 100 people
- April – 200 people
- May – 250 people
- June – 300 people
- July – 350 people
- August – 400 people
- September – 450 people
- October – 500 people
- November – 500 people
- December – 500 people
You see the concept? This is just an example but the thing is, it builds your consistency and your readiness for the big thing. Same thing for the weekly, just chunk it again realistically. 10 is a good start, what do you think?
As a freelancer, I usually use this technique to hit a specific income goal and of course, likes and followings for my blog to inspire more people.
A Monthly/Weekly Calendar would help.
You already have your goals, now plotting events, activities on other aspects of life is totally helpful to keep you on track. Career-wise, you want to be a motivational speaker. On the other side, are you giving the same inspiration to your family or are you depriving them of your time? After I set my monthly goals, I plot these things to my calendar.
- Work-free day/Hobby day/Family Days
- Important Events/Trainings for Work
- Birthdays (It’s a Filipino tradition to celebrate that)
Same goes with weekly goals. We know for a fact that we are not just career people, we also want to have balance in life. Work-life balance doesn’t mean working hard for the weekdays and splurging yourself to fancy restaurants and bars on the weekend. No, it’s never like that. It is not dreading Mondays, rather, it is establishing a routine wherein you have all the aspects of your life covered.
- Spiritual aspect? Set your spiritual day like going to church on Sundays.
- Dates with your partner or family? Talk to each other and set it at least once a week.
- Prioritizing health? Set specific date and times when you will go for a jog or hit the gym.
It should never be random. Once you get used to it, these things would not be a burden for you. You’ll not fall into the trap of just lying down in bed all day scrolling your news feeds.
Self-employed people like me, as much as people think that we are our own boss, have more challenge in this aspect of time management. Employed people already has established routine as dictated by their employer but we don’t, which sometimes lead some people to procrastinate if not managed properly. However, that doesn’t mean that just because your employed, you don’t have the right to do what you want because, “Oh, I’m tired, I don’t have time for that,” but you always have the decision if on your choices.
3. Have a list and don’t be messy.
I used to enjoy doing to-do lists and end up being unproductive because it’s overwhelming me. It is full of tasks I like to accomplish for the day not knowing I can’t just do everything at once. Thus, I set goals for each hour on the things I want to accomplish. My list looks like this:
As you can see, I have specific tasks in a particular hour and I can clearly assign tasks based on my capacity. If I’ll be exercising and eating breakfast at 6AM, it’s clearly impossible for me to start work at the same time and it decreases the quality of time I allot for my health. Know your priorities and don’t try to do everything at once because you have to chunk, chunk.
Wasn’t able to tick all of them with a check?
Don’t fret! As long as you know your priority for the day, you won’t feel unproductive. There would be times I have two or more tasks left unchecked. However, I don’t feel disappointed because I managed to strategize my day by doing the most important things first.
Time Management is setting timers.
Is your focus getting out of hand? Time yourself at at most 25 minutes on doing a specific task. (I personally do 15 minutes, I have shorter focus). Then rest for some minutes, and get back to work again. This enables you not to exhaust yourself too much and it also tells you that rest should not be done in bulk. Thus, the time I reply to chats, browse my Instagram feed, is during the time I have breaks. If your bosses can control your breaks, why can’t you control yourself?
FAQs on Time Management
You’ve presented that. I got it, but how can you juggle with a lot of roles and responsibilities?
These things doesn’t happen overnight. You know I do a lot of things as I’ve mentioned in my Freelancer Life and I didn’t take them all at once. Never. I started teaching when I was 17 and now I am equipped with the skills I need and I can even do it two hours in a day with a better pay. I ventured with Smart Start Session last January 2018 and I’m getting a grasp of how it works. I posted content around March because I know this complements my work there. And so on.
Accept that you cannot do everything at once and you have to ask yourself often. Am I doing this because I need money? Am I doing this because I see it’s trendy? Or, am I doing this because this is my end goal?
So if you’ll be offering me a side project on let’s say, cooking, will I take it? No, because I know my niche and I know my priorities.
Any suggested planners or tools to start?
Tools are important but they don’t have to be costly. A simple notepad will do. Evernote is truly helpful because I just have my phone to check out my accomplishments. I also use Belle De Jour planner since it has a feature to have a task for specific times. Or you can just print DIY calendars from Pinterest.
A lot of ways exist, really. You just have to start.
Do I really have to be specific on the time, like hours?
Yes, you have to. If not, you’ll end up procrastinating. It also instills discipline on your part. On the other hand, if you want to let loose, try to allot a day wherein there are no time restrictions. I do it usually on weekends. I don’t time myself.
What if it doesn’t work?
Well, if it doesn’t work then try to assess which part you should tweak. Just a note, never, ever, change the goal, just the plan. These strategies work on me and perhaps might work on you but you have to be open to other strategies as well. One size doesn’t fit all. Perhaps, you might create another strategy that works solely for you.
If you ask again another what if question, let me answer you with, “What if just try?”
Hope that cleared things up! If you don’t get results right away, don’t blame it on me. Haha! Kidding aside, building a habit of self-discipline is a challenging task and it doesn’t happen overnight. Time is a portion of your life, thus, you have to be conscious on what you’re giving importance to.
If it’s a portion of your life, what are you willing to spend it for?
Got more questions? Feel free to comment or reach me on my social media sites!
- Best Note-Taking App: Evernote – https://evernote.com/
- Belle De Jour Planner – https://ilovebdj.com/
- Smart Start Session: Be Part of the Community – smartstartsession.com/