I recently got asked about my time management. How did I manage to juggle multiple projects and things going on at one time?
Well, first I had to laugh a little. Then, I had to pat myself on the back for keeping things running even when the ship is barely afloat. We all run through seasons of being busy. I am currently in one of those seasons but I am so grateful that this season is filled with being busy with things I really enjoy and am passionate about.
Everyone handles busyness differently, but here are a few of my tips and tricks.
First and foremost, every week that I make out my calendar, I have to see some yellow blocked out. With my calendar being color coded, yellow is my color for self-care or activities that make me happy. Every week there has to be some kind of yellow on my weekly schedule. This can be as simple as taking a walk outside, buying a new book, getting a massage, anything that brings you some kind of happiness outside of work. This is important because if you are all work and no play, you will get burned out and fast.
I hand write my to do list. I have a running list of every single thing that I need to get done for work. This list is prioritized with what needs to be completed first. Once that item is completed, it gets marked off the list. There are many days when new items come in, and I will add them to the bottom of the list. Depending on what is added, I will re-write my to do list at the end of the day, making sure I know exactly what needs to be completed first. If I do not have a lot of new tasks that come in, then I will update my to-do list weekly.
When it comes to working, I work a couple different ways, depending on the flow of things.
I will sit down and focus solely on one task at hand for an hour. After the hour is up, I get up, walk around, stretch my legs and take a few minutes before I jump into the next task. This helps give my eyes a break from the computer.
If that task is not complete but does not need to be finalized that day, I move on to the next task and work on that for the next hour, just repeating the process all day.
There are two ways this changes up. If I have a task that has to be completed today, no if, ands or buts about it, then I still step away for those few minutes but then go right back to working on that task without jumping to another one.
Sometimes I get in a groove, if my creative juices are flowing and I am in the zone, then I will switch to batch working. I will basically spend a whole morning or afternoon, working on particular topics. For example, if I am in a writing mood, then I will go ahead and knock out as many blogs as I can. Sometimes when you are in the zone, it is better to stay locked in and knock out all the things you can.
Everyone works differently and if you feel like your ship is sinking, you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to try out some different working techniques, to see if it helps get things accomplished or with fatigue.
If you have tried all the options and nothing seems to be working, don’t be afraid to say “No” or ask for help. Say no, to any extra projects or things outside of your job duties that are asked of you until you have caught up. If you can, delegate some of your work out or ask for help from a colleague. If you work alone, take a step back and analyze everything you are doing, make sure the things you are working on are getting you to the overall goal.
Remember work is important, but so is your mental health!
Don’t be afraid to step away and take a break!
Share some love, we could all use a little more love