Are you organised? Or do you like to think you’re organised but actually you’re living in chaos? If you’re a yes person like I am, you can often suddenly find yourself swamped with a never-ending to-do list, no time and absolutely no idea how you got yourself the disorganised state. It doesn’t need to be this way, you can still take on things and be organised, it’s an area I’ve come to master by know how to time management myself.
It’s okay to say yes… but don’t forget to say no
Firstly, I’ve got to say this because I’m a complete sucker for it, but you can say no. I’m super positive and want to help people, to which I’ve found myself agreeing and offering to take on more tasks than I can actually manage… let me give you an example. Below is my list of current life status
- Full time job
- Personal training course
- Video creation
- Training for 12 in 12 challenges
- Dog Mama
- SAS Community Lead
- Freelance digital marketing consultant
Quite a big chunk of ‘stuff’ going on, wouldn’t you agree? Somehow I have juggled it all… but some things I’ve simmered down and others I’ve had to straight out say no to doing. My mindset is if I can’t do something at 100% of my ability I shouldn’t do it. If it is going to make me tired and fatigue because I’m stretching my resources too thin, I have to say no, whether I want to or not.
Log your time
At one point when I had taken on lots and started to feel overwhelmed, I couldn’t quite figure out where my time was going. I downloaded an app called Toggl, which essentially is a good starting point to figure out where all your time is going and will help you become organised. I only used it for a week because you need to stop and start whenever you do something different. For example, I perhaps would think I only watch an hour of TV to wind down after work, when actually it could have been more like two hours. What else could I have done with that hour? Work on my blog, do some household tasks? Exactly. Are you actually using your time efficiently? Looking at your time is the first step to becoming organised.
There is so much going on I pre-plan my hours. This may seem a bit too regimented, but at the weekends I found (after using Toggl) I wasn’t using my time in the best way possible. I put in a schedule to keep to every weekend, for example between 7.30-8.30 I need to get up and walk the dog, 8.30-9.30 I need to sort the washing and do hoovering, 9.30-10.00 have breakfast, 10.00-13.00 work on my website… and so forth. Some may absolutely hate this, but the polite reminder from my linked Google calendar does keep me on track.
Keep it classic and get organised
I love to be digital but I’m still a big fan of having an organiser with me at all times. Don’t you just find having something written on paper helps in a visual sense? Also, the gratification of putting a line through an item on a to-do list is an awesome feeling – don’t you agree? I personally do, because for things at work where I have meetings, or someone asks me to do something, I’ll immediately write it down.
On a Sunday evening before the week, I’ll look in my organiser to prepare me for what is ahead. I tend to find all meetings and to-do lists work better for me on paper, as you’re not reliant on your phone, you have a physical copy. My personal stuff to do with my blog somehow works better for me being on digital from Google calendars. I’ve got a Filofax* because it doesn’t expire like a diary, I can buy the additional pages that suit my personal needs such as additional sheets for making notes or an updated diary. I swear by this method, so do consider getting yourself a good diary too… plus who doesn’t love stationary like this?!
Just be realistic with your time
The main takeaway message, if you’re reading this feeling completely exhausted and all over the shop, is just to be realistic with your time. What can you physically do without A. making yourself poorly and B. impacting on your personal life. If one of these things happens, then you need to look at what you can cut back on, but do log your time for a week or two on Toggl to see where your time is going, and develop from there.