Random Inspirations

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Five Fabulous Time Management Tips

on November 8, 2012

In my advanced novel writing course, my first assignment was to send an introductory email to my instructor. After reading about all my hobbies and activities, my instructor, YA author Nancy Butts, humorously emailed back that she wondered how I get any sleep! She suggested that I write a book about time management. Even the best time manager couldn’t figure out how to to write two manuscripts simultaneously, so I’m blogging about it instead.

Here are my five tried-and-true time management tips.

  1. Limit Your Facebook Time. I’m not even on Facebook. While you needn’t go that far, just be aware that it can drain your time. Worse yet, it can demotivate you if you fall into the trap of comparing your achievements to those of others. I’m reading a fascinating book, Meg Jay’s The Defining Decade, that discusses this very phenomenon, but we’ll save that for another time. For now, simply keep in mind that even Mark Zuckerberg would probably admit that Facebook can be a major time-suck.
  2. Block out Your Days. Try dividing your days into hourly blocks, with specific things you want to accomplish in each block. Go a step further and write a checklist. There’s something about making a neat check mark next to a completed task that ignites your desire to achieve even more.
  3. Write Goals. We’ve all heard of SMART goals (i.e. those that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound), so use them! Write down a list of goals every week, and celebrate when you achieve them. Having a clear vision of where you want to go will keep you focused and time-savvy while you get there…and that feels smart!
  4. Have a Support System. Make sure your family and friends are on the same page with your time-management goals. Ideally, they will respect your goals and help you meet them. We all pick up on the energy of our nearest-and-dearests–make sure your exchanges are positive!
  5. Set Aside Time to Rest. Don’t be so overzealous in your time management that you forget to recharge your batteries. Tired people are horrible at time management; you can’t be efficient when you feel like you’re about to pass out, and jacking yourself up with coffee is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. Take the time to go out with friends, book a massage, or just sleep for eight hours straight–you’ll accomplish much more when you’re fresh.

Hope these tips are helpful to you! If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to check off another item on my list. (Only half joking:)

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3 responses to “Five Fabulous Time Management Tips

  1. johncoyote says:

    Great wisdom in your words. Leaders need time to think out the options.

  2. […] Pencil Writing into Your Schedule – I still remember a poster that hung in one of my high school classrooms. It said, ” We always make time for what’s truly important.” I don’t know who originally said it, but I do know that I’ve lived by it. If writing is truly important to you, you just have to make time for it! Ask yourself where you have little gaps in your schedule. That hour at night when you watch TV? Turn it into writing time. That half hour train ride to work when you usually doze or check Facebook? Ditto. Transform random idle pieces of time here and there into writing time, and you’ll have a novel before you know it. For more time-management ideas, check out this post on my blog archives: Five fabulous time management tips. […]

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