time management tips

Are you struggling to manage your time effectively? You’re not alone. It can be super difficult to find a balance between your daily responsibilities; having a full-time job, being a parent, studying, spending time with loved ones, enjoying your hobbies. The struggle is real. 

Making sure you don’t get overhwelmed or burned out is crucial to keep yourself functioning sustainably. Here are our 5 top tips for our fellow busy women to help you effectively manage your time and make it all achievable! 

1. Effectively prioritize your tasks 

Most of us struggle with juggling too many responsibilities simply because we haven’t learned how to effectively prioritize our tasks. Well, no more! Say hello to your new best friend – the Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix is a super easy-to-use method that helps you rank your tasks based on urgency and importance. If your task is:

  • Urgent and important = do now 
  • Important, but not urgent = delay 
  • Urgent, but not important = delegate 
  • Not urgent and not important = delete 

Give it a go! You’ll be surprised how many tasks you can delegate! 

2. Break up your tasks into smaller milestones 

Tackling a big project or task can feel super intimidating and overwhelming, which is why we often end up procrastinating…

However, splitting bigger tasks into more bitesize chunks makes everything so much more manageable and achievable. To split your task up effectively, ask the following questions:

  • What are the specific actions involved in this task? These are your new milestones!
  • Which mini-tasks depend on another mini-task? Start with the tasks that have dependencies.
  • Which mini-tasks could I assign to others? Delegate these tasks to someone else to lighten the load – remember the Eisenhower Matrix!

Plus, once you’ve completed one mini-task, you’ll get that surge of motivation to move straight onto the next one, causing a chain reaction of microproductivity!

3. Use the time-blocking method 

Time-blocking is an extremely effective way to organize your tasks in the most time-efficient manner. All you have to do is:

  1. Group together tasks of a similar nature: e.g., responding to emails, making calls, family time, etc. 
  2. Create blocks of hours in your schedule for each group of tasks (depending on the number of tasks, these blocks can span 1-4 hours)

Not only will this method help maximize your focus time, but it will also minimize time wasted switching between multiple tasks!

4. Create an inspiring environment for yourself 

Although this may not seem like a time-management tip, it is! Your environment plays a huge impact on your focus time. Having a comfortable, designated space for you to be productive can majorly reduce the time you waste from getting distracted. 

Here are some ways your space can become more comfortable so that you can get in the zone:

  • Natural light: Studies have shown that having natural light in your working space can boost your productivity, so move your desk to a window!
  • Ergonomic chairs/furniture: Invest in an ergonomic chair that will reduce any discomfort and pains, so you are happy to sit and work for hours. 
  • Plants: Bring nature indoors with house plants, for a more relaxing environment that reduces your stress levels.
  • Inspiring objects: Keep yourself engaged and motivated with pieces around your space that inspire you; books, photographs, art, a vision board, etc. 
  • No clutter: We’ve all heard of the phrase “tidy space, tidy mind”. Keep your space clean to minimize distractions. 

Yep, all of the above will help you enter a state of “deep work”, so you can maximize the time you have to get everything done. 

5. Learn how to say “no”

If you want to maintain a sustainable balance between your responsibilities, then you need to learn how to set boundaries. 

The best way to do that? Saying “no”.

We get that saying no can be difficult if you’re not used to it. Here are some simple starting points to make it a little easier:

  1. Be confident in your refusal: If you are hesitant or try to soften your “no”, it will seem like there is room to change your mind. Be confident in your refusal to set clear boundaries. 
  2. Give your reasons: You don’t owe everyone an explanation why you’re saying no. However, using a relational account will help you to effectively show why you’re saying no – “Sorry, I can’t. If I do X, I won’t be able to do my current task Y properly.”
  3. Turn it into a positive: Saying “no” doesn’t have to be totally negative! You can offer a positive spin on the situation, for example, suggesting who else could help with the task instead. 

The key thing is that you should never feel guilty for saying no. Setting these boundaries will have an incredible impact on your long-term success!