Ever since I was way younger, I was a master of time planning. Back when I opened my blog, I had control over my own responsibilitie, and thats when I encountered the importance of correct time management. First I had to balance my life between blog & school, then as time went by, It got more and more complex – getting into the army, taking on more jobs, making new friendships and being in relationships. All of those gradually piled up, and as I wanted to do it all together, I taught myself some time managing methods that really made a difference.
In this article I’m going to quickly show you how I roll. It’s a way of living; making sure you know whats coming every week or so, who you’re meeting, and what you have to do. But I do have to make one other thing clear: My goal when I do this is to get a more balanced life, something that I just recently learned. Making time for myself became equally important to me as completing tasks, which gives me a lot of joy and makes me emotionally balanced. I hope that when you read this, you listen to my tips but also listen to yourself and what you’re capable of handling. Other than staying healthy, its the more correct way to manage time. enjoy!
First things first: work with a calendar
Get into the habit of working with a calendar. I put everything in my iPhone calendar, big or small: meetings, things to do, workouts, places to go, dinners, lunches, breakfasts. If you do that, you never forget things you planned or have to do, and it lets you plan your time and get everything done as you hoped for. You get a visual of what your week is going to look like – and this is the key to everything that follows – now you just have to play it right, move things around, and prioritize.
The way I like prioritize, is in categories. Category 1 – things that absolutely can’t be canceled or moved. Category 2 – things that can’t be cancelled but can be moved. Bulk 3 – Things that are important and fun but need to go in according to time limits, and my mood (they can be cancelled).
Category 1: Top Priority
as I said, this category refers to important things that cant be cancelled or moved. For me, Its the army (= job) which I have to attend from sunday to thursday, 08:30-17:00. Next in this category is therapy, which I attend once a week. and last – my free time on saturday – just a day when I like to rest and not plan a thing. (I told you, the goal here is to be more balanced, which is the key to being productive).
You should sit down with yourself and think carefully what are 2-3 most important things for you (or things that cant be moved such as army or job). These activities take first place – any other tasks, in categories 2 & 3 are built accordingly.
Category 2: VIP Priority
This category refers to important things that cant be cancelled, but are more flexible. For example – to me, studying for the SAT is in this category. It is super important to me, I have to do it, but its not set in stone for me. I decided that I will study twice a week – on Sundays and Wednesdays after the army. I try not to book anything else on these two days but if something has to take place, I’ll study on a different day. My blog for example has a spot on this category. Sadly, because I would really want it to be a first priority, but I’m just being real with what I can and cannot do.
Here you should choose something that is very important to you, but can be manageable. Studying is a good option, but it can also be a workout you don’t want to miss, a side job, a hobby (such as painting) or a habit (such as writing or reading). Choose 1-2.
Category 3: nice to have (really)
this includes friends, going out, dinners, working out, etc. The fact that these join category 3 doesn’t mean they don’t take central stage in my life, its just that they’re super flexible and can go anywhere.
I try to make these plans ahead but I also change them along the way, as much in advance as I can so I don’t cancel on my friends last minute. I also try to be somewhat spontaneous; if I see that I finished my work or studying early, or that they are not too urgent, then fuck yeah – I shall go to dinner. If you only say yes to work and tasks, and not for having fun, you’re just not playing right.
Overall, I like my week to look somewhat like this:
This is just a basic overview, so that you can have an outline of the main things that are happening. You always need to have a grip on whats important, whats less important, and what you just feel like doing.
or you can fill it up yourself like this:
I love using lists and templates and to do sheets and alllll that stuff. Other than being ridiculously satisfying & fun, it actually helps me organizing all the things I need to do. I made this template myself, you can just save it & print!
Or you can buy ones from amazon, my absolute favorite ones are from knocknock :
1.listen to yourself. If you’re planning too much, its just not fun anymore. I personally sin in this area quite a lot, I find myself booking things in advance and forget to just live, not run after time.
2.Note on relationships: they take time. It is a task to try to combine it all together, but you don’t need to give up on your other life in order to be in one. Even though they are time consuming, if you just stay chill and keep on doing your thing, the right relationship will just fall into a place that suits your time and where you are in life. There’s a stigma going around in trying to combine work&love, that makes us scared of the commitment, but its all just about how you take it – you shouldn’t fear of having one.