The summer has been amazing! I was only taking two courses for my PhD and I wasn’t teaching. So I really took advantage of my free days by napping, going to the pool, and relaxing. But now it’s time to go back to work and focus on being productive. I am expecting a seriously busy work and school year. I will be working on my competencies for my PhD, teaching and coordinating a course of 120 students, and going to the hospital one day a week with students. Plus, all my other commitments: committee work, this blog and my YouTube channel, my family and home, and so much more! So here is how I manage my time to ensure my house stays clean, I’m on top (and even ahead of my work), and still have time for fun things, like my blog and spending time with my family.
I live by my planner, which is by Kiki K and is an A5 size. It is where I keep my To Do lists, my weekly and monthly spreads, and my lists for blog posts and videos. It goes with me almost everywhere. I also like to keep post-its, a pair of scissors, and these Paper Mate pens (multi-color pack I have is from Wal-Mart) in a pouch in my bag. (Check back next week for a What’s in My Work Bag video!) I like to have post-its to write notes, reminders, and place on dates in my calendar before I formally write in the task.
While I am not a huge planner decorator, I do use washi and functional stickers to help plan. I like to plan out my month with my known meetings or tasks. I also write it down as soon as I have it scheduled so I don’t forget. Then each week (usually during the weekend) I plan for the week ahead by turning to my weekly spread and planning out my days.
I like to plan out each day with the basic necessary tasks, such as meetings, appointments, and household tasks. This summer I have created a cleaning schedule that has really been working, and I am hoping it will work during the school year. So at the bottom I have my home section where I list my cleaning chores, laundry, and grocery shopping (basically anything household). Above this I have a daily To-Do list. I usually don’t fill this out until the day before or day of. At the top of the page, I have my appointments and meetings. This week I had meetings almost everyday all day due to pre-planning. So any day I don’t have an appointment, I place a Remember checklist where I write down the tasks that need to be completed that week. These tasks include work, home, and school items. I try to make this list doable. I don’t want to stretch myself too thin and still feel productive.
I also make my daily To-Do lists realistically. I can’t do everything, and I still like to have down time to watch TV, eat meals, and social activities. My goals include always taking care of my house and ensuring my work is done. So these are the tasks I make sure I do no matter what. A lot of my work can carry over from day to day, so I do divide up my tasks into segments that can be manageable in that day.
Another major tip I have is to make time for yourself. This allows you to have some peace and enjoy a part of your day. The time you allocate to this depends on your day and what you see as necessary to stay sane. For me, every evening I cut out some me time to do my skin care. I make sure I never go to bed with my makeup on and do my full ten step skin care routine to feel a little bit like a pampered princess. Other me time suggestions are doing a 20 minute face mask, giving yourself a manicure (or, go to the salon!), or reading a book or watching an episode of your favorite TV show. Whatever you need to slow down, relax, and prep for the next busy day.
I hope a look into how I manage my time helps you to take a look at your routine and improve your productivity. Let me know what your time management tips are!