How many times in, let's say a week, do you exclaim to yourself or someone else (or something else, if that's how you roll, I'm not judging), "I need more hours in my day!"? Well, if you are anything like me you probably say this quite a bit. Lately I've been feeling this way even more than usual. Maybe more than ever before. With a full time job, this blog, a side project, my social life (which I'm trying not to lose!), and taking care of my body and mind, plus all the traveling I've been doing I really can't seem to find the time to get everything done. So, in the past month I've started to adopt some new habits that are helping me better manage my time and I think they might help you too.
1) use a planner
Last month, after months of searching, I found the perfect planner. The large 17-month florabunda agenda from ban.do (which is sadly sold out, but here's the smaller version). It's big, it has lots of space for notes, a full month calendar, but also a weekly calendar so I have more space to plan out my days. Plus it came with stickers and has lots of really cute illustrations throughout. I've also had friends who recommend the Day Designer planner and this one is pretty fun as well. But, regardless of what kind you get the important thing is that you have something to help you plan out your busy days in an organized manner. Which brings me to habit #2.
2) create a schedule
In my trusty bando planner I'm able to set up a schedule for my weeks. I usually write down my schedule a week at a time so I'm not planning too far ahead for things that are probably daily tasks, like paying bills, emailing people back, or looking for a new mirror on Craigslist (yes, these are actually random things I need to do this week). Unless of course there are bigger things I know I need to get done later on or a big meeting coming up, then I'll go ahead and pencil it in. And don't get me wrong, I love a good list, but rather than just writing things down on a post-it, having those tasks as part of your schedule and intentionally setting days to accomplish certain items on said list is much more efficient. Also, scheduling serves as a great reminder to actually get done what needs to be done.
3) set some goals
I've never really been much of a goal-setter but thanks to Nicole and Pei I'm really starting to find so much value in intentionally setting and writing down my goals rather than just saying them out loud or thinking them to myself. I even started blogging monthly goals this month and am going to continue to do so. It's fun for me to have them written down somewhere so I'm better able to hold myself accountable to them. And there is definitely no limit to what kind of goals you can set. They can be small, medium, big, or gigantic and they can span from one day, to a week, a month, a year, or 5 years. Whatever you want. Just set them!
4) don't over-commit
Or as I like to call it, learn to say NO. I have to admit I have always had a difficult time doing this and I'm still very much struggling with it. I never want to miss out. FOMO is a real thing y'all and I got it bad. But honestly, lately I've really been trying harder to make sure I'm not doing all the things. The habits I've mentioned so far are helping me become better at this. Since I have a schedule in place and I know the goals I want to accomplish it's easier for me to know when I just can't attend that event or go out to brunch with friends. I know it hurts to say no to brunch but sometimes you just gotta do it. Life is real rough sometimes friends.
5) take a day
This is something that a lot of my girlfriends are really good at but I'm definitely not. I never take days to just do my own thing. Chelsea has recently decided to take one day a week to not work and I think that's super valuable. Having a day off helps all of our on days feel a little less exhausting. It's a day to look forward to and a day to recharge those giant batteries you've been overusing all week. Don't let those batteries die y'all. Give them a break from time to time!
I know these may seem super micromanage-y and uptight but they really do help me feel more at ease and pleased with my weeks. So I hope they will help you feel the same way because who doesn't want to feel better about each week. We only live once y'all... so we may as well use our time wisely!