I work 14 to 18 hours a day, sometimes more and feel like I can never get caught up. Does this sound familiar? We are a society that is resplendent in electronics and quicker forms of communication, yet we are all busier than ever. Many of us want to do more in less time. In all honesty, it is possible.
In October, the BlogPaws Pet Blogger Influencer challenge will focus on working smarter, not harder. Personally, I tend to be a bit of a workaholic. The allure of “let me check in just one more time before bed” rears its ugly head now and again. If you work from home and/or have a home office, the bait is there and ripe for the taking. Cell phones allow us to check in anywhere, any place, any time. This does not make it right.
My challenge to you for October is to work smarter, lay the foundation for new habits in working less hours in the day, while still accomplishing the doable goals you set for yourself. Join me and Robbi Hess as we present this challenge in the BlogPaws Community starting October 1st.
Here are 10 tips to help you work smarter in less time and get a jump start on the challenge:
1) Decide at the start of each day how many hours you are going to devote to work that day: If you are committing to 8 hours, then at the end of 8 hours, walk away. Period. Turn the phone off, the tablet powered down, and shut the office door. If you need an accountability partner, ask a friend, spouse, or someone you can trust who isn’t online.
2) Make a daily list segmented by parts of the day: I used to keep an hourly calendar, and in some respects I still do: For appointments and calls. However, I schedule my morning into tasks, afternoon into tasks, and even my evening into tasks. Don’t overbook!
3) Infuse relax and away time into your tasks: I schedule dog walks, dog play sessions, park time, exercise time, tv and dinner time, and shower time into my work week. By committing to it, I can ensure that time for me and my family is included in the list. It sounds a bit extreme, but it keeps me balanced.
4) Delegate. Are you trying to blog outside of working a full time job? Allocate the time for blogging. Realize how many hours it takes to write a post and include the research into the posts. If you are unable to accomplish everything you want in the course of a day, it’s time for help. Hire a virtual assistant. Seriously: Is working 16 hour days worth your mental and/or physical health?
5) Automate: Tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck allow for scheduling of posts. You can use Buffer as well. Just remember to engage with fans and followers. There is nothing worse than feeling like someone genuinely does not care .We have become a society of auto tweets and timed posts. This is fine, but don’t lose the social in social media.
6) Be a human being instead of a human doing all the time: routine, structure, authority, and strict rules of time have become the norm in society. Being nonstop busy does not equate with a healthy life. Consider making changes in your life: from remote working/telecommute, flexible hours, and the job of your dreams.
7) Determine what is really needed to get things done in your job: Set limits. Cut your must do tasks by 20 percent, as an example. Identify what must get done and what can be done another time, if at all. Do what must be done first and eliminate what only seems necessary. You’d be surprised how much you don’t need to do.
8) Communication tasks can suck a day dry: Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – email: Social media can pull you in like a vortex and not let go. How many times have you started on a task on Facebook and then an hour goes by (or more)? Ugh, right? I love what Robbi Hess does: Set a clock and stick to that clock. She has a timer on her desk. I don’t use a phone with its timer feature because the phone has an allure to it. We want to wander off and do other things. Make a schedule and stick to it. It’s that simple.
9) Set a timer for 90 minutes to finish a small project. When the timer sounds, you can’t continue working on it, so think fast and don’t waste time. I love this tip because what is not done in 90 minutes just does not get done.
10) These all sound great, but what about full time work where you don’t necessarily have the freedom to work less? For starters, watch the people you associate with at work. Co-workers can have an impact on your overall state of mind. Thee are co-workers who are constantly stressed out and do a lot of complaining. Be mindful and instead choose to hang out with people who are supportive and kind. Talk with your boss if you are truly overworked.
Knowing how to manage time and stay organized are two of the major complaints we hear from bloggers. Can’t wait to get started with the October challenge? Click here for more time management tips from Robbi Hess.
And click here to join the BlogPaws Pet Blogger Influencer Group.
What is your biggest challenge in terms of time management?