There is so much in our lives that we want to have time for, every single day. Cooking meals, exercising, working, hanging out with friends, with family, traveling, self care, sleep and a lot more. But in reality, 24 hours just doesn’t cut it to get all of that done. But you can find ways to manage your your time and your life so that everything you want to get done can happen.
Like I said, there’s only 24 hours in a day so we all got to have some priorities. What takes precedence in your life? What combination of things you want to get done can you fit in a day to make that day fulfilling? Below I have some questions to find your top priorities.
What are your goals? What are your priorities based off of them?
Long term, short term, what are your goals? (Click here to read my comparison between short term and long term goals, and the power of goals.) If your goals are to eat healthier,(this is a very vague goal, you would definitely want to go more in-depth) than maybe your priorities are for meal making time. If you want to become stronger, then maybe your priorities are for making time to go to the gym. Figure out your goals, and what needs to be a priority for you to accomplish them.
How much extra time do you spend doing things that don’t matter?
Social media, mindless searching for memes on the internet, staring into space, social media. No, it is not a mistake that I put social media twice. Social media and our phones in general take up so much time in our day that we could be using to get stuff done. That mindless scrolling is only ruining our lives, one liked photo at a time. To counteract this, use your calendar. Put everything at a certain time, so are forcing yourself to do that task.
Remember, we need time to be lazy
I know I spent an entire paragraph telling you to get your butt of the couch, but it is important to remember that we are human. Rest, relaxation and overall laziness are a part of us. We need to make sure that while we have plenty of space in our calendar for work, we also have enough space for self care to make sure that each day is happy, productive and meaningful.
What of your priorities can work together?
This is a simple question to help you organize your day. I suggest putting an active to-do next to a work related to-dos. You can also batch your to-dos and do similar tasks closer together.
Thank you for reading! Check out these related posts!
Being a well rested version of you is always the best version to be. Sleep is so important in so many ways, your skin, your health, your growth, don’t slack on. Sometimes it is hard to to control the amount of sleep you get, but getting enough sleep whenever you can is so important.
2. Smile more, at anyone
Smiling can do wonders for your attitude at approach. Everything can just seem so much lighter and happier if you just smile. Having a good attitude really improves who you are overall. Smile when you first wake up, smile at strangers, just don’t let it get you down if they don’t smile back.
3. Drink more water
Water is amazing. Simply put, amazing. Read here about all the ways drinking more than enough water can improve your life.
4. Turn a negative into a positive
Just like there is always some bad in a situation, there is always some good. It is just the matter of which your eyes are drawn too, and which you seek out. You can definitely change your mindset and your life if you learn to seek out the positives in any situation, that way there is always hope that you can improve and be better.
5. Be grateful
Gratefulness is such as amazing way to improve yourself. It allows you to be way more in tune with the universe so you can manifest what you want, and it also has mental and physical benefits too. I highly suggest reading this post, to learn how to use gratitude most effectively, in a journal.
Social media is trying its hardest these days to drag people down and make them hate themselves, and get so involved in a fake world. This means social media can be dangerous. Unplugging from technology for a certain period of time can help your mind reset, it can help your mental health and it can help you learn more about yourself.
7. Read and learn
How can you be the best version of yourself if you aren’t learning and sharpening your mind? Learning is so important for your future, and improving yourself. The only way to become the best version of you is to improve yourself, and since you can read to learn about almost anything, reading is one of the best ways to become a better you.
8. Talk to someone, let it out
Often times we bottle everything up inside of us, not giving ourselves a chance to deal with any of our pent up emotions and thoughts. Talking to someone close to you can really help you deal with everything in your mind that is holding you back. Sometimes it might feel like you have no one to talk to, then I suggest you do a brain dump. Write it out, or even speak into a recording.
Clean space means a clear mind. If you have a lot on your mind, odds are your home is cluttered and disorganized, reflecting your life. There are so many ways to stay organized, decluttering, physically, mentally and digitally, and one of my favorites, lists. Check out this post for the best ways to stay organized.
10. Learn how to be more productive and have better time management
Learning something like productivity and time management can come from experience, books, blog posts, and so much more. They are super important skills to have to be the best version of you. Click here to see my best time management tips, and click here for some very productive habits.
Get strong, both mentally and physically through exercise. There are so many ways to exercise, some super calming and great for the mind like yoga, and some more taxing on the body like lifting weights. Exercise just means getting your body moving, and becoming a stronger, better version of you.
12. Set goals
If nobody has dreams, aspirations or goals, nobody would do anything. We wouldn’t progress as a society. But there is a difference between saying “I want to get rich” and saying “in five years my bank account will contain $5,000,000.” A big difference. The first is just a dream, nothing tangible. But the second is a goal, that you can work towards, you can break it down into parts, and make a plan. That is what I mean by setting goals. Workable dreams.
13. Say no and set boundaries
I am fortunate enough that I have not had a problem with saying no, but I am friends with some yes-sayers. It’s an awful habit to have and to break. You feel guilty when you don’t say yes to everything people ask you do to, but you feel miserable because your own sense of self is getting lost and you are being swamped by things you don’t want to do. The easiest way to stop this is to set some boundaries. How much time each day/week will you spend doing things for someone else? You can make boundaries like this that are clear practical, and you can also make boundaries simply saying I will politely decline anything I don’t want to do.
14. Stop comparing
Comparing is awful. It ruins the part of you that is truly unique and beautiful by plaguing it with thoughts and comparisons of someone else. You are beautiful inside and out, and you have or you can get what you want and need. Focus on yourself and who you are instead of others.
15. Calm your mind
My favorite ways to calm my mind are meditation and yoga. I am not very good and having a clear, calm mind, so meditation and yoga (wellness in the Sims ;)) are not very easy for me. But they are skills you can get better at, and I plan on doing just that. I really suggest this because the benefits can spread across your entire life, making you a much better version of yourself.
Online school can make deadlines super confusing to keep track of. To solve this issue get an academic planner to keep track of all your deadlines, and always keep it updated. My planner has a monthly calendar, along with daily to-do’s. Make sure to frequently check for updates from your teachers to keep your planner updated. I have found that the times when assignments are due can be a lot more fluid during online classes, so remember to also write down the due times.
Don’t separate online classes from real classes in your head
Just because you are at home during your class does not mean that this class is any different from a real class. A class is not easier just because it is online. It also does not have less impact on your overall school experience. I definitely feel more involved in my classes when they are at school and I am in the right environment, but the classes still matter for your overall school experience.
Have a good at home study space
This does not mean your bed. There is no instance where your bed is a good at home study space, unless there is no other option. The characteristics of a good at home study space are that it is decluttered, it has almost nothing that is not academic related, all of your necessary stationary are on it, it is away from distractions like your family, you have everything you will need for class, and you are able to sit or stand in a position where you are alert and comfortable. Make sure all of your papers are organized, and keep your planner close.
Remove as many distractions as possible
When I think of distractions during class, I think of mainly my family, and other technology. The first can’t be helped, we are at home after all. But the second can be dealt with. Unless you truly need it or can’t be without it, put your phone in a different room. If it needs to be by you, then put it on do not disturb. Not only is a phone buzzing super distracting, it is so easy to get lost in the social media vortex and miss important parts of your lesson. Phone time can be a reward for studying and paying attention, but try to keep it away from you during your classes.
Engaging, asking questions, these are all a part of participation. Participation might not just help out your grade, it will also make your environment feel a lot more like school. Online classes make “drifting away,” way too easy. Engagement will help you feel apart of the class and not so far away. It may not seem important, but participation can impact your grade, so I highly suggest your stay focused and engaged throughout your lessons.
Learn how to deal with the basic tech issues that might come up
Being tech-savvy is now more important than ever. Out of everything on this list, this is probably the hardest for me to do. I happen to have a really tech-savvy dad, but if there is no one around you that can help, find someone in your class or one of your teachers that can help you to learn how to deal with tech issues. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help, being this is your education on the line! It is just like asking a question when school was in person.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or get clarification
If you have a question or are confused by something, ask the teacher! It is way too easy to fall behind or never completely learn something in an online class. You may believe that what you don’t know will eventually sort itself out, but this might not even happen before you see it on a test! Due dates and times can also change on a teachers whim, so to make sure you always have the most up to date information, don’t be afraid to ask questions or get clarification.
Find ways to keep your motivation
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know for me online class is super-duper boring. They are missing all the fun parts of school! So one of the biggest issues is how to keep your motivation. Don’t do everything all at once, take breaks. Also reward yourself! I have made a habit to go jump on my trampoline for as long as I want after I finish a day of online school. Find a motivator that works for you, and also helps you get some exercise after a very long day.
Online classes are very tough, and so different from in person, but if you follow these tips and stay focused, you can still get good grades and make the most out of your classes!
IF you have read any of my time management posts you know that I value the effectiveness of time blocking. But what you might not know is that I am also very bad at it. I do not like having a set schedule for everything in my day. I call it being a “free spirit,” but in reality for me it’s closer to laziness. Time blocking is a very important piece of having an organized productive day, so I suggest you try to make it a habit like I am.
Make a to-do list
Time blocking starts with figuring out what you actually need to block time out for. The best way to do this is with a to-do list. Think of everything you need to get done, for the time period you had chosen. If you are planning out your day, make a daily to-do list. If you are time blocking for a week, make a weekly to-do list. I do not suggest you plan for any time period longer than that, because it is harder to come up with all the to-do’s. Make sure your to-do’s are as specific as you can make them.
Figure out how long each task will take
Look back over your very specific to-do’s. Figure out how long each task will take. I suggest adding an extra 5-10 minutes to your estimate, just in case. I speak from experience that it is super stressful when you go over the time limit you set for yourself, you start feeling like a failure. There is also not a better feeling when you finish your task in less time than you allotted. Do this for every task.
Put time in your calendar for things you know you will do or have to do
This includes meetings, lunch with friends, traffic, and anything else that is not a to-do, but has to happen at a certain point. These events are the building blocks of your schedule. Don’t miss a single event.
Find a space in your calendar for your top to-do’s
Depending on how much time you have remaining, the amount of top to-do’s you have will be different. I usually chose to put the three-five most important and urgent tasks on my to-do list into my calendar. Some factors you should take into consideration is that you would want to put your hardest task first, and put your easier tasks in between tough meetings. Think carefully when you are planning out your day, keep in mind your own limits.
From the remaining time put some self-care activities in
Never forget to take care of yourself. Sometimes self-care can seem like a drag, but I have a great post you can find here on how to self-care with no effort. In between your tasks, make sure to put some self-care activities in to make sure your days remain fun and healthy.
Set a timer
Raise a hand if you get forgetful and then have to rush to get into whatever meeting or class you are late to. *Raises hand.* Yah. Timers have saved me. I suggest if you are the least bit forgetful you set a timer for a minute or so before your next time block begins. This will give you time to prepare, and to get into the right mindset.
Thank you for reading my post! Leave comment what your biggest obstacle is for having good time management! I also suggest you check out other posts on my site and my Pinterest!
Way to much we tell ourselves that we aren’t worthy to live our best life, we aren’t worthy to improve, and grow, and learn. But what we need to learn is that our greatest critic is ourself. Our feelings of low self-worth our caused by us, and they can be overcome by us.
Decide to be in a good mood right when you get up
That first moment you open your eyes will impact your entire day. Saying right when you get up, “today will be an amazing productive day” can benefit you so much. Also smile. A lot. Smiling lights people up from the inside. It is what we instinctively do if something is funny or makes us happy. Bring those emotions to the top by smiling and feeling joy. Start your day with positive thoughts and positive vibes. Don’t let your day be ruined with your first though being, “ugh, I have to live another boring day today,” take the lead and create an amazing day.
Let all the positives fill your mind
Let yourself obsess over the positives. Let your gratitude, hope, love, joy, freedom and everything you love about yourself fill you up. Stop looking for flaws within yourself, and see all the beauty. Everyone has flaws. Embrace them as a part of yourself. Compliment yourself and remind yourself of your amazingness every single day.
What does journaling positively mean? It means using bright colors and bright highlighters, but it also means journaling about positive topics, such as what you are grateful for and the best parts of your day. Remember to highlight the good, because like attracts like. The more you focus on good in your life, the more good will come. I do realize that venting about the bad can help ease your pain, but if you follow it with focusing on the good, that will also ease your pain.
Do not force yourself to be alone
No matter who you are or what you have done, no one should be alone. I understand that letting people in is harder for some than others, but find that clan. Those people you can truly trust with everything. Those are the people that will build up your self esteem. Let them shower you with praise, and accept that praise. Finding friends that will laugh with you and let you be yourself is a huge step in finding self-worth.
Nourish and support your body
Your body thrives off of healthy fruits, vegetables, outside time, self-care, exercise, learning. These tasks are just some of the tasks that will help you grow and become a stronger version of yourself. Your body will better support you if you better support it. Remember while these tasks may seem like a drag in the beginning, if you do them enough they can become beautiful parts of your day.
Live only in the moment
Don’t spend your valuable time hanging on to the past or worrying about the future. Spend your time focusing on the present and the beauty of everything around you. What can you do in this moment to make yourself happier? The past is over now. You can’t change it, you can’t alter it. The future hasn’t happened yet. The only way to change what’s going to happen in your future is to change your present. What is the best path to take, right now?
Have times when you unplug
Stepping away from the negative and toxic environment of technology can start to stimulate your mind to think more positive thoughts. The whole environment of social media can destroy someones self-worth. This does not mean all parts of social media are bad, there are parts that are beautiful and great for your self-worth, but you need a break from those parts too. Take some time to be in the present and in your real world.
This calendar should be bigger and broader, because it is for the big picture. I also recommend using a weekly more specific calendar throughout the month. On this calendar you should keep track of everything that changes month-to-month, like appointments and ac activities. If you have a long term project, I suggest planning out on your calendar which days you will work on your project to get it done with maximum efficiency. I suggest an aesthetically pleasing planner such as this one.
2 Create or update your budget
If you don’t have a monthly budget, now is a great time to create one! This is not a big daunting task that it may appear to be, simply make a two column list with one side being your expected monthly incomes and the other side with your expected monthly expenses. As the month goes on, make sure to keep it as accurate as possible. As months pass this will get easier and more accurate, and you can improve your budget by going into more detail.
3. Set monthly goals
This is incredibly important to do every month. Setting goals will help you narrow down what you want to spend your time on and include in things like your dream board. Goals help remind you of what you want to accomplish. Keep your goals somewhere you can see them easily, like your dream board or your computer/phone back drop. Use what you learned from last months goals on what you can accomplish, and build off of them.
4. Do your digital organization
This is a digital age, and digital clutter may be just as bad for us physically and mentally as physical clutter. This makes digital organization super important, so I highly suggest you do a deep digital cleaning at least every month, if not every other week. Go through your files and your folders, but also your photos and your texts. If you haven’t texted someone in over a month or more, then I suggest just getting rid of the chat, until you need to send another one time message.
5. Make a monthly to-do list based off of your goals, that can be separated into weekly to-do’s
Look back on those goals you wrote, they are the end results. The path to these goals is lined by these to-do’s. They are big to-do’s that are the steps to reaching your monthly goals. These to-do’s should be able to be separated into weekly to-do’s, which can then be separated into daily to-do’s. Keep this plan for your goals as easily visible as your actual goal list.
6. Do a deep clean
The best way to approach a monthly cleaning is to make a list of all the cleaning tasks you have to get done each month. This list might include cleaning the shower, the sink, cleaning out the fridge, and getting to places that don’t usually get a lot of attention, like the ceiling fan. Having a deep cleaned home will help you start the month right. You also won’t have to worry about cleaning any of those hard to reach places throughout the month!
7. Do a general meal plan
What are the main meals you want to include into your day-to-day meals? You can plan things like having avocado toast on Mondays and Fridays, and oatmeal with strawberries on Tuesday’s and Thursdays for two weeks, or one week or the entire month. What are some great dinner recipes you want to create? A general meal plan does not need to be specific in the least, but it should be the backbones of your meals throughout the month.
Nothing helps you find peace of mind more than meditation. In our current distressing times, peace of mind is very hard to come by. But there are small ways we can make our time at home restful, positive and productive, and meditation is one of them. Meditation apps like Balance are very helpful and offer a full range of guided meditations, but every now and then taking a break to clear your mind and do some deep breathing will be very beneficial during these times.
Most of us have a lot more time on our hands now that we are home. Why don’t we use that time for something creative, and joyful. As I talk about in this post, creativity is almost essential for a great day. A bullet journal is something you can look back on and be proud of. Let all your hopes, dreams, and inner manifestations out into a journal, and get lost in the creative process.
Get your body moving and your spirit flowing! Yoga is a relaxing, beneficial way of exercise, and is perfect for any level. My favorite online yoga center is doyogawithme.com. I have found many great free classes there. Just a little will help you rejuvenate your body and help your mind work better. Not just boosting your mind, yoga is stress relieving and very beneficial for your future self. They will thank you later when you add yoga to your routine!
I love working outside because there is beautiful nature. But even if you live in an apartment in a city and you decide to work on the roof, you are boosting your mood and helping yourself be healthier. In these times we are getting way less outside time than normal. Being outside for your work time will allow you to get those mood boosts and nutrients that you would get without trying pre-quarantine. Go outside for at least one work session per day, or even week, and see your mood boost.
Going for a walk
Now is a great time to learn new things about the area we live in, and experience nature. Many people find amazing gems in there area that they never knew existed because they were always to on-the-go to appreciate their own area. Taking a walk is exercise, and for those of you who find working out boring, this is the form of exercise for you! (Along with yoga.) See knew things, and get your step count up.
I know that fantasy is not everyone’s favorite genre, but it sure is mine. There is something so amazing about experiencing a world that is not your own, especially in these times. I realize that Netflix could cover that, but there is nothing like reading an amazing book about an amazing world. Please, if you don’t know what to read, leave a comment! I have SO MANY suggestions. (Rangers Apprentice, Keeper of the Lost Cities, Ender’s Game, these are just the ones that came to me while writing this. The School of Good and Evil, these all are series with at least five books,) and so many more.
You might have noticed that Netflix and snacking were not on here. While treating yourself is important, they are not very helpful in staying productive. Don’t get caught up in bad habits that you get a simple rush from so you think they are positive. Thank you for reading!
TedTalks cover so many topics, but in the self-improvement category, there are so many interesting ones. Below you will find the TedTalks that have changed my life the most, and I believe they will do the same for you.
Barry’s TedTalk points out something that I have never thought about before. His take on our modern world and all of our oppurtunities is very interesting, and everything he says can be used to be a happier healthier person. Overall he says that the more choices we have, the sadder and less satisfied we are. The key to happiness is to… well you will have to watch it to find out. 😉
This TedTalk is one of the most watched TedTalk of all time, and it is no surprise. Shawn Anchor spills a lot of beans on the secret to happiness and a successful career, while being hilarious. He says that while our whole society revolves around, “if I get this, then I’ll be happy,” when it should be, “I will be happy, and then I will get this.” I highly suggest this talk.
This TedTalk is super insightful. Anne sat down right before her 61st birthday and decided to write down everything she knows for sure. These 12 truths dive deep into our world and ourselves and open up a whole new realm of thoughts and possibilities. Please watch it, and take notes! A lot of us could learn from a 60-year-old, who has had a lot of experience on this planet.
This TedTalk deals (very hilariously) with an issue many of us face. The work life balance. Through many stories and jokes, Nigel tells us about what we can do to attain balance in life. It is all about the small things. This TedTalk is short and to the point, and reveals a very helpful truth.
This has got to be THE funniest and maybe the most helpful TedTalk I have ever watched. (Some on this list might beat it for helpfulness, but none beat it for humor and clarity.) Tim Urban uses hilarious drawings to illustrate an issue millions, maybe billions of us face on a daily basis. Procrastination. He speaks as a procrastinator, helping us through the issue. If there is one TedTalk you should watch on this list, it would be this one, especially for the procrastinators out there.
Please watch all of these TedTalks and use them to change your life! I love TedTalks and I highly suggest you watch even more than these. Thank you for reading!
As over-planners, the cause behind our over-planning is the belief that the more planning we do, the more successful we will be. While there is a lining of truth in this, this situation is not how it usually turns out because over-planning doesn’t lead to action. There is a point where all our planning is no longer productive and we are just wasting time and brain space. At some point we just need to start, and even if it is too early, at least we started some action.
Over-planning doesn’t allow you to be flexible
The more you plan the more attached you will become to your plan. The more time you spend creating and recreating your plan, the more indignant you will be about changing your plan. Overall, the more you over-plan, the less flexible you will be able to be when something happens that makes you go off the plan.
How to stop over-planning
Track how you spend your time
The first step is to know if you are over-planning at all. When you sit down to plan anything, take note of how you are spending your time. If you notice days, weeks or longer zoom right by without you getting past the planning stage, than you are definitely over-planning.
Be intentional with what you consume
Let’s take the example of when I first wanted to create a blog. I looked up all there was about blogging. I signed up for every blogging mailing list I could, I read every (free) ebook I could, and basically consumed a crap ton of information. Now I am definitely glad I did prior research, and learned enough about blogging, but I was basically drowning in information. At some point you just need to stop consuming and start doing. You learn more from trial and error than any ebook.
For a project such as starting a blog, there is no set time anyone is telling you that you need to have created your blog. This can lead to the easiest form of procrastinating, over-planning. Setting deadlines for yourself will ensure you only do what is necessary for each phase.
Break projects down
Breaking a big project into smaller pieces will be less overwhelming, allowing you to do less planning for each piece. Only do the planning for each specific piece so when all the pieces are planned you can get straight into the action.
This is the very basic to-do list. I’m sure many of us already have a basic to-do list. But your to-do list can end up inhibiting your productivity if you don’t include two key thing. Prioritizing, and the two minute rule. Sometimes it seems like your to-do list can stretch on for miles, and make you feel very overwhelmed. Prioritize the top three tasks you have to get done that day, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. For the two minute rule, anything that takes less than two minutes to do, just get it done. Reply to that email. Write that birthday card. Just get that all done.
2. Weekly to-do list
Your daily to-do lists aren’t doing anything for you if they are not leading to something. That is why you need a weekly to-do list for everything you need to get done in a week. You can split that up into seven days, and there you have it, the daily to-do lists that are actually getting you to your goals.
3. Goal lists (weekly, monthly, yearly)
But what goals? Don’t just have a huge yearly goal list, you need a plan to accomplish those goals. Split them up into bite-size chunks, by making a plan. To make this plan first split your yearly goals into twelve pieces which are your monthly goals. Then split each piece into four pieces, which are your weekly to-do lists. Now you have a plan for how to accomplish your large goals. Another option instead of a goal list is a goal journal. My favorite one is this amazing yearly goal tracking and achieving workbook.
4. Meal planning list
Keeping a running list of what your meals will be for the next 5-7 days is so helpful for staying organized. It ensures you know what groceries to buy, it ensures you know the nutrients you are getting and if you need more, and it prevents over eating because you will only have what you planned to eat in your fridge. Nothing more, nothing less. Just make sure you plan in desert. 😉
5. Budget list
In staying organized, you definitely want to keep track of the money going in and out of your bank account. Bills, paychecks, anything. Even if you are like me and all you get is a small allowance, still keep track of your money. You never know what could come up in the future.
6. Spending list
This closely relates to the budget list, except it doesn’t include your bills and regular payments. This list is for your spending. Are you spending more money on Amazon than on food? That would be a great thing to know. Then you figure out ways to limit your Amazon spending and have more money to put into savings.
7. Running grocery list
Like a daily to-do list, a grocery list is pretty common. But all too often we find ourselves forgetting things we need to get. To solve this, I suggest putting your grocery list somewhere easily accessible, for example on your fridge, so whenever you think of something you can add it on. Then when it is time to go to the store, you can just grab your grocery list and head out.
8. Emails to send and emails to reply to
All too often we forget about those pesky emails we need to send, or those emails we just never got around to replying too. Well with this list, when you have some free time you can tear through the emails on that list, so there are no loose ends. I recommend keeping this list on your phone.
9. Books to read and shows to watch list
Who doesn’t want more entertainment. But seriously, in our day and age, new books and TV shows surround us. There is always more to watch and read. I suggest you keep this list on your phone, and add to it anytime a book or show interests you.
10. Accomplishment list
It is so easy to get swept up in what we haven’t done, or what we still have to do, that we often forget about how far we’ve come. Keep this list somewhere you will see it every day, and let it bring you motivation to get more things done.
11. Not to-do list
What is a not to-do list? Mine looks like this.
Go on phone during work breaks
Stay inside all day
Worry about something in the far future
Think about things I have no control over
It’s pretty short, but you get the idea. Also keep this list where you will see it, and let it guide you for a more productive and organized day.