my approach to time management
I will be the first to admit: I write a really long to-do list for the week ahead each Monday…
…and just as soon as I finish it, I feel overwhelmed. This happened to me a lot when I was at Google and, if I’m being really honest, it happens even more now that I work for myself. Because when you’re your own boss, it’s hard to tell yourself when enough is enough for the week. The truth is, it never feels like enough! Time management is a great skill to have, it can stand you in better stead when running a company or being part of one. I know I am not in a big company anymore but using Employee time tracking tools would be so helpful to those who are in need, of not only keeping on top of themselves but others too so they can be on the same page with minimal disconnect.
Of course, over the years, I’ve learned to cut myself some slack — at the pleading of my friends, family and the occasional disgruntled boyfriend here and there. What’s helped immensely along the way is how I structure my week — both the active, busy, running around times and the heads down, let’s get shit done times (because they’re important to block out too). Here are a few of my tips when it comes to making sure you get the most out of the week.
- Block out your time for the week and be realistic with yourself: It’s no secret, I LOVE my Google Calendar — without it, I’m seriously lost for the week. It’s practically my bible when it comes to managing my time. I’m a compulsive calendar marker, so once an invite comes in, a deadline is scheduled or an important milestone for a campaign needs to be noted (both sponsored campaigns and regular editorial content), it’s marked on my calendar almost immediately. At the start of each week, I’ll look through the important date markers and reverse engineer from there, blocking out important prep time, writing time, brainstorming time, photo shoot time and yes, even admin time (to coordinate samples etc.). If there’s a block of time marked, it’s laddering up to one of my deadlines for the week — and I treat them as regular time commitments that can’t be canceled or rescheduled. As I mentioned before, the heads down time is just as important as the active, running around time, so make sure you’re allowing yourself that headspace.
2. Set up work dates: This is a new practice for me and I’m loving it lately! One of the big things I miss about corporate culture is the collaboration element. I miss having people around me to bounce ideas off of and to brainstorm with. Lately, I’ve been chatting with a few of my fellow blogging peers who have been missing the same thing, so we’ve been making more of a habit to set up coffee work dates. It allows for great catch up time with friendly faces while also providing that collaborative atmosphere I’ve been missing. Plus, it breaks up the normal routine (especially if you’re picking new neighborhoods and coffee shops), which is always great when it comes to kick starting new ideas.
3. Learn how to say NO: Oh, this one has been tough for me but I promise it gets easier. When I first quit my corporate job and gave this whole content creation a full-time go, I felt like I had to say yes to every event, out of fear of feeling like I might miss something or someone. The reality is, is that approach is a.) short sighted b.) not true and c.) EXHAUSTING. I would spend most evenings running around to 5 or 6 events, catching a few familiar faces along the way, only to get home tired, with low blood sugar and behind on most of my deadlines for the day. Now, when I commit to events, it’s because I know there’s a very particular PR person I’m meeting with at the event who I want to discuss opportunities with — and I make sure to take on only 2 events in one evening. Generally, I’ll follow up with most of my PR contacts that I’m looking to work with and set up coffee dates — I find it’s much easier to talk through collaboration ideas when you’re both in the right mind frame to do so — in a crowded room, with people pushing past looking for the next glass of champagne is rarely it.
What about you guys? Any tips for time management? Would love to hear! Plus, I’m styling all three outfits here with Parker — head right this way to see the rest of the feature!
OUTFIT DETAILS: Parker striped dress // Dior heels // Chanel boy bag // Parker floral bomber jacket // Parker skirt // Sergio Rossi heels // Parker sweater // Parker sequin pants // Cafune bag
Photos by Nora Varcho