Yes we all want to be superwoman, but that doesn't mean we have to do it all in a day's time. We know we can do things ourselves sometimes, but after awhile that weight of ripping and running everyday starts to take its toll on us. There are 1,440 minutes in a day, so stop trying to dedicate all your time to doing for others when you should be taking care of yourself first. Remember, you can't be on go (non-stop) if you're already running on E.
For Day one of this year's Summit21 conference, speakers Erica Tucker and Alena Conley sat down with us for a sisterly intervention and spoke the truth about having healthy time management practices. From delegating duties to others and debunking multitasking myths to redefining a work/life balance that’s just right for you, these women gave us a much-needed crash course to help us extend more grace to ourselves in our-day-to-day. In case you missed it, here's our top ten key takeaways from their schooling session.
Make as many lists as you need
You're sure to feel overwhelmed with all of the tasks on your plate If you don't find a way to keep track of them all. Making daily to-do lists helps you prioritize what needs to be done in one day and ensures that you're meeting deadlines on time. And don't just stop at making to-do lists for work tasks, make some for your self-care activities as well if you're someone who has a hard time carving out daily "me time."
Have a solid team on your side
You know the old saying, if you want something done right do it yourself? Well that works but only up until you get burnt out sis. Trust us, it is okay to ask for help every now and then and lean on others to lighten your load. I mean, having extra hands does help get the job done faster.
Use a timer to set aside time for specific tasks
It's easy to get caught up on finishing one assignment, but sometimes you may look up and realize half the day is gone and you still haven't put a dent in your workload. Allocating time for specific tasks not only maximizes your time, it also helps to make sure you're not exhausting yourself before you have a chance to truly tackle the day. Whether it's 30 minutes for emails or an hour for weekly reports, block out small time intervals so you can stay ahead of the game.
Use apps to stay organized
Technology is our frenemy but it sure does have its perks for us that are sticklers for organization. If you're someone who needs to write down every possible thing on your calendar and to-do list, you might want to invest in a few apps like ClickUp, Mural, Toggle, Google Calendar or just simply Apple Notes. Having push notifications on your side will also give you small reminders for meetings or tasks that need to be done by a certain time.
Use a planner/notebook
In case you're an old-fashioned soul who likes to write things down, a planner or notebook is just what you need. Some of us remember better if we physically write out our daily tasks and it's always good to keep track of things on paper in case our phone or laptop randomly fails us.
Identify activities you're doing so all efforts put forth afterwards align
For those who may be unfamiliar with discovery work, think of it as your way of analyzing your day-to-day and determining what else needs to get done in order for you to fulfill your tasks. This time management method is more so about ensuring you're spending your time wisely versus focusing on things that won't actually benefit you in the long run. Understanding where your effort needs to go will ultimately help you make the most of the day.
Energy vs time management
This is the most important tip of all. So time management is actually much different from energy management. The latter is more so dedicated to understanding when and how you do your best work throughout the day so you're operating at your fullest capacity. So if you know you're somebody that gets gassed out around the late afternoon a few hours before you sign off of work, use that time block to take a break and refuel (nap, snacks, etc.) so you're not trying to push yourself when you've already mentally-checked out for the day. Labelling tasks is also helpful with this takeaway because it'll help you organize your day based on when you work best doing said task. Just like in a workout, your recovery time is just as important as the time you put work in.
Know what repletes your energy
Knowing what your body needs throughout the day also helps with that energy management. So if you know you get hangry and need to eat to improve your mood and overall work output, make sure you're eating breakfast and lunch early and even keep a couple snacks by your side. Listen to your body when it tells you it needs rest and give in. Even if it's a 5-minute power nap where you just rest your eyes, it'll do wonders for getting you through a work day or even a jam-packed day in the weekend with the kids or after brunch/ the day party.
Use primers to motivate you everyday
Primers are those things that help get you up in the morning and eager to start the day. It's life's little reminders for you that keep your spirits up even when work tries its best to bring you down. So for instance, if you know waking up earlier helps you get through the day better, find an activity like going for a morning run or doing yoga to motivate you to get out of bed quicker. Even things like avoiding your phone for an hour after you wake up will help you create those boundaries between work, your social life and personal time.
Communicate your needs to others
Last but certainly not least, tell people how you're feeling so they understand how you operate on a daily. Communication helps others help you in the end. If your plate is full and you can't handle anymore tasks, let someone know. Don't always feel the need to be a "YES" woman; say "NO" when necessary to avoid overwhelming yourself. If someone on your team is slacking and you need help because you feel like you're drowning, say that (or tell your boss). Either way, no one knows what you're going through unless you say something.
Now ladies, take all of these helpful tips and go be great at what you do because time can indeed be on your side if you use it wisely.