I want to share my top time management tips because a lot of people ask how I find the time to work a full-time career in addition to running my blog and social media accounts. I spent about a year trying different time management tips I read in books or online until I found systems and schedules that work for us. There are plenty of days I’ve felt overwhelmed – pulled in different directions with meetings at work, looming deadlines, sponsored posts due for the blog, and eProducts I wanted to release but I’ve learned to balance it all.
I used to get frustrated feeling there wasn’t enough time to do it all. I became impatient and felt like quitting but when something is important to you, you find the time. I knew I could shut down my blog and free up a lot of time or I could quit my job to blog full-time but I didn’t want to. It was a matter of finding a way to make it all work. After trial and error, early mornings, very late nights, and a couple of arguments, I found ways to organize our lives in a way that allowed me to balance it all.
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Time Management Tips for Finding Balance
At this phase in my life, I feel fulfilled as both a woman and a wife. I have a career that I enjoy, a hobby that provides fulfillment, and a husband I love. I didn’t want to let any part of my life go and these time management tips help me balance it all.
Plan your mornings
Try to do as much as you can the night before so that your mornings move quicker and smoother. I shower at night and refresh my hair with dry shampoo (I use this one) in the morning if it’s looking greasy. See here for my whole nighttime routine for an easier morning.
I love this sunrise alarm clock which wakes you up gently with an increasingly bright light instead of the annoying ‘beep’ ‘beep’ ‘beep’ of a standard alarm. I find that I wake up in a better mood and snooze less often with the sunrise clock. It’s a much kinder way to wake up.
Start meal planning and prepping
I’m convinced Sundays were made for meal planning and prepping. I tried a few food subscription boxes and I’m a huge fan of Sun Basket. I shared our experience with Sun Basket’s vegetarian options here. I’ve also become a big fan of Mindful Meal. It’s a meal planning service that allows you to create taste profiles for every member of your family then gives you recipes based on those preferences. Once you have your plan just print your recipes and shopping list. So simple!
I prep as much as I can on Sunday so I have more time during the week. Having as much as possible prepped ahead of time means that dinner during the week can be done in 30 minutes or less.
Learn to use a planner
Until recently my entire life was scheduled on my phone. I kept my schedule, to-do lists, reminders, and everything else easily accessible and synced with my husband. It worked well until my bad habits made it a mess. My phone starting having so many alerts going off that it became overwhelming. I was dismissing reminders or clearing notification without looking at them which led a disorganized mess despite having great organization tools.
Then I bought the Happy Planner by Create 365. I knew I had to commit myself to it so I bought a cover for it, planner stickers, and removed all reminders from my phone except the one telling me to review my planner. I use my planner to track office meetings, set project deadlines, brainstorm and schedule blog posts, schedule date night, record doctor’s appointments, and list special occasions.
Automate bills and social media
Almost all of our bills are set to automatic payments so we don’t have to remember to pay bills. We sit down every Monday to review what was paid that week and our bank account balances. Having one less thing to do means more time for our family so it’s a great way to free up a few extra minutes with each other.
If you manage social media accounts it’s easy to feel like you have to be everywhere at all times, automation for your accounts is a must. I use Tailwind to manage Pinterest and it’s one of my most productive tools. I don’t spend more than 15 – 20 minutes on Pinterest per day. I use ViralTag to post to my other networks because it allows you to recycle your social media content. I can set posts for my content, other people’s content, images, affiliate links, sales links, etc., then forget it.
Schedule off time and use vacation days
It’s important to us to find time to focus on our marriage so scheduling time off work and offline is a top priority. We value screen-free time and quitting time is strictly adhered to. Sometimes that may mean a blog post isn’t published or an email isn’t answered until the next day but family comes first.
We are also sure to use the vacation days we accrue at work. We schedule time off together for at least one full week every year. We don’t always travel but we do focus on spending time with one another. During that week, both the office and the blog have to wait.
Balance your Life Wheel
A Life Wheel is a concept that requires you to divide a wheel by role or responsibility then fill in the categories until you see where your life falls out of balance. It allows you to view your life balance at a glance and add or subtract items based on where you need to realign. We create a new Life Wheel at the beginning of every month so we can adjust as needed and feel in control in the month ahead.
Do you have any special time management tips to share? How do you achieve balance?