If there’s one thing I’ve noticed amongst my friends, it’s that we all have a lot to fit in!! We want fantastic careers, lasting relationships, close friendships, hobbies, travel and to fit in some time to relax and take care of ourselves. As millennials we are lucky enough to access aspirational information on the web every day, we can plan out possible next steps in our career, dream about where we might move to or visit on holiday. But fitting all of this in can feel really overwhelming.
Whether you work a nine to five job and write or play music on the side, or you’re working multiple part time jobs to get varied work experience, time management is crucial not only to a fantastic career, but to making it to all those social events and picking up any hobbies that might catch your eye along the way. As someone who has worked two jobs alongside an MA, while writing a novel and blogging, I am very used to juggling multiple commitments. So, here are my top tips on how to stay organised and improve your time management skills!
Until very recently I used a diary, a calendar, a desk planner, a weekly organiser and countless notepads to keep track of everything. Now, I still have a notebook for my novel and a notebook for short stories, but recently I made the swap to Bullet Journaling. Inspired by Lucie Fink at Refinery29 whose videos I am obsessed with, I decided to give Bullet Journaling a go. You can see Lucie’s video here. In the video, Lucie explains the way that a bullet journal uses a content page to allow you to mix your various notebooks, to do lists and weekly planner without loosing track. It is a very creative way to stay organised, with stickers, doodles and mood boards a possibility. But, if you’re not creative you don’t have to do this as every bullet journal is personal and different. For lots more information you can go to the original bullet journal website here.
I fell in love with yoga almost two years ago. My new years resolution was to practice yoga regularly, at least one class a week. Now I practice yoga in the house most days and try to get to a class whenever I can. Having this space in my day or my week where I’m not thinking about anything work related or creative, is really important. Often I’m working on lots of different projects and if I’m not careful I can spend all night watching TV while scrolling on my mobile or working on blog posts or making notes for my novel. When you’re practicing yoga you’re focused on the moment. I particularly like meditation in movement, it’s a great way to start meditation but without the challenge of sitting still! If you want to give it a try, Yoga With Adriene has a fantastic video here.
It doesn’t have to be yoga, though! Perhaps you love swimming or walking or just reading a book is enough of a break. It’s important whatever you’re doing, whether you’re a stay at home mam or a lawyer or a student, you need time where you’re not thinking about your responsibilities or goals.
3) Creative not Competitive
Go to my Instagram page and in my bio box I describe myself as a writer and blogger from Newcastle. I’ve been writing for YEARS. I decided I wanted to be a writer in primary school and for the most part I find writing as relaxing and therapeutic as my other hobbies and interests. However, as my writing has become part of my career aspirations, rather than a hobby, I have found I need a creative outlet that isn’t going to (hopefully) earn me money. So, I like to craft or paint or draw. The bullet journal has helped with this too, so has a colouring book to help when you can’t sleep. It’s important to have something you do just for the heck of it, not because it could become a job or a business one day.
I am a night owl. Always have been. Partly because I have a dodgy thyroid and am therefore an insomniac and partly because I just love the quiet in the middle of the night. I write in the early hours, I read until morning, I like staying up and just chilling knowing that everyone else is asleep. Now this isn’t always practical and so recently I have been strict going to bed early and waking earlier. So many bloggers and you tubers talk about the importance of getting up early to fit more into their day. However, I’m never going to be hugely productive on a morning. I’m never going to be a morning yoga kind of girl. Instead, I like to come in from work and write for an hour and practice yoga for half an hour before bed or go straight to a class after work.
I have found that by accepting the times I am more productive and going with those, I have written a lot more and I have stuck to my plan to practice yoga or meditation every day. Everybody’s different and every body is different, so the idea that getting up early will automatically make you more productive isn’t always right!
5) To Do Lists!
I love a good to do list! Every Sunday I like to look at my plan for the following week and slot in different tasks, such as editing a certain number of words, writing a blog post or filming a video. I’ll also include the fun stuff like walking the dog or meeting friends for drinks or going shopping. I always make sure to be realistic, thinking about when I can complete each task and prioritising which ones must be completed and which ones can move to the following day if they don’t get done. Doing this every Sunday sets me up for the week ahead and at the end of each month I start my calendar for the following month, thinking about the main events coming up and what I want achieve by the end of that month. Finish a novel? Write a certain number of blog posts? Meet with a friend I haven’t seen in ages? See a film? Read a particular book? Save a certain amount of money? All of the above?
I hope you find these tips helpful, let me know how you stay organised in the comments!