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3 Simple Time Management Tools

Updated: Mar 19, 2022

How To Create A Better Work/Life Balance In One Day

Let me just start by saying that I don’t have all the answers to time management issues, but I’m beginning to learn how to better juggle a healthy work/life balance while working towards reaching my goals. The best thing I can suggest to anyone who may be struggling with time management is to plan ahead. Now I know that may sound like an even bigger challenge because maybe you feel you have less time now than ever before. So how are you going to have time to plan anything? But I can say that if you can start making room for planning ahead, you will find you have more time. 

Planning days of rest, planning your weekly chores, planning your errands, planning for any obligations or appointments and planning your week ahead can be truly beneficial for figuring out how to juggle everything and then some. Sure, there’s going to be days or even weeks where you feel extremely overwhelmed or exhausted or that maybe you should just throw everything up in the air and say, “Eff it all!”. But, for someone who wants to keep at it, this method has been helping me.

Planners and Calendars and Tasks - Oh my!

I love paper planners. I know that some people find them cumbersome and prefer an app or using their computer, but for me being able to write it in, decorate it with stickers or fun pens and being able to physically cross things off makes me feel accomplished. But whatever is going to be easier or more natural for you is what you should use.

The key though is to invest some effort into putting things into a calendar or planner. Having everything written out is going to help you compartmentalize everything you need to get done for the week ahead. BUT - do NOT get bogged down with looking at EVERYTHING you HAVE TO get done. Otherwise you will probably hyperventilate just thinking about it all. All this to say that if you can even accomplish 30-50% of what you set out to do for the week, you’ll be in really good shape. Don’t think that just because you wrote it down you have to get it done that week (unless it is a hard obligation or task that really does need to get done with a time constraint). 

Also, think of your week in terms of "have to's" and "nice to have's". Breaking down the day into what you absolutely have to take care of and what would be nice to have crossed off are a great way to give yourself grace to juggle and be flexible with your time management. A great way to give yourself flexibility is through padding your planner or schedule with mini breaks or give yourself some breathing room if some tasks take longer than you anticipated.

Another way you can schedule out your week is by time blocking. This method groups similar tasks together so as to allow for better focus, a better use of your time and the ability to single task. Yes, you read that right… single task! Studies have shown that by single-tasking your to-do list you actually get more accomplished. Why not give it a try next week?

Permission to Rest

I like to take a look at my week ahead on Sundays. Sundays I have blocked out for my day of rest - which can mean I spend time with my partner uninterrupted or with family or friends. It’s called Sunday Funday for a reason. But I also take 15 minutes every Sunday to plan out my week ahead on my planner. Sundays used to be my day for catching up on chores and errands and anything else that fell through the cracks. But I got to the point where I literally had things I HAD TO do every single day. It was exhausting!

Instead, I gradually shifted all of my to-do's to be spread throughout my week instead of playing catch up on the one day that both my partner and I have off. Now I have one whole day to do absolutely nothing, go to the beach or brunch with friends or have a BBQ with my family. It’s become a much more rewarding experience than if I had stuck with my previous plan of “whatever I can get done this week, I’ll do”.

One Day At a Time

I’ve also learned through my astrology teacher and empowerment coach which days are going to be the best to perform different tasks. Whether you believe in astrology or not, following this pattern couldn’t hurt.

Mondays are for easing into your week and catching up quietly. 

Tuesdays are good for getting tasks done, starting new projects. 

Wednesdays are good for communication, writing, speaking and taking short trips. 

Thursdays are good for negotiations, planning or executing expansions and giving back. 

Fridays are good for taking pleasure with what you are doing and working on passion projects.

Saturdays are good for chores and to-dos. 

Sundays are your day of rest.

*There is a lot more that goes into why those days are good for accomplishing those types of tasks, but that explanation is for another day.

By breaking down my week into days that will yield the best results, I’m much more apt to get them done. Knowing that on Wednesdays I should work on newsletters and recording videos helps me feel less guilty on Mondays when all I want to do is the bare minimum because Mondays are hard. Or knowing that Tuesdays are my admin day for catching up on emails or for creating a week’s worth of graphics, lets me sleep at night. Having a routine of this nature makes me feel less anxious about the week ahead. And it also reminds me that I have more room in my schedule for flexibility. 

Best Advice

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you the most important part of time management and keeping a healthy work/life balance. And that is to give yourself permission. Give yourself permission to not cross off everything from your planner. Give yourself permission to swap things around if something pops up. Give yourself permission if you underestimated how long something would take to get completed. Give yourself permission to not have all the time in the world. And give yourself permission to not be perfect, but be present. 

If you try this time management advice and you find that it doesn’t work for you, that’s okay too. But if you find something that DOES work for you, let me know! I’m always growing and learning just like you are.

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