Since moving to New York, one of my biggest struggles to overcome has been time management. For some reason, time over here seems to go so much quicker than it ever did when I was living in Ireland, or maybe life is just a lot busier these days. Personally, the things I’m trying to balance are working on my blog, fitting in time for exercise, time to meet up with friends and of course my day job which is by no means a regular 9-5. Since I came back to New York after Christmas I’ve worked every Sunday bar one or two, meaning my work weeks are at least 50-55 hour weeks at the moment, so to say I’m struggling to balance it all is the god honest truth! That said, when your time is limited you learn how to become more productive and get sh*t done when you have no other choice. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds it hard to manage everything from time to time, so I wanted to share my best 5 tips for being productive on a limited time scale!
Make a list: Keeping a to-do list is the most helpful way for me to stay focused and make sure I get through everything I need to. I know alot of people like to keep lists on their phones, but personally I need to physically write them down. I absolutely LOVE stationary and even though this might sound a little silly, having pretty stationary really makes me feel even more excited to make lists (lol I know that makes me sound like SUCH a loser but it’s so true!) Usually on a Sunday night I’ll make a big list of everything that needs to be done that week and use my day planner to figure out days where I can fit them in. Then each morning I’ll make a new list with specific things that I need to do that day and if I’m feeling extra organized, I’ll break down those lists into my blog work, my personal work and my Teen Vogue work.
Do the hardest thing first: If there’s something I’m really dreading doing, I usually try to do it first thing in the morning before my brain is even fully awake. Not that I dread exercise but I find that planning to do it in the morning really doesn’t give me any excuses to back out and cancel! I also try to prioritize what’s most important to get done each day and try to do tasks in that order. On the subject of time keeping, when it comes to emails, I find it most effective to reply to emails immediately if possible, there’s no worse feeling than knowing that there’s hundreds of emails waiting for your reply!
Get off your phone: While I LOVE social media, spending hours and hours scrolling and tapping isn’t the best thing for my productivity. I could spend my whole day refreshing snapchat to keep up with what everyone is doing, but instead I’m making an effort to only go on it during times where I’m commuting. So I’ll load up my snaps and watch them on the subway every day. Same goes with Instagram, I try to check it 3 times a day. In the morning, at lunch and in the evening,of course that’s easier said than done but I do try at least!
Find a routine that works for you: I am such a creature of routine, I swear when something happens to disrupt my routine, I’m not a happy camper! While it may mean I’m not the most spontaneous, having a routine really helps me feel less stressed and more accomplished. A big part of finding the right routine for you means looking at how your energy levels fluctuate throughout the day. For me, I’m most physically energetic in the morning and most focused in the evening so as a rule I do my workouts in the morning and my blog work at night.
Know when to say no: Living in New York means that there is ALWAYS a tonne of activities going on in the evenings and on the weekends. If I said yes to everything, I literally would get nothing done. Prioritize what’s important to you and politely decline the rest! I also think one of the most important factors in being productive is giving yourself time to rest. When you’re constantly on the go it can be so easy to get run down and get sick so make sure to schedule some down time to relax and re-energise. That quote “If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit” really sticks with me because if you run yourself into the ground you’ll truly feel like you can’t do it anymore!
PS. Did you see my latest YouTube video?