• 5 Must-Know Time Management Tips {for All Career Girls}

    Written by:

    Today our resident Career Girl, Andrea, shares her tips and tricks to managing your time effectively. Career girls, we’re lookin’ at you {so you don’t go all Jessie Spano on us}!

    jessie spano

    I have a confession to make: I’m terrible when it comes to time management. My nature is to lose track of time, overbook myself, get lost in conversations — and I am highly susceptible to all of the time sucks that litter the internet {I’m looking at you Facebook, Messenger, gchat, the latest cat meme du jour}. So when I realized that despite spending a ton of time “at work,” I was often carrying important items over to the next day’s to-do list, so I knew something had to change.

    time management 2

    Here are a few steps I took to overcome my time management issues:

    Prioritize.

    heather dubrow

    ^Totes fine if champs is your priority, but make it known.

    This one might sound obvious, and yet I missed it for so long. A perfect example is this: I would give myself a specific amount of time to shower and get ready to go out. And then I’d remember that I wanted to throw a load of laundry in. Or that I forgot to reply to a Facebook message. Or that I needed to make a Fresh Direct order. All important tasks, but not to be done during my getting ready time and doing them made me late. A lot. Instead I have taken to scheduling out just about all of my most important tasks {more on that later!} so now when I am tempted to get sidetracked, I can push whatever it is aside knowing that chances are I’ve already set aside some time to do it.

    Manage expectations.

    hold up drake

    ^It’s okay to say, hold up and wait a minute {even if it’s to yourself}.

    This is a big one. I can’t count how many times I’ve laid in bed creating a to-do list on my iPhone that goes on and on and on. It’s a Catch 22: everything on the list needs to get done but how possibly could I get 55 items done in one day. I can’t. I haven’t met anyone yet who can. The cold, hard truth is that not everything can get done so once you’ve prioritized your tasks, make your peace with the fact that something has got to give. So now my to-do lists usually include a max of 10 items {even that’s a lot} that MUST be done for the day, and it includes a rough estimate of how much time each should take. I typically {but not always — no one’s perfect} accomplish them all, and deadlines are suddenly, miraculously met. As the saying goes, just like Beyoncé we all have 24 hours every day to do with what we please. I’m guessing Queen Bey doesn’t spend hours taking BuzzFeed quizzes. Did I just say that out loud?

    Something has got to give.

    seriously virtual assistant

    ^Giphy-ed in jest, but really. OUTSOURCE it.

    This warrants additional discussion because figuring out what to give up isn’t easy. When I look at my stone cold priorities, they look a little like this: family/friends, fitness, working. As I’ve taken on more responsibilities both at home and at work I’ve decided to outsource some of the things that I take pride in doing myself but that do not absolutely have to be done by me. Most of those things are household chores: house cleaners, landscapers, Fresh Direct. I hear a lot of young men and women gripe about the expense of such luxuries, but I always advise anyone who asks that it is a very worthy expense if it permits the additional time to excel at work and enjoy a more balanced work life situation, it’s totally worth it. I also used to never NEVER attend a meeting without a fresh manicure. Today it isn’t always realistic or even possible for me to drop everything and head to my favorite nail spot. I still get my nails done, but I’ve gotten much better at filing and buffing my nails myself. It’s all about identifying what is essential and what can wait or be outsourced.

    Create a schedule and stick to it.

    teresa

    ^It’s all about the schedule.

    Every Sunday I sit down and look at my calendar. I put all of my appointments {professional and personal} into a calendar that I share with my closest colleagues and each Sunday I review it to make sure I’ve covered everything and that I’ve allowed enough time for all of my priorities. I can’t overstate how important this is and for me, it works best when I have scheduled out EVERYTHING from my workouts to when I’ll reply to emails. Certainly things come up that interrupt the schedule I’ve made but when they do, I’m able to quickly move things around. It’s also important to respect the amount of time you have. I enjoy blogging and I set a very specific amount of time for doing so. When that time is up I move on whether I want to or not. Likewise, when I allot a specific amount of time for a meeting I am not afraid to kindly inform my company that I need to get moving. Usually, the response is positive – they have a lot to do, too!

    someecard

    ^ Sound familiar?

    I’ve been implementing these practices pretty religiously for the past few years, and they have never failed me. I still like to linger over dinner and allow myself time to be spontaneous but I’m not late all the time, and I feel much more accomplished checking things off my to-do list. Time management win! Don’t forget to let us know in the comments if any of these tips have helped you – or better yet, share your secrets to time management success, too! 

     


    Written by:

    Andrea is President of Victory PR, a boutique health and beauty public relations firm located in NYC & Hoboken. She is the columnist behind "Career Girl," a regular column exclusive to HobokenGirl.com that includes everything from interviews with inspiring Hoboken Career Girls, career advice, and lots more. Andrea lives in Hoboken with her husband and son, and can most often be seen getting her early AM workouts in at Local Barre!


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