Hey there internet pals!
Just a short one today - it's been a busy time lately - and, rather fittingly, I'm going to be sharing my experiences with the ongoing battle of time management. As any of you who know me will know, I find it hard to sit still for more than a minute, which has led to me juggling what feels like a billion and one things at once. This is increasingly the reality for creatives, as we try to study, pay the bills, gain work experience, promote ourselves as freelancers, and somehow have hobbies and a social life as well.
So how do I manage this seemingly herculean task? Honestly, I'm not sure myself some days, though I do have certain mechanisms in place to make it that little bit easier. First and foremost, organisation is key. With such an irregular schedule, my calendar is my best friend. I update it and check it regularly, so if something's not in there, I ain't doing it! I also make umpteen to-do lists (some may say an excessive number) categorised by project or area of my life (uni/work/personal etc). This helps to break down tasks into manageable portions to stop me from becoming overwhelmed, and regularly ticking things off gives a tangible sense of progress to long-term projects. On this topic, prioritisation is your friend. It's taken me a long time to get the hang of this one, but but being aware of what needs to be done today, and what can wait for day or two is extremely useful when it comes to ploughing through those lists. I also find that when planning your time, leaving a little wiggle room is invaluable. Even the most simple tasks tend to take longer than you think they will, so take it from me, if you try to fill up every second of your day, you won't end up achieving all that you've planned to do. It sounds silly, but knowing yourself, how you work and how quickly, and then planning your time accordingly works incredibly well. Plan for how you actually work, not how you wish you worked. And finally, be kind to yourself! Taking a step back and giving myself room to breathe once in a while does wonders for my mental health, and overall productivity. It took me a long time to realise this, but stopping and having regular breaks means that the time you do spend at your desk will be more productive. It's okay if you don't manage to tick off all of today's tasks, if you need a rest, take a rest, the world isn't going to end.
Obviously all of this is a process, and finding a system that works for you won't happen overnight. It took me a hell of a long time to do this, and I still have a long way to go (beating the procrastination monster is my next hurdle), so if you guys have any tips and tricks for managing a busy schedule then I'd love to hear about them in the comments! As always please like and share this post if you enjoyed it, and let me know if there are any topics that you'd like me to write about in my upcoming posts.
Have a great weekend, folks x