10 Time Management Hacks To Work Smarter, Not Harder

If you haven’t noticed, I have somewhat been slacking on this blog…not because I’ve just been a lazy bum all summer but quite the opposite. New opportunities continue to present themselves which in return, has had me pretty busy. In order to manage my new work load, I’ve been working on finding a groove and managing my time a lot better. This certainly hasn’t been easy as this thing we call LIFE seems to constantly interfere with what I’m trying to do, but as a one woman machine its imperative I get myself on the right track. Here are a few hacks that has helped me in managing my time and increase my productivity.

#1 Start your day early!

I’ve been getting better with waking up earlier so I can get a few things done in the morning before going to work so I don’t have to be bothered with them when I get home. As a freelancer, when I get home that’s literally like clocking in for a second shift. By waking up early I can do things like get a quick workout in, schedule tweets, or check/respond to emails. Waking up early is not easy for me whatsoever ya’ll. It’s something that I still struggle with but I at least try to make the effort every day.

#2 Eliminate Distractions

When i’m working at home and I really need to get in a zone, I usually put my phone on Do Not Disturb and opt for playing music instead of watching TV. This, for me, is when i’m able to work and my productivity is at its highest. It’s very hard to focus on what you’re doing when your attention is elsewhere, which leads me to hack number 3…

#3 Focus on one single task at a time

THIS IS A BIGGIE and something that I learned from a good friend of mine. Multi-tasking just isn’t the wave ya’ll. It really isn’t. It’s much more beneficial to focus solely on one project at a time. Like fully immerse yourself in what you are doing. NO DISTRACTIONS!

#4 Give yourself a time limit

Instead of just saying you are going to sit there until you get such and such project done (which can be hella draining and overwhelming), set a time limit on when you are going to complete the task. If you don’t finish, don’t stress yourself out just simply put it on your to-do list for tomorrow. When you do #2 and #3 on this list, you’ll be amazed at how fast you are able to get your work done!

#5 Take breaks in between projects to mentally recharge

If I completed one project and immediately went to work on another I would lose my mind. Burn out is REAL and the easiest and best way to avoid it is to take those much needed mental breaks. Get your hustle on but take care of yourself first! Which leads me to hack number 6…

#6 Sleep is NOT the cousin of death…get your rest, drink water and eat right!

Seriously ya’ll…I can not stress how important getting enough sleep is for your health. The industry constantly promotes this lifestyle of being on a grind but fails to mention anything about staying healthy in that process. It’s always recommended to get a good 6-8 hours of sleep every night. I know for me, that’s absolutely necessary in order for me a have a productive day. As far as the eating right and drinking water thing, doing so naturally increases your energy levels. So yeah…toss the coffee and energy drinks, folks.

#7 Learn to say “No”

Man listen…do I really need to go into detail on this one? No?…okay cool.

#8 Don’t leave the house

I’m constantly getting invited to events and even though I appreciate the invite, I simply just can’t go because well…i’m “booked and busy”.

#9 Prioritize your projects, work on important projects first

I feel like this one is a no brainer but I wanted to include it anyway. When I write my to-do list, the task with high importance I place at the top. Once that’s done, you’ve already had productive day, as everything else can wait until the next day.

#10 Commit to your schedule and DO THE WORK

Last but certainly not least, once you’ve got a schedule that works for you…COMMIT TO IT. Make it become a habit and in the words of the late Baba Kwesi…DO THE WORK!

What are some of your time management tips that help you be productive throughout the day? Feel free to share them with me on Twitter, Instagram or in the comments below!

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