5 Time Management Hacks That Actually Work For Non-Beyonce's
You know that famous mug, “You have as many of the hours of the day as Beyonce”? It always makes me wonder if it’s not setting us up to fail by pressuring us to live up to the standards of a woman who has a large team of people working for her and hoards of money to make choices. Here's what I think bothers me about the message of the mug, it tries to shame us into productivity which is probably the least effective way to get anything done.
My first questions are, does Beyonce call her internet provider when it's not working? Does she check her wi-fi speeds? Does she have to troubleshoot her printer when it gives her an “empty paper tray” message even though it has paper?
Sometimes no matter how good we are at planning, minor inconveniences can take up more time than we think. But then there's things that completely transform our lives, it can be major events like having a child, taking up a side hustle, moving in with a new partner, or moving to a new city.
Recently, I faced a challenge of my own.
My son is receiving 3 hours of behavioral and speech therapy 5 days a week. We are grateful he is receiving the support he needs but it means that my time has been impacted. His father and I are both taking turns being present during the sessions. This has been an unexpected turn of events and these past few weeks I have been adjusting to it.
It has made us both think hard about how we spend our time.
While we may not have Beyonce's resources, that doesn't mean we can't be strategic about how we use our time.
Time-management isn't just about producing more it's also about defining our priorities. I have a few tips to share about how I am thinking about my time lately.
If you have to choose between sacrificing sleep to be productive, or sacrificing productivity to sleep. Choose the later. You need sleep. Women actually need more sleep than men so I ignore the male gurus who tell me I should survive on 4 hours of sleep. If you have a deadline, stay up late but don't make it a habit. It only weakens your immune system, leads to poor health choices, unsafe driving and mood swings. If you are trying to tackle a problem, a night of sleep will always help you solve it.
Assess how you are actually allocating time. Can I outsource things? Amazon that evil genius, actually saves all my grocery lists and so essentially I only have to click on the items I want this week. It comes to my house within 2-4 hours. I’m thinking of other things I can outsource to make more time. Is it more expensive? Yes, about 20-30 dollars worth but our time is also money. Anything that saves me time each week to focus on making money in other ways or spend time with my son is worthwhile to me. Another friend told me, "leverage what you have." Think about what that is for you.
Get familiar with ruthless prioritization. Think about what's the most important and do that first and foremost. Think about where you're “wasting” time and if I can make some adjustments either on how i’m spending time or if there’s thing I simple have to let go of. I’m still in the process of figuring that out. This week I gave up television. I skipped an event to work on my website. I made tweaks, so that it's clear what I can do and how I can be hired to write. That will make me more profitable so I can worry less about money and spend more time with my son. Another practical tip is to have a weekly meeting with yourself to identify your priorities.
Am I just panicking? Sometimes it’s about attitude. The other day I tried this trick where I actually told myself, “I have all the time that I need.” and stopped worrying about when i’m running a few minutes behind. Jess Lively, a podcaster and coach I follow talks about her rule of 80/20 where she spends 80 percent of her time on making sure she has the right attitude and "intention and only 20 percent working. This has actually duplicated her profits in her business.
Can I think of my time differently? When we are little we are in school from 8am to 3pm, then we go to work and work 9am to 5pm. When we are out of that bubble it can be hard to think about working outside of those parameters. But i’m thinking hard about how much I can squeeze out of my time and how I can work during non-traditional hours. How can I do more with 30 minutes? I noticed I underestimate what I can get done in 15 minutes but I overestimate what I can get done in a day. This week I worked on my website over the course of 3 long nights of course this means next week I need to go back to my regular-ish sleep schedule (see #1)
Finally, know when you are feeling tired, burned out and give yourself some space. That might be the best tip of all.
What are your time management hacks?