The Balancing Act of Life: 7 Time Management Tips

Two things have happened in the last couple weeks: I turned eighteen and my mom started working second shift. In less than a week, I went from being a teenager to an adult and I've learned a few things about time management.

1. Switch when something's not working.
If you're stuck on a scene or a revision point, do a load of dishes, take the dog for a walk, or do some cleaning. I find this helps to loosen up my mind and help me get past blocks.

2. Allocate time to certain tasks.
For example, during the day is my "work" time. This is the time I use to do stuff around the house, work on revisions, beta-read, and do other things on my to-do list. Night is my relax time. This is the time I just hang out, watch Netflix, read for pleasure, write, and sometimes do things that I didn't finish during the day.

3. Use rewards
Give yourself a reward for each task you complete. This can be a TV show you have recorded, a movie that you want to watch, or some time to relax. My reward at the moment is for every task on my to-do list I complete or every five pages I edit, I can watch one vlogbrothers video.

4. Prioritize
There will be days when you can't get everything done. There will be days when something comes up and you won't be able to do everything you thought. This where prioritizing comes in. You have to be able to decide what has to be done and what can be put off for another day.

5. Learn to multi-task.
Yesterday I watched episodes of Star Trek while I did the dishes. If you like audiobooks, you can listen to them while you do housework or take the dog for a walk. Read while you're waiting at the doctor's office.

6. Make unpleasant tasks more enjoyable.
Watching Star Trek while I did the dishes made it more fun. Play music and dance around the house while you do housework.

7. Keep a to do list and stick to it.
I have two of them. One has the list of things that I must do today and the other one has things that I need to do, but can be put off for another day. If there's something you're really looking forward to such as an episode of your favorite show on DVR or that great new movie that just arrived from Netflix, don't let yourself have it until everything on your list is done. (I've been withholding the season finale of Covert Affairs since Tuesday).


LynNerdKelley said…
Happy 18th birthday. That's a biggie. In your case, with age comes wisdom. Sounds like you're mastering time management. WTG! I'm force to prioritize, and I love to play music while cleaning and getting ready to go somewhere. Nice post.
Brittany said…
Happy 18th! :)

I'm actually pretty bad at time-management during the school year, but I'm really going to work on it this year.

I keep a to-do list and I also have a list of rewards after I complete three or four items. So far the reward list contains:

*Watch Shark Week (I still have recordings left.)

*Watch vlogbrothers videos

*Read Maureen Johnson's blog (I recently discovered it and she's hilarious.)

*Read DJGBC (Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter, which I'm about to start rereading.)

I'm also going to try to work on multi-tasking, which I haven't really tried yet. I'm sure I could find bursts of time to write during the school day and while waiting for things like tennis practice to start after school. Also, my bus ride home is an hour long, so usually I just read (or not if I'm too tired), but I'm going to try to use that to write.

Great tips, by the way!
Fenrir Novus said…
Happy birthday (though I know I'm a tad late to this party)!

Good post. My main trouble with prioritizing is that a lot of times things come up that shuffle the list. For example: I have a 'eureka' moment that just has to be written down, or something arises I wasn't previously aware of that demands doing immediately. I guess I'm too spontaneous a person to stick to a list...maybe this is why I'm a pantser, too. :)

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