Time management is such a tricky thing to master. Every time you think you have a system going, life throws in new obstacles and messes it up. Time seems to be my biggest enemy right now. My to do list seems to be miles long and the hours in the day just don’t last long enough. I’ve been navigating a major new obstacle – motherhood – and I just can’t quite get a handle on the time management side of it, especially when I spend a lot of time trying to catch up on lost sleep. I’m a big advocate for mastering your time though, so that’s what I’ve been working towards lately.
One way I’ve been maximizing my time is by listening to podcasts during tummy playtime. It allows me to give my full attention to Baby Fox, while still expanding my mind and thoughts. Today, I was listening to the latest episode of Where Passion Meets Truth and I found it quite inspiring. In this episode, the Raewyn and Megan talk about doing a time audit. Part of this time audit is maximizing your hours in the day and devoting them to the things that matter.
I haven’t done a time audit yet, but I have devoted some thought to the things that distract me. I like to call these distractions “time wasters” because they aren’t really helping me achieve my goals in the long run. (Side note: not all distractions are wasteful. Some double as a form of self care. It’s up to you to determine the motivation behind your distractions.) I thought I’d share a few of these and how I’m working to make them less of a distraction.
Facebook is probably my biggest time waster. I spend a lot of time mindlessly browsing different groups and seeing what others are up to. While this can be great for networking and getting ideas, it also wastes a huge amount of time. I’ve started removing myself from groups that I don’t feel connected to anymore. This has helped clear some of the clutter on my timeline. I’m also limiting the amount of time I’m allowed to spend on Facebook. I don’t want to cut it out entirely because networking is important to me, but I do want to limit the amount of wasted time on this social media outlet.
Pinterest is another beneficial time waster for me. The time I spend on Pinterest has helped me find new recipes for us to try and it’s also helped me grow my following for the blog. (Hello Pinterest friends!) I used to spend hours browsing and pinning just about everything. Here lately, I’ve tried to be more purposeful in my time. I mainly go to Pinterest when I’m looking for something specific which results in less wasted time.
I have been on an unsubscribe spree lately. I am guilty of signing up for lots of newsletter freebies and then discovering that I have no interest in the newsletter itself. (And sometimes the freebie isn’t what I expected also.) When these emails used to come through my inbox, I would simply delete them and move on. I’ve stepped it up a notch and I’m unsubscribing from any newsletters that I don’t find enjoyable. So, I’ve been saying goodbye to quite a few emails in my inbox.
I love texting. In fact, I often have several text conversations going with different friends and family. However, there are times where texting proves to be too much of a distraction. I’m working on setting my phone aside during my limited times of productivity. Right now is a great example – I’m racing against the clock to type this during naptime, so my phone is set aside to prevent me from being distracted by my lovely friends and family.
I know that this one is going to sound a bit strange, but I spend some of my time just sitting and doing nothing because I’m afraid the baby will wake and need me the moment I get started. I’m getting better about diving into tasks and accepting that I might not finish them. It’s a new concept for me to divide up tasks into multiple work sessions, but I’ve become much more productive since accepting this new mindset.
As if on cue, the baby is awake (way earlier than expected), so I’m off to tend to the little one. I hope my reflection and how I’m working on my own time management has inspired you to identify the distractions in your own day!
What are your time wasters and what can you do to get more time in your day? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!