5 Ways to Better Manage Your Time & Maximize the Day!

For anyone who knows me, they know I can pack a million things into my day/week and still make time for all the things I love to do, and see the people I want to see. Some weeks I do sacrifice a social life, but I try to maximize my time as much as possible to make room for friends, family, and me time. I work full time and bartend on the weekends. Every Sunday I wake up early and go help out my bar with accounting work for two hours. In between those two jobs, I usually bake on average two cakes a month, and somewhere on top of that I added blogging to my schedule – which means writing and photo taking on the weekends. I cook almost every single day for myself, and work out three times a week currently. On Monday night I see my therapist – much needed as I need time to vent and mentally be in a healthy place so I can stay on top of my goals.

My advice to anyone feeling like they cant get it all done is to stay on schedule and be creative with your day to get in the things you love to do! I try and pack most of my to-do things into my mornings and lunch breaks, and use home delivery services for groceries and shopping to save time running around to stores for errands. Everyone’s jobs are different, and thankfully I do not take my day job home with me very often, so this allows me to pack my day accordingly. How do I fit it all in? Well here are my five ways to help manage your time and make sure you get it all done!

  1. On Sunday – plan out your weekly schedule and meal prep!  I am a list queen! I seriously write everything down and own about three journals and two calendars just for this purpose. Writing it down does two things for me – sets a schedule to keep me on track, and helps keep it fresh in my head. This is the day I map out my week in terms of work schedule, meetings, photo/collaboration posting, fitness schedule, meal prepping, errands, photo taking, and everything else in between. This way I know what’s coming and can be prepared. I map out a daily schedule and force myself to stick to it. Meal prep!!! This is seriously such a time and life saver for me. You can make 5 meals in under thirty minutes and have your lunches for the week ready to go. I usually make 4-5 chicken breasts, and bake 4-5 different cut up vegetables and potatoes in the oven all on one big sheet pan. Cook up some rice, dice up some fruit, and you can pack your chicken, rice, veggie sides, and a cup of fruit for lunch daily. Diced fruit is also so handy to have for smoothies on the run. Milk of your choice, ice, fruit, spinach, and some protein powder in the morning make for an awesome breakfast on the go, and having this all diced and ready saves so much time! Also helps you save money during the week because you wont be eating out as much. WINNING!
  2. Be creative with your work schedule. You never know if you don’t ask, but talk to your boss about a flexible work schedule. Most will not mind you adjusting a half hour here or there to get in a workout on your lunch break! I used to come in half hour early to take an hour and a half lunch three times a week. This allowed me to get to the gym, work out for around 50-60 minutes, rinse off and get back to work in under 90 minutes. Also- lunch workouts are the bomb! You are forced to power through a great workout in little time, do not have as much time to rest in between, play around on your phone, or get distracted by anything because you’re on a major time crunch! Such an energy boost in the middle of your day too. If you meal prep – this also makes it easy to eat at your desk after you return from your workout. Let’s be honest there are so many days I work through my lunch anyways, so eating and powering through emails at the same time does not bother me. You can also run errands on your lunch break, and some days I also take photos! Bring an outfit or two in my car and use that time to shoot a couple looks! I personally want to have most of my nights free to relax, make dinner, and work on my blog – so lunch breaks rarely mean lunch for me, but I love it that way.
  3. Be able to adjust if something throws off your schedule. AHHHH the worst right? Nothing like a meeting being tossed into your schedule last minute when you’re planning on working out, running errands, or trying to get a quick mani on your lunch break. HUGE bummer. No fear, go back to your weekly plan and see where you can adjust to make sure the YOU things are not skipped. This is so important to me. I try to NEVER skip anything that I know makes me a better person and levels me. Working out, therapy, personal indulgences, dinners with friends… I will do whatever I can to not cancel them, and move my day around accordingly. If I wanted to run on my lunch break for 45 minutes, I simply run as soon as I get home or move it to the next morning before work. Having my nights free is my end goal, but I’m not gonna cry if I have to spend a small amount of time getting something done after work.  This also works if something fun pops up! Nice weather – girls want to get together last minute for a fun after work dinner… move that run to the AM and get some quality time in with your peeps! No excuses… get it done if it’s part of your daily plan.
  4. Amazon prime and grocery delivery services are your new best friends. If you are not using Amazon prime in your regular routine – you’re not doing life right! This is huge if you live in a big city – or anywhere really. Pricing for prime members is amazing, and most of your everyday products for laundry, cleaning, grocery, household items, makeup, skincare, even clothing/shoes, you name it they have it… all ships in 1-2 days for free. AMEN. This removes shopping from my busy schedule and for a few dollars, I can pay extra for next day delivery. When you live in the city, parking comes at a cost, and most pricing is marked up at places like Walgreens and CVS because of convenience. My mascara is $6 on Amazon vs $12.99 in the store! That mark up adds up after a while! I do love grocery shopping when I have time – but recently discovered Peapod and Instacart and LOVE it. I typically get the same things, and can just reorder my cart and have it delivered next day! Wohoo! Instacart allows you to pick different stores for select items, and someone shops for you and can have it to you in an hour! WHAAA??? I know – awesomeness. Grub hub, door dash, post mates – lots of amazing apps for grocery and food delivery. Again, for a small fee, anything you want is delivered at the speed of light and saves major time. AHHH-mazing.
  5. Set reminders in your calendar. Let’s be real for a moment – I can write lists all day but for the big stuff… put it in your calendar and set a reminder alarm for the day before, and then a second for the day of (30 min to hour before). I can remember most things on my own… but I’m getting old and less talented at staying COMPLETELY organized, and there are days where my brain is complete mush! I need that phone to go off reminding me that something is there that may not be “routine” – like a hair appointment, dr. appointment, dinner with friends, brunch with Mom, siblings are in town, time shop for that cake you’re making next weekend… etc. Use a calendar that syncs to all devices. I have Apple everything, so this works well to just use the app that comes on the phone – and it loads to all my devices. Hooooray!

Those are my best tips ! In general – the only other thing I will say is to just be organized and tidy as much as possible. Sounds so simple, but the busier we get, sometimes we let things go in terms of cleanliness of living space. Water bottles everywhere, laundry piles all over – dirty or clean, things out where they shouldn’t be, three weeks of mail stacked on the kitchen table, piles of dishes… etc. Sometimes I just sleep on my couch because I’m too tired to put my clean sheets on my bed, haha so ridiculous but hey that’s life! When you’re juggling busy days end on end, coming home to a clean and clutter free space will help keep you calm and will reduce anxiety and stress. When I have a hard day – packed with work and everything else – and maybe something happened to make me a little emotional, or sad, or agitated… coming home to an apt that looks like a bomb went off just irritates me that much more.

So on top of my five tips… little things make the biggest difference. Do your dishes as soon as you’re done eating, hang up your coat when you get home, put away your shoes, fold your laundry immediately and put it away, keep your jewelry and accessories neat and organized daily… vacuum when you have a few extra minutes and wipe down your bathroom counter tops. All these things will help keep you tidy so that when you are in a hurry – the things you need are all where they’re supposed to be! These couple extra minutes a day will save you an entire day on the weekend of cleaning! BOOOOORING… it’s spring time and no one wants to be inside doing a three hour deep scrub when it’s nice and sunny outside!

How do you master time management? Comment below!! I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!

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