Time Management

It’s 9:00 pm and I am just now beginning Tuesday post, and I can’t put if off much longer or I’m going to have to start  my 365 day blogging challenge all over again. Today I worked on incorporating some of the activities I haven’t been making time for back into my day, such as exercise, spending some time outside (alright, alright, I spent 30 minutes out by the pool getting some sun!) and studying. Jenna Cole Photography already has me stressed to the max and adding more things to my to-do list forced me to answer the phone saying “That Husband, let’s just get scriptures study over with, I don’t have time to talk tonight.”*

Now, more than ever, my time management skills are crucial. My classes have a January deadline, I’m working to get my core strong before I get pregnant, I want to lose weight before my sisters wedding, and my business reputation is based in part on my ability deliver results in a timely manner. My days of spending hours blogging (whether writing or reading) are over, and I’m working on developing some skills that will help me stay on track.

  1. Only 30 minutes of internet in the morning when I wake up. Setting a time limit forces me to get out of my chair, exercise, eat, clean up the house, and get my studying in for the day.
  2. Designate someone close to you to be someone you can report to. I think choosing your spouse or significant other works best, because for me, I know that giving a negative report on my progress can create discord in our relationship, something I would like to avoid (and can easily avoid, if I well exercise some discipline).
  3. Decide what time of day you thrive during. Mornings are bad for me because I have a hard time getting on task. When the sun sets and bedtime is approaching I’m able to kick things on gear, so that is when I do most of my Jenna Cole related things; editing, answer emails, etc.
  4. Set up a system of small daily rewards. I look forward to watching America’s Next Top Model on YouTube or Lie To Me on Hulu while I edit.
  5. Save the task that is easiest for you for last. I love editing my photos so I save that for the end of the day (unless I get behind, then I bump it up a little bit to catch back up.
  6. Make To-Do lists. I use Remember The Milk, and I add every single thing I want to do that day, or need to do in the near future to my “Today” task list. Crossing each one of them off my list gives me mucho pleasure, matched in very few situations.

I hope things will improve so I can answer the phone with a smile on my face the next time my hubby calls, instead of cutting things short with my crabby tone and insisting we get to the “Goodnight” part of our conversation.

What are the time management tricks you use to stay on task?

*He does this to me all the time when his consulting firm acts like 16 hour workdays are no big deal.

17 thoughts on “Time Management

  1. This is such a helpful post Jenna! I’ve been having time management trouble myself. Between juggling a full-time job, family obligations and a social life – it’s been so hard finding time to devote specifically to my passion for photography. I think the key thing that I learned from this entry and watching you launch your career is that I have to invest my all into what I love in order to be successful and happy in life. Thanks so much for continuing to be such an inspiration!

  2. I think your goals are admirable.
    As far as your posting to acheive the 365 days of blogging, what will you do when the 365 days are up??? –If it validates anything, don’t you sometimes post multiple times a day? Doesn’t that count/make up for lack of posting?
    How have yo been feeling lately? Post-surgery?

    Jenna Reply:

    Once my 365 days are up I plan on posting when it strikes me, which will likely mean only around 5 posts a week instead of 7. And I will take breaks when I go on vacation. I’m looking forward to taking more time to focus on quality posts instead of stressing about keeping up with the quantity.

  3. I’m a list-maker as well. Every morning at work I make a list of what needs to be done and then it gets numbered in the order things need to be done. I don’t get everything done everyday, but then it just gets written on the next day’s list. Then I don’t forget anything!

  4. If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

    http://www.Gtdagenda.com

    You can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version is available too.

  5. I completely rely on Google Calendar. Mr.M and I reply on that so we can juggle each other’s schedule.

    The only struggle I find is that I have to plan my schedule months in advanced and everyone plans everything on the same days! :)

  6. My husband’s advice is to commit to donate money to a cause that I don’t believe in or even dislike each time I cheat on a goal. Believe me, the thought that if I have to pay a dollar to something I hate if I eat that piece of chocolate is mighty motivating.

    Jenna Reply:

    I think my husband would love to do that… except I don’t think he could bear to part with his money. :)

  7. I completely rely on my iCal on my Mac book and my blackberry. During finals every second is planned because time management is so important to get everything done during that month, but other than that I just make list. I need to be be better. A lot of times in my head I know how much work has to get done and I just have to stay up until it is done, but if I managed my time a little better I think that I would get to bed earlier.

  8. In your spare time (haha) could you do real world tutorial on Remember the Milk? I have seen that site recommended a number of times but I don’t find it particularly friendly. Maybe some hints from someone who actually uses it could help get the rest of us going.

    Thanks!!

    Jenna Reply:

    I’m not sure if my tutorial would be that great since I don’t use it that well. I really only use one tab “Today”, and have SMS messages sent to my phone as reminders. I hit “T” for new task, “D” to change the date, and “M” to edit multiple entries at once. Maybe I’ll write one if I start using it more when I get my iPhone since they have an app for it!

    Beth Reply:

    That would be even better! Now that a lower priced Iphone is coming out, I’m sure more and more people will be getting one. I am …

  9. I hear you on this! I am diligently working on getting my Mrs. Pom posts up and done on WB. Talk about a HUGE backlog of work. That’s what happens when you get your first few clients sooner than you thought! ;)

  10. How I know that: lacking time. I have a ectic constantly changing schedule at work, a million things to do, including working the “last” details of purchasing a house. I haven’t exercises the way I want to since I started my new job because schedule wise it’s harder for me to go run (I only enjoy running in the morning).
    When I really have to do things, I make lists, that’s the easiest thing I can do. But do I manage things well, well not always, lately I’ve just let things happen, I lack the time to plan it.
    As far as quality time, we just took three days off, went camping in the mountains for a night and it felt so good to our relationship.

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