>>> A personal post
How do you find time for everything? That’s the question I get asked most. I guess the reason why I get that question is because I am quite a productive human begin. And that’s not to brag, quite the opposite actually. I can’t help it!
When I was a teenager, my dad used to say that I had too much going on and that I should quit something. For the record, I was doing too much – even if I’d say that I could cope with everything effortlessly. In 1992 I was studying German language and literature in the morning, English Philology in the afternoons, I visited additional English and German language courses twice and three times a week respectively, AND I was part of my university’s classic theater group. Besides, when Seville – my hometown – was getting ready to open the world exhibition in April, I decided to apply for a job at the exhibition, and I got the job. And there was no party I would miss!
So my dad was a teeny-weeny right. But the problem is that that’s how I am. And believe me when I say that I’ve tried to change it, but I can’t. I get so excited with new things to learn, to try and to experience, that a couple of months after I’ve joined a zillion of things, I find myself wondering why in the world!
There are a couple of things that feel most normal to me, and I thought to everyone else, too. However, I realized to my surprise that not everybody has this planning bug going on like us planner freaks. Many people would say that that’s very German of me (I’ve been living 13 years in Germany) but that’s not totally true… I was born this way. Ask my dad 😉
How do I find time for everything?
So, if you’d like to how I can find time for so many things, you may want to try a couple of the tactics that I use:
- Every night, plan what’s most important for the day or the week after. This is something I’ve been doing since my early days at school. Whenever I felt I wasn’t going to be able to make it for an exam, or when I had to deliver an essay or any other assignment at an impossible due date, I’d do the following:
- I’d write a list of everything I had to do until the exam.
- Starting at the due date and going backward, I’d plan when I was going to perform each task, and write the days near to it.
- If the due date was imminent, I’d write the time slots next to each task.
- Is this no help for you? Do you still have too much on your plate? Then ask yourself what you can leave out. One thing we all should remember more often is that “urgent” and “important” isn’t the same! And that would be my secret #1: I don’t do everything. Just the things that are important to me. If you want to be productive, set priorities.
- Get rid of distractions. And yep, I also mean your smartphone. That’s a distraction massive weapon, I tell ya! Check out this post about smartphones and how to break free from them 🙂
- If you really need to get something done, working at night may not be the best solution, as you’ll most likely be too tired to work thoroughly, but here are two suggestions:
- Go early to bed and get up early in the morning, or
- Before you go to bed, take some time to go over the plan you had for the day. Review and redo it for the following days. That helps me feel capable of coping with due dates!
- In any case, don’t watch Netflix, TV or whatever robs your time from you in the evening. Either you work, or you relax/sleep. You can just leave your TV shows for the weekends, for instance!
- Would you like to listen to podcasts but don’t find the time to do so? Use the time you’re folding laundry or cooking! And what about when you’re driving? Why not listen to a motivating (business) growth podcast?
- And the same applies to audiobooks: They’re awesome to work out! – Yep, you’re supposed to do some sports as well! Do you think you have no time for that? Think again! Just a daily quick jog around the corner will do! And don’t forget to take your audiobook with you 😉
- Get professional help for house cleaning, get help from your partner with the kids, do some cooking batching – or use that cooking time to listen to interesting stuff, as in #5. Look, time is gold, so I’m not going to waste my time doing something that a professional is going to finish much quicker and better than me 😉
How do you make time for yourself?
You might be thinking that productivity is something that helps you work more. But, for me, productivity is exactly the opposite: It should help you work less AND get more done! And what for? To make some time for yourself, of course! For you to spend time relaxing, being with the people that you love or doing whatever you just feel doing!
>> Check out this post about time management and how to simplify housework to have more time and get your freelance business off the ground – and start working smarter, not harder!!
If you have any tips on saving time, productivity and making time for yourself, I’d love to read them in the comments below!
PS. Are you born to freelance?