At this point it’s no secret: I love TV. Like… really love it. I often have a hard time discussing anything other than character arcs or plot twists at happy hour gatherings or Facetime sessions with friends, and therefore keeping up with my long list of television shows takes up a lot of my time. It can be hard trying to squeeze in the latest episode of Riverdale, Westworld, and Silicon Valley all the while tuning into The Mindy Project before falling asleep at night. Oh, and did you see that The Handmaid’s Tale is back? I can hardly keep up!
My life is already busy as it is and between working full-time, trying to stay on top of my fitness game, making time to see friends, and being in a long-distance relationship—there just never seems to be enough hours in the day. I’ve been the late-night culprit all too many times where the clock strikes midnight while watching my shows and my load of laundry has suddenly turned into 3 and there aren’t any clean spoons to eat just a few bites of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. (Probably a blessing in disguise to be honest, but that’s besides the point.)
Nevertheless, I’ve made some changes over the past few months that have really helped me manage my time. For busy girls that are on-the-go, to ladies who love to snuggle under the covers just a little too much, this is for you. (And well, me… obviously.)
TIP #1: GO TO BED EARLIER TO WAKE UP BETTER.
I’ve always been a night owl. I feel the most creative, energetic, and alive around 1am and though my writing and laundry usually benefit from occasional late-night productivity sessions, my normal daily routine typically suffers. That being said, it’s super important for me to set boundaries for myself when it comes to my time. I usually wake up each morning at 6am, so I try to be in bed by 10pm, at the latest. I set an alarm each night at 9:30 that lets me know it’s time for bed, and will sometimes structure my mornings with guiding alarms letting me know when I should be getting ready, making breakfast, reading my bible, and walking out the door so I stay on track and get everything that I need to do, done*.
*Bad hair days typically throw the morning alarm system way out of whack, so use with caution.
TIP #2: MAKE A LIST OF PRIORITIES.
If you’re really struggling with time management, try jotting down all the things that take up your time outside of work and sleep, because you can’t really move those two things around. It helps you visualize what’s actually taking up your time to then help you prioritize them. Here’s my list of priorities, in no particular order:
- Going to yoga
- Spending time with Bobby
- Reading my bible
- Watching TV (I mean, it’s a non-negotiable)
- Spending time with friends & family
- Household chores
- Running my errands
Once you have your list, figure out which things have more importance over other things and prioritize those first on your list. For me, running errands and doing household chores comes second to spending time with Bobby and going to yoga… and okay, catching up on my TV shows. That being said, I can’t just come home from work and plop on the couch for a mini marathon of Vampire Diaries and hang out with Bobby every night because then I’d never get anything done. And that’s not to say that those nights don’t happen occasionally, but it’s all about balance. You should definitely make your chores and workouts a priority but giving yourself a little free time to take a super long bath or watch your favorite rom-com before bed isn’t a crime either. Getting work done is important but having a few Self Care nights sprinkled in throughout the month isn’t going to kill you. Trust me, they’re good for the soul.
TIP #3: PENCIL IT IN.
Once you’ve figured out your necessary to-do’s, actually work and write them into your schedule. I’m crazy, and use both a spiral notebook planner that I write literally everything in AND a Google Calendar. (Not the most time-efficient, I know- but it holds me accountable!) I will schedule my workouts in, write in the nights I’m going to the grocery store, make plans with friends in advance if possible, and block off nights that I know I’m going to want to bake cookies and watch TV all night. If I have a Thursday night yoga class written in my planner on Monday morning, it’s much easier for me to prepare for it not only by having my gym bag packed the night before but also prepping dinner or any other plans around this preconceived commitment.
Bottom line: If you make something a priority, it will be one.
TIP #4: LIMIT THE THINGS THAT HOLD YOU BACK.
....like spending time on your phone. (Talking to myself here) There have been so many times I’ve gotten lost while scrolling Instagram that I’ve seriously lost count. It’s such a soul-sucking time waster, and it is so toxic for your psyche and your productivity. If you too feel like you’ve spent far too much of your time on your phone, maybe try limiting how many social networks you’re on. I deleted Snapchat last year and seriously have never looked back. It’s been so freeing to not feel the need to live-snap concerts or nights out with the girls and just enjoy life in the present moment. Although let’s not kid ourselves here… obviously I won’t let a good brunch spread go to waste. Thank you, Insta Stories.
But maybe that’s asking too much. Perhaps you try to simply delete the social media app from your phone and only access your Facebook or Twitter account from a desktop. There’s so much life to be lived and conversations to be had that are looking us right in the eyes, so don’t get too caught up in your social media accounts. ...or if you’re like me, you let an hour post-shower pass you by and suddenly you’re still wrapped in your towel laughing hysterically at Chrissy Teigan’s tweets. I’m a work in progress, okay!!!
I think it's so important to maintain a routine to ensure we stay on track. There's nothing I love more than leaving for work in the morning knowing my apartment is clean, my laundry is done, and my workout bag is packed for my 5pm yoga class. But if this post has taught you anything, then you know I value the cozy nights in my PJs with Vampire Diaries cued up on the television more than *almost* anything. Nevertheless, if you have any time management tips of your own I'd love to hear them! I'm always looking for ways to learn and grow, and if there's a fabulous time tracking app or a tactic you swear by, please share!!
And lastly— I am obviously always taking Netflix/Hulu/HBO/Showtime/Starz suggestions too, because it’s all about #balance.