I love organization and finished projects, but sometimes the best I can do is plan. It's called time management for a reason. You get a set amount of time, all you can do is manage it. You can't create more.
1. Set a Timer
Set a goal and a time limit. For example, I'm going to spend the next twenty minutes cleaning the house. Set the timer and stay focused. When it buzzes, walk away. Move to the next task.
For me, writing comes first as a daily goal. I focus on the writing projects in order of importance, paid versus unpaid, and deadlines.
3. Plan Ahead
I often cringe looking at my calendar. Some days are simply crazier than others. Plan accordingly. One day, when the creative juices are flowing, stock up a couple of posts. Use them as needed.
4. Ask for Help
When you get in a pinch, ask friends and family for help and reciprocate when needed. We've all got friends waiting to help, but they don't know how. Reach out. For blogs, guest posts can be a wonderful addition and fun for your readers.
Find a network. I'm a better parent when I surround myself with parent friends. Same is true of writing. Find writers online or in your community. Support each other.
6. Combine 1-5
Some of my writing friends get together online for sprints. Set a time, check in on Twitter, and write for a solid hour. Report word counts at the end and cheer each other on. In one hour, you've combined all the steps above.
“Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back.” Harvey MacKay
At least for me, the worst thing I can do is not have a plan. My desk is a mess of piles and things to accomplish. If I sit down and stare at it, that's all I'll do for way too long. I'm easily distracted when not following a schedule.
Don't forget to make time for fun. Life is all about balance.
But, as the quote suggests, once you've lost time you can never get it back. Use it wisely. It's one thing you can count on, limited but trustworthy.
What's your best tip for time management?