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I am a blogger and freelancer. I also suffer from chronic illness and have other responsibilities. The best way to make good use of my time is to keep and stick to a planner. I do use Google for some things however I really like having a paper planner best. Some good ones to try are:
Take advantage of the weekend.
You probably don’t want to think about work but it’s a good idea on Saturday or Sunday to organize the tasks ahead and make todo lists for your days. It will be a very valuable use of your time. You’ll know the workload and be able to spread it out and get everything done.
You won’t be scrambling to meet deadlines. You’ll also mentally prepare for the tasks ahead in your work week. You should also write down appointments and bills to pay. I do this in my planner and just keep track of everything in one place.
Evaluate how you did last week.
Review the work that you got done and anything that you didn’t succeed in accomplishing. Ask yourself if these things are still important and add them to the next week. Eliminate anything that doesn’t matter. If you haven’t yet, cross out or check off anything you did get done. It feels good to get things accomplished.
List everything you have to get done and then using number prioritize them based on importance. This way you won’t have to rush on anything to get it in before it is due. Assign deadlines even to things that don’t have them and make sure you actually get them done (I have a hard time with this!) Deadlines need to be realistic and manageable.
Use the batching method.
Once you have set things in order of priority, start batching things in your to-do list. This would including things like filming videos or writing blog posts. You will be blocking out time for these similar tasks and work on them all at once. This decreases distraction and for most people, you get more done.
Batching has really helped me with my productivity especially since I have a personal struggle with consistency. On the days I don’t feel well or can’t concentrate, I will already have a blog post ready to go. I take advantage of the time I feel creative by writing a ton of posts in one sitting.
Schedule out your days.
Get your planner out:
Create themes. Schedule things in a blank open week and do them in batches based on priority.
Organize your days. Do this based on when you’re at your best and will get the most done. For me, this is in the morning.
Schedule your time. Do this based on the priority of a task. Even if you don’t want to do something, get it done and out of the way first and then move on to the tasks you enjoy.
Estimate the time a task will take and block it off. This isn’t always easy to determine, but give it your best guess.
Include everything. Don’t forget to include bills and any doctors appointments or other scheduled tasks.
Some things to keep in mind are that you might not always finish everything you had planned. That’s okay. Acknowledge any limitations or schedule your time accordingly and get it done next week. You should also include breaks and time to relax.
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