Good time management skills involve more than just allowing ample time for a task or project, alleviating unnecessary interruptions, and knowing when it’s appropriate to delegate. In fact, an essential factor in time management is realizing your own prime time(s). Maximizing efficiency and getting the most out of your workday may depend on recognizing the best times for you to perform certain tasks.
I recently consulted with a woman who creates blog posts for her own website and others as part of her small business. Kelly was struggling with her writing time, feeling unproductive and uncreative. Initially, this professional carved out time late in the day, after phone calls and emails had eased up, for writing. Yet, she was still experiencing writer’s block.
As an alternative, Kelly tried to make time on weekends, after she had tied up other loose ends pertaining to her business. Unfortunately, that didn’t work either and Kelly felt she was spending too long attempting to create informative and interesting posts.
Kelly and I talked through this particular dilemma and discovered she simply wasn’t utilizing her prime time for writing. As a morning person, she is at her best in the early hours of any given day. But, she wasn’t using that time for creative thinking, an important aspect of writing. Instead, she was fighting her natural inclinations and found herself squeezing her writing into a time frame when she was already exhausted from the day’s activities and depleted of any sense of creativity. As a result, she was wasting time on a task that seemed overwhelming.
By waking up just ½ an hour earlier a few days each week, this young professional finally found her prime time to create blog posts before delving into the tasks associated with her business. Feeling clear-headed and well rested after a good night’s sleep, Kelly found her blog writing dilemma solved.
How can you determine and utilize your prime time(s)?
Recognize what time of day you’re at your best.
If you’re a morning person, you gravitate to early meetings and find yourself waking up energized and ready to face the day ahead of you. You’d be surprised how many individuals don’t have this self-awareness and are constantly working against themselves.
Even some early risers find they get a second wind after dinner, which may provide adequate time and the appropriate attention span for projects such as blog writing. Try some different options to discover what works best for you.
Utilize several time zones.
As a writer who’s the most productive in the morning, you might realize there’s a limit to how much work you can accomplish in the early hours of the day. The solution? Use another time period such as the afternoon hours for outlining, research, or working up drafts. Getting some of this preliminary work out of the way will help set the stage for more focused work during your prime time.
I have witnessed many individuals struggle with what seemed to be time management issues when really they just weren’t tapping into their personal prime times to utilize certain skills. Work on adjusting your daily schedule and you just might alleviate many of your time management challenges, too.
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Kathy Rembisz is an award-winning writer with hundreds of articles, both online and in print, to her name. She also has experience as the editor of a glossy regional publication. She is the author of the children’s picture book, Hair, Hair Everywhere! and frequently speaks to students at schools, libraries and community centers about reading and writing. As a regular blogger, special areas of interest to Kathy include: health and wellness topics, pets and small business development. You can find her at blog.familywize.org. Before her career in journalism, Kathy started a practice management company, offering medical billing, public relations, and staff development services to healthcare practices. In addition, she has a strong background in healthcare sales and marketing. Finally, as an individual with celiac disease and a whole host of food allergies, Kathy is a gluten- and allergen-free baker and former restaurant co-owner.