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10 Time Management Tips from Personal Finance Bloggers: #FinCon13 Edition

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10 Time Management Tips

Who needs time management tips? Everyone! Who knows good time management tricks? Bloggers!

Bloggers often have day jobs, young families and tight schedules. Here are some practical time management tips from my fellow bloggers I met at FinCon13, a personal finance bloggers conference.

1.  Write it down. If you don’t write it down somewhere, you will probably forget it. You can carry a small notebook with you or save it electronically.

2.  Think of time as a commodity, like money. You only have so much of it. “Spend” it in ways that work toward your goals. As you make your schedule, spend your time for the most important things first.

3.   Use Google Calendar to schedule everything in specific time slots. This is particularly useful when you need to remember to do something after a certain amount of time.

For example, say Blogger B leaves a comment on Blogger A’s blog. Blogger A wants to return the favor, but not too quickly. Blogger A puts on his Google Calendar to leave a comment on Blogger B’s blog on a day 10 days from now.

4.  Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize! I guess we all know this, but it’s easy to forget. Make that To-Do List and then rewrite it with the most urgent/important items at the top. Try to get the top item done early in the day. (Thanks to Susan Neal who shared this tip in a comment.) It will make you feel great the rest of the day and may motivate you to knock off the next item on the list.

Schedule Down Time Too!

Schedule Down Time Too!

 

5.  When you have items of equal importance on the list, prioritize the one that you prefer to do. You’re more likely to do it early in the day and may be ready to tackle the other item after that. Another blogger says to choose the one you dislike to do first. This is known as “eating the frog.”  Find out what works for you.

6.  If you are having a bad day and don’t want to do any of the top items on your list, pick something further down the list. Something–anything–is better than doing nothing. After you’ve knocked something off the list you might feel energized enough to tackle one of the more challenging items.

7.  One very busy blogger says it helps him use his time well when he can see his entire week at a glance. On the left side he makes a schedule of the week. At the top right is his To-Do List, with tasks in order of importance. Below the To-Do List are his goals for the week. Keeping what’s important to you written where you’ll see it often is a great reminder and motivator!

8.  Schedule 15 minutes each day to do some kind of organizing. It takes time to make and prioritize a list or to update the next day’s schedule or list of contacts.

9.  Use Gmail Boomerang to check when an email you sent was read. That way you will know when to contact the person again.

10.  Don’t let your email overwhelm you. Try to check it just twice a day: once in the morning and again late in the day. A fellow blogger whom I really respect does this and has this message at the bottom of each email:

In an attempt to create a work-life balance, I only check email a couple times a day; If this is urgent, click here: https://orchant.awayfind.com/

Thanks to all the bloggers who shared their most effective time management tips! FinCon is one bloggers’ conference with very helpful, motivated, and talented people!
I hope you find at least one of the above tips useful for your situation. And remember to schedule in some down time each day if at all possible. Take a 15 minute walk or eat your lunch outdoors. It’s good for your productivity and health!  Or take “The Nature Cure” as you play outdoors with your family. Click here for how this fun way to prevent stress works!
Please use the comment section below to share any more tips. We all need ways to manage our busy schedules!

 

14 comments… add one

  • Valerie Rind October 23, 2013, 3:36 pm

    I have a loud “tick tock” clock in my office. It’s a frequent reminder that time is fleeting.

  • Budget and the Beach October 23, 2013, 8:06 pm

    I like #6. I sort of follow the Nike mantra of Just Do It. If you’re not feeling something, move on. But just do something.

  • Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions October 25, 2013, 7:09 am

    Maggie, It was great to meet you a FinCon. Thanks for these great tips.
    I find myself overwhelmed with the social media aspects of blogging, so I have started to set a timer for myself — using http://www.timeanddate.com/timer/. Once it dings, I have to pull myself away from Facebook, Twitter, whatever I’m drowning in.

    I also have started carving out an hour in the morning before my family gets up. It helps me get a jump on the day with focus and determination to get something done before the hectic morning begins.
    Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions recently posted…Consigning Clothes OnlineMy Profile

    • maggie October 25, 2013, 10:54 am

      Rebecca those are great tips! I love the timer! Setting aside an hour before the family gets up can really give you some sweet productive time! Just be sure you are getting enough sleep at night!

      It was great meeting you at FinCon! It was such a whirl there, but I learned so much. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here!
      maggie recently posted…$600 Cash Giveaway and My Favorite Halloween Treats!My Profile

  • Elissa @ 20s Finances October 25, 2013, 2:25 pm

    Always always ALWAYS have to write it down. If I don’t, I’ll totally forget. Google Calendar has saved me from missing events/meetings, too – great tips.

    • maggie October 25, 2013, 10:38 pm

      Yes! Writing it down is essential! Elissa, sometimes I think I’ll just remember it, but somehow it evaporates! I have to start using Google Calendar more. It’s also great for remembering birthdays, anniversaries, etc.!
      maggie recently posted…$600 Cash Giveaway and My Favorite Halloween Treats!My Profile

  • Bren October 26, 2013, 9:53 am

    Hi Maggie! These are fabulous tips to live by. I feel like I have good time management skills when it comes to my job, but when I get home, I get a little slack and that’s when my blogging and commenting take a back seat. I need to regroup myself a little better so I don’t feel so stressed about getting those duties accomplished! Thanks for sharing!
    Bren recently posted…Life Lessons: “Try”My Profile

  • Susan Neal October 26, 2013, 2:02 pm

    Brilliant tips, Maggie – I can never get enough of this kind of advice, because I’m often hopelessly disorganised. I try, but find it hard to stick to a schedule.

    The only one of your points I’d query is number 5, because I’ve read somewhere you’re supposed to “eat the frog” (or something like that! Can’t remember who, but it’s from some personal development guru) – i.e. do the thing you’re going to find most difficult first. Having said that, I agree with the tip about at least doing something – that way you keep moving forward, even if it’s only by a few inches.

    An excellent post – and I love the way you collected these tips from other bloggers :)
    Susan Neal recently posted…15 Beliefs To Supercharge Your Writing CareerMy Profile

    • maggie October 26, 2013, 7:01 pm

      Thanks, Susan. I had fun asking my fellow bloggers at the conference for their best tip. Yeah, I think eating the frog is probably a better way to go. Whatever works for you!

      I often get myself going by just doing something, even if it’s a tiny thing. It gets me started!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Susan!
      maggie recently posted…Don’t Let “The Wealth Effect” Ruin Your Finances!My Profile

  • femmefrugality October 28, 2013, 11:42 pm

    Great tips! Need to start scheduling when to comment. I get so behind sometimes. Someday I’ll make it to FinCon! Who votes Pittsburgh next year?
    femmefrugality recently posted…Tips for Non-Traditional Students and Their Loved OnesMy Profile

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