It was learn to be organised or fail. I took the first option. The second one applies to way too many other aspects of my life; I didn’t want to be too predictable.
Hey, beautiful skeletons – how you doing today? You likely remember my
freakout post around creating a Graphic Design portfolio in three months.
If you don’t . . . well, it’s gone now. You missed your chance to watch me come unraveled and panic like a little bitch. Sorry.
Quick recap: I have three (well, more like two) months in which I have to complete an entire portfolio – preferably two sketchbooks or larger.
Now, I could have sat down and cried. I could have procrastinated and watched TV. (I mean, I only just found out that How To Get Away With Murder is back/has been back for weeks, so it’s not like I don’t have anything to watch.) I could have even gone “you know what, I’ll just apply for something that doesn’t require a portfolio” – but I didn’t.
I spent a painful amount on a shiny new graphics tablet, I charged up my camera, I rolled up my sleeves and I said “I’m going to work myself into an mental breakdown.”
And, honestly . . . it’s not going too badly. I don’t feel like I’m drowning and I’m actually making good progress. How am I doing this?
Once you learn to effectively manage your time, you’ll realise that you have more of it than you originally thought – and that you can get more out of the time you have.
Now, I realise that this is far easier said than done. In fact, it seems almost impossible to tackle time-management. Especially in this age of constant distraction – TV, internet, social media, texts, Whatsapps, apps constantly bombarding your phone with push notifications and begging for your attention.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not.
Time management is very much an achievable goal – and just by reading this post, by showing an active interest in it, you’re already well on your way. Because, honestly, half the battle is being aware of time in relation to what you have to do. So today’s post is dedicated to showing you how I manage my time and meet my goals.
Ready? Let’s go.
My Goal Setting Spread
We all know I’m a bullet journalling addict. My bullet journal is to me what the ring is to Gollum. Cut me and I bleed washi tape.
Honestly, bullet journalling has been a massive help for me in terms of time management. Just having things written down helps me to remember them and stay on top of my shit. (Side note: if you want to learn how to make your own bullet journal, check out my post here.)
So, naturally, to tackle this mountain of work my instinct was . . . let’s make a bullet journal spread!
Now, let’s pick apart this goal page and see all the things that make it effective . . .
How To Set Ambitious, Time-Restrictive Goals & Achieve Them
- Break the goal up into smaller, more achievable chunks.Look, kids, before I say the next sentence I just want to ask: when have I ever lied to you? I don’t. If I think something is crazy, I’ll say it’s crazy.So trust me when I say you can do pretty much whatever you set your mind to. The trick isn’t in ability; it’s in belief. And not in some silly “if you believe you can be an Olympic athlete, you can be!” way, but in a realistic way.If I say to you “complete 3 years worth of artwork in two months”, you’re going to freak the fuck out. Right?If I say to you “complete 2-4 sketchbook pages a week for the next three months” . . . it might be a lot of work, but you instantly go “I can do that”, right?
My first tip is to break up your goals into smaller, more manageable chunks. This way you’ll actually be motivated to do things as they look achievable – and you don’t feel like you’re doing too much and overworking yourself, which is when your brain will start to protest and say “fuck this, I’m out”.
- Assign times and dates to tasks.
Again, this tip is to ensure that everything feels achievable – and gets done. Assign each task to a date that it needs to be completed by, so you start to gradually chip away at the bigger block. It’s entirely up to you how mercenary you are with this; for me, I like the flexibility of being able to work bit-by-bit after work, or for an entire day, or maybe just an hour each day – as long as a certain amount of tasks are completed per week, I don’t need to micro-manage my time. For some people, micro-managing actually works a lot better and I know people who plan things down to the hour!While I’d recommend leaving yourself room, do whatever feels the most comfortable.
- Create a checklist.
I know this seems like a weird and ultimately kind of pointless tip, but ticking things off a checklist is so weirdly satisfying – I actually find myself doing things just so that I can tick them off!
- Procrastination is bad. Breaks are good.Your brain needs a break. That’s just a fact of life; you can’t spend all your time working hard. You’ll burn out and end up achieving less. So I’m a big believer int aking a break, having a relax and giving yourself some wind-down time. However, there’s taking a break and there’s procrastination.Maria recently wrote an absolutely brilliant blog post about beating procrastination that I highly recommend you reading (linked here) and I completely agree. Everything is doable . . . unless you spend all your time watching TV to put off doing it.
- Procrastination is good if you procrastinate by working on other tasks on your list.
That said . . . sometimes our brain works best when you give it something else to do. So if you’re painfully bored of what you’re meant to be working on, work on something else. That’s the great thing about having all your tasks listed – you can pick something that looks more appealing to you and get started on that instead.
And with that . . . we finish this post. I hope you found some helpful tips and tricks in this – what are your top tips for time management? Do you have any specific ways that you achieve your goals or are you some mystical unicorn that can just get things done instinctively? Also, the bullet journal spread – pastel highlighters were probably the best investment of 2017. What do you think? Let me know your thoughts down below!