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The Best Time Management Strategies: Frameworks & Simplification

In this post, I wanted to talk about time management strategies. There is a lot of controversial thoughts about time management.

Some people think that time management is not even a real concept, that we automatically prioritize the things that are important to us. They say that regardless if you make a schedule or if you try and organize your time, and manage your time in a way that is more effective, eventually your true underlying priorities will prevail, and the effort that you put into managing your time, and creating a schedule, and all of that will have been for nothing.

Some people, on the other hand, really stick to this concept of time management like it is the secret to their success.

What I think is kind of a mix of these two ideas.

I do think that it’s really important to have some sort of structure. I feel that without structure it’s really easy to let things slip by when it’s easy and convenient.

time management strategies frameworks

If nowhere in my brain am I thinking that three times a week I need to get this done, for instance, posting on blogs, posting on my blogs. If I’m not thinking to myself, “I need to get blog posts out three times a week,” and I don’t have that kind of structure in place, it’s going to be really easy to get lost, for that task to get lost amidst the 501 other things that are floating around in my brain at any given moment.

In today’s society, you are usually juggling a multiple kind of hats of either father, mother, sister, brother, student, employee, boss, son, daughter, etc. in addition to having a career – and a lot of people now also like to volunteer their time. You might also like to have multiple ongoing projects on the side, maybe have some hobbies and of course friends!

So you’ve got your personal shit going on. You’ve got your family shit going on. You’ve got your professional shit going on. And you’ve got your side projects, hobbies, sports, etc. going on. Now, when you have all of this stuff happening and you’re thinking about all of that all at once, it’s really easy for your brain to start getting exhausted, especially if you don’t have a good framework for how you’re going to do things.

The Best Time Management Strategies to manage stress

So when it comes to running a business online, or even just a side project. Even if you’re thinking of this either as just something that you’re doing for fun, something that you’re doing as more of a side hustle. Regardless of how you’re thinking of this, it’s really difficult to move a big project forwards if you don’t have some kind of task list orientation or way of framing what you need to do every day.

Time Management Strategy 1: Have a Framework

So I am an advocate for making sure that you have some sort of framework going on for how you’re going to do things, and I like the idea of incorporating what you’re going to do into a routine that’s repetitive and that you can really get the hang of.

This is something that’s eventually going to become auto-pilot for you. I am very, very against scheduling each and every minute of every day so that you have something to do all the time.

The problem with having something to do all the time is that, inevitably, your brain and your body are going to get exhausted.

When the new season of Game of Throne comes out, you’re going to be thinking about that. And then it’s going to come down to, “Well, I’m looking at my calendar, and I have six different things to do between 5:00 PM and 10:00 PM, and I’ve already done a full day of work. I haven’t seen this friend in forever, and they want to hang out tonight, and I really want to watch the new couple episodes of Game of Thrones and then, looking at your calendar tomorrow and seeing you have to wake up at 6:00 in the morning because you want to get X, Y, and Z done before work.

The Best Time Management Strategies and being realistic

Well, what are you going to do when you’re confronted with this situation? Maybe the first day or two, the work will win out, but eventually, the Game of Thrones is going to start winning out. Eventually, your friends are going to start winning out and rightly so because you need that downtime.

Your brain is not going to function at full efficiency if it never gets any breaks. And sometimes, the most creative ideas, the best ideas are the ones that come to us when we’re not fully thinking about them, when we’re not kind of sitting there and doing the work, when we’re just taking a walk, when we’re in the shower, when we’re watching some Game of Thrones, during the break when we’re eating popcorn or whatever.

Sometimes that’s when ideas come to us because we’re resting, we’re recharging. Our subconscious mind might be working on a problem that’s going on in our business right now, but our conscious mind is just taking a little breather.

And what I found a lot with people who never take any sort of breaks, or breathers, or anything like that, is that they get overwhelmed. They get overworked.

Let’s say you’re really set on making your business work, and you’re like, “Okay. I’m 100% committed. I’m going to schedule each second of every day. And I’m going to get this done, and in four months, I’m going to have this huge business going. I’m going to be making this much a month. And this is how I’ve broken it down. And I’ve made goals for myself. And I’m not going to give up. And I’m just going to take these months, and I’m not going to see friends, or take breaks, or watch TV, or anything like that.”

The problem with that is that if things start to go wrong – if for some reason, something that you’ve planned out doesn’t work right according to schedule, if something that you’ve planned out takes longer than expected, then your plan is going to be extended.

Trust me, when I tell you that, with online business or with any kind of business that you’re starting yourself, any home business, any solopreneur business, it’s not going to go quite as expected because it’s just up to you. You’re the one organizing everything.

Some things that you’ve planned out – unless you’ve done this whole process before and you’re a master at it – is going to take longer than expected. 

More than likely, actually, several things are going to take much longer than expected. Several things are not going to work quite right.

Now, do you see the problem that you’re having?

Because you’re putting your life on hold and you’re pushing yourself to get all of this done.

The Best Time Management Strategies and being realistic

Maybe you’ve even quit your job and have given yourself a four-month timeframe to get this business up and running, up and off the ground and you need to get those done in four months. Otherwise, you’re going to be in debt, and you’re going to be more and more in debt and you need to pay your bills.

Now you’ve got all this pressure.

What if things start to go wrong? What if things don’t work out? What if things take longer than I expected?

Time Management Strategy 2: Be Sustainable (But ACTUALLY!)

It’s just not a sustainable way to operate and if there’s one thing that I know for certain with online business, is that things take longer than expected. Things sometimes don’t work out the way that you plan them to and eventually, you’re going to need to kind of accept the fact that it’s better to have a way of work that’s sustainable and that you can build up over time, work and accumulate quality work than to push yourself to get something done and work unreasonable hours all the time and constantly be pushing yourself to the limit of your work capabilities.

If you push yourself that hard eventually, you’re going to stop producing quality work.

Let’s say you’re running a blog, right? So what do you need to do if you’re running a blog?

Well, as you’ve seen in some of my other posts, what you need to do is you need to make sure that you’re putting out blog posts. You need to get to that 100 or 150 as soon as possible and you need to keep pumping them out, and you need to pump them out in a way that’s consistent, quality content.

Stuff that people are going to enjoy. They’re going to want to read. That they’re going to want to stick around on your site.

Not only that, you need to integrate those posts together and make sure they’re linking to one another in a comprehensive way. That you’re making your site easy to navigate for people who are coming and people who are coming are actually going to find what they’re looking for. You need to make sure that all of that is done properly. Right?

Contrary to popular belief, this is not something that you can do once and leave it – at least not until a TON of work is done on it. This is something that as you put out more posts, you need to keep doing this on your site. You need to make sure that your site is constantly user-friendly

And then after all of that, after the fact that you actually need to be putting out content and consistently integrating content together in a way that’s user-friendly, readable, and makes your site easy to navigate, you need to make sure that, on all those posts, you’re doing the proper on-page SEO.

You need to make sure that you’re getting the proper backlinks to your blog.

You need to make sure that you’re constantly getting visitors. 

You need to be engaged with the community, so other blogs in your niche. 

You need to make sure that you are contacting other blogs, posting on other blogs, like commenting. 

You need to get in touch with other blogs and you can do guest posting because all of that is going to help your SEO, which is going to get you traffic.

The Best Time Management Strategies need to be sustainable

And if that wasn’t enough, you need a way to monetize your site if you’re planning on making this a business, which means you need to find affiliate programs.

You need to find a way to integrate those products into your posts. 

You need to make sure, if you’re doing Google ads or media ads or if you’re part of some kind of ad network, you need to get those set up. 

You need to make sure the codes posted properly on all the pages of your site. 

You need to make sure you’ve integrated social media. 

You need to make sure that you’re keeping up on your social media. 

So basically, what I’m telling you is that there’s 101 things that you need to be doing on your blog on a consistent, on-going basis. Right?

Let’s say I’m trying to run my blog. Okay? So let’s say it takes approximately, five hours for me to write a really good post that’s about 1,500 words long. To be able to integrate links into that post. Do all my own page SEO. Do some off-page SEO by commenting on other sites and linking back to that blog post or my website in general. To post all that on social media. To put some, let’s say, affiliate links in there. And then, to link it within my site to make sure that my site stays user-friendly, and that the post is properly integrated into the rest of the content that’s somewhat related to it, okay?

Let’s say that whole process takes me five hours, okay?

Now, is it realistic to want to post 10 articles a week if each one, the whole process is going to take me five hours? Probably not, right?

You’re not going to be able to put 50 hours a week into this blog unless that’s pretty much all you’re doing, right? 

But you probably have a job. You probably have friends, family, all of the stuff that we talked about earlier, right? So if you have all of those things, and you’re trying to run a blog as a side business it’s just not realistic to want to do that much per week.

As crazy as it sounds, it is entirely possible to schedule in an extra 50 hours into your work week in addition to a job but is it realistic?

You could put an extra 2 hours every single morning before work, an extra 6 hours after work, that’s 8 hours, and then, do that five times a week, and then schedule in 8 hours from 6:00 AM until 2:00 PM on the weekend, and voila, you’ve got 56 hours of work every single week that you’ve just added on top of everything else.

But how much time does that leave for you?

Well, you could say, “Oh, well, I’ve got my Saturday and Sunday nights off, so I can relax and whatever,” but, trust me when I say that’s not enough. It’s not enough to leave that much time out. And that’s not a sustainable way to do work. That’s not going to be sustainable for more than, maybe if you’re really awesome, two weeks.

It’s just not.

So if scheduling a bunch of time extra into your week to make a business work is not the right way to go, what is the right way to go?

Time Management Strategy 3: Schedule Chunks Smartly

Well, let’s just assume that you’re the kind of person who either has a full-time job or you’re a full-time student, or you have a family at home that you need to look after, so that keeps you busy most of the day, okay? Let’s assume that you’re in one of these situations and that from around 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on work weeks you’re busy, okay?

Now, let’s also assume that on weekends, after 5:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday is off limits because that’s your 100% relaxing time. You might want to hang out with friends. It’s the same thing on Fridays. So Friday, Saturday, Sunday nights after 5:00 PM is off limits because that’s when everyone else wants to hang out that’s when your friends are going to be free and want to go out with you to get dinner or whatever.

Now, let’s say that you might want to sleep in on Saturdays and Sundays. So let’s just not put any work before 9:00 AM on those days because you’ve had a long week, you might want to sleep in if you’ve gone out in the night, you might want to sleep in, and it’s probably realistic if you’re exhausted to put work there because it’s going to stress you out. If you put work from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM on Saturdays, being like, “I’m going to get my work done early,” that’s great, but what if the only times your friends were free for Friday night and you guys stayed out till like one o’clock watching a movie or going out to a bar or whatever?

It’s just not realistic because you’re going to be exhausted, and the Saturday is the first day of the whole week that you can actually sleep in. So when you’re in bed and you’re exhausted and you’re thinking, “Oh, I’m supposed to be up right now doing work,” that’s just going to make you anxious, it’s going to make you feel shitty, it’s going to make you unmotivated for the rest of the day.

So we’re not going to do that because we’re going to be smart about this.

Time Management Strategy 4: Block LOTS of Recharge Times

We’re going to say, okay, before 9:00 AM on Saturdays and Sundays we’re not going to schedule any work. If you are an early riser, which I am, for instance, then take that time on Saturdays and Sundays for you and just relax. Wake up with your significant other or with your kid and watch cartoons or some nice TV or something.

Something I love doing on Saturday mornings is I always wake up early because I like going to the gym early in the morning before the day hits. On Sunday mornings I like to wake up early, have some tea with my fiancee and we we’ll watch shows about real estate. There’s a show Netflix called Extraordinary Homes that we just recently finished for instance.

There’s only four episodes out right now, but we’ve been watching that the last few Sundays. We also like Buying The View, for instance.

I mean that’s just what we like to do because my fiancee is really into real estate, but you can watch anything. So whatever gets you excited or relaxed – honestly whatever it takes to just enjoy your Sunday mornings.

That’s your YOU TIME.

Think of all the time that you give your brain to rest. It’s fuel for your brain when it needs to work hard later. Do you know what I mean?

The Best Time Management Strategies Include Lots of Recharge Time

The best training programs for the top athletes in the world are ones where you train the athlete hard after they’re rested and recovered from their previous training session. It would be ridiculous if someone went to the gym twice a day every day for four hours a session and tried to get stronger like that because that’s never going to work, right?

My fiancee and I are also powerlifters.

So we train four times a week and we have programs where we’re peaking, programs where we’re doing lower intensity, high volume, lower volume, higher intensity, and we switch it up all the time because we know that we have to give our bodies breaks in between to let the muscles refuel, repair themselves and we make sure we’re eating properly.

It’s the same thing with your brain. If you work your brain too hard all the time, it’s going to start failing you because it’s not going to have enough time in the middle to relax.

Your brain at the end of the day is an organ just like all of your other organs. Your brain needs time to refuel. It needs sugars. It needs carbs. It needs fats.

Your brain needs all the energy sources as all the other organs in your body and your muscle groups. I know we don’t think of it that way because the brain is something that we don’t understand that well and don’t conceptualize that well, but research has shown that your brain needs sugars, right, to keep working.

So if you’re not eating properly, for instance, then your brain has no more energy and it can’t function. So sometimes you can feel it. If you feel hungry, you feel yourself getting a bit groggy and a bit slower and you’re not able to pay attention as well, but sometimes it’s more subtle and it’s not as obvious, especially if you’re very high-strung and very anxious about a project that you’re working on or about a business that you’re trying to get to work.

Sometimes it can be easy to overlook things eating properly, taking a break for your brain to kind of recharge and refuel. It’s not as immediately obvious because you’re so consumed about the fact that you need to make this work. You need to make this work.

And it’s definitely a great thing not to give up, but you also can’t push yourself to the limit all the time, because that’s not actually you at your most proactive.

So in saying all of that, what do I suggest? So as we were kind of talking before, I suggest blocking off the times that are really unrealistic for you.

As an example: I put after 5:00 PM, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays is off limits, before 9:00 AM Saturdays, Sundays off limits.

The Best Time Management Strategies: Frameworks & Simplification

I personally, also, like putting that after 6:00 PM Mondays to Thursdays is off limits, but that’s because I like waking up really early, so I go to sleep fairly early. But if you’re the kind of person who rises pretty late. If you get up at 8:00, and work close or whatever, and so you go to bed at 1:00 in the morning, then, obviously, you can’t put, say, after 6:00, but maybe you want to put after 10:00 PM you don’t want to work anymore, do you know what I mean?

So I wake up at 4:30, so for me, if I don’t work after 6:00 PM that’s fine because somedays I can get a little bit of work in before 6:00 PM. Somedays I can’t, but I’ll usually get most of my work done actually in the mornings when I wake up.

Time Management Strategy 5: Repition is Key (AKA Practice Makes Perfect)

So the way I organize my week is I like to do things that are repetitive. I like to schedule those things. And I like to schedule big chunks of time for tasks that are a little less specific.

So for instance, SEO and learning more about new SEO strategies is pretty non-specific but can still be repetive. I dedicate a big five-hour block of time once a week in order to do that for all of my blogs. So I have a few strategies that I use for off-page SEO, you could take a look at them here.

So when I’m doing off-page SEO, that’s with my backlinking and all of that stuff that I need to keep doing consistently for my blogs in order to get them ranking higher and improving them, right? It’s not something that’s so much specific to a post that I’m writing because, although it is important to do off-page SEO specifically for posts, that kind of gets done after I write the post, and I kind of integrate that after the end of my on-page SEO.

The Best Time Management Strategies

And then, I’ll do the social media stuff and what-not for the off-page SEO. But for general off-page SEO for my whole blogs, I dedicate once a week five hours to that, and in that time, let’s say, I get all my off-page SEO that I want to get done for that day in two hours or three hours, then, the extra two hours, if I want, I can end early that day, or I can actually put a little bit of time into reading new articules, because I get quite a few articles sent as alerts to me that I just either surcribed by from other blogs that I really like – they give tips on SEO – or I have books that I read sometimes on SEO. I just like to keep up with kind of the current trends.

I don’t listen to all of them because I think that a lot of the time, trends can kind of silly, and I think that sticking to the basics is usually the best policy. But I do like to read about them and just kind of know what’s going on, because that way I can make the decision, do I want to implement something new maybe today?

Is this something that I should pay attention to? Is this a big change that Google’s making or is this kind of the new trend and a new thing that everyone’s doing and it’s not really necessarily worth the amount of time that it would take to actually do it.

So that’s kind of what I do for big, non-specific things that need to be done that are changing a lot and are kind of like not very well defined.

On the other hand, things like posting an article and doing the on-page SEO for it, is very specific. I know what I need to do for that.

I need to do the keyword research.

I need to find a good keyword. I need to have the article, need to do the keyword research, find a good keyword to do as the title and to implement in my keywords.

I need to find the images.

I need to edit because you guys know that I record all of my articles, like voice record and then I get them transcribed. So I just need to do a bit of editing and formatting, and then I need to do all the on-page SEO for the article. And then I need to post it and then start doing a bit of the off page with posting it all over social media, making sure that I have a good description for it and whatnot.

If I’m doing a review article at the time, then I got to make sure I have my affiliate articles right.

If it’s on a blog with an ad network on it, then I need to make sure I’m incorporating ads onto that page.

But it’s kind of the same stuff over and over again.

I have checklists for these things, and I just kind of go through my checklist at the end to make sure I didn’t miss anything. It’s very routine for me. I have time for that in the mornings, twice a week. So twice a week is when I create my posts and post them. 

And I like to invest in crypto, as you guys know if you’ve read some of my crypto articles. 

Obviously with crypto, like any other investment, anything else that you’re investing in, it takes quite a lot of time to do the research behind the coins.

First, I need to research the coins. I need to make sure that I know what I’m buying. I need to make sure that I’m reading the white paper on them. I need to make sure that I’m keeping up with the coins that I’m already investing in. So I kind of have a three-prong strategy, which I will talk about in my next post.

So my first strategy is to do singular investment and wait for 20% gain. So I’ll do research on different coins and then I’ll invest in something that I think is going up and then I’ll put my money in– like all of the money that I have that strategy into that one coin. And then I’ll wait for that coin to go up 20%. It doesn’t matter how long it takes because I have the research on it so I know it’s a good coin. I know it’s got a solid team behind it and it’s a good project. So I’m not freaking out. I’m not watching it.

I have an app on my phone and I’ll check it once a day and quickly while I’m doing something else. And then only when it hits my target I’ll put a sell order for it, but until then, I just kind of leave that.

My second strategy is using software.

My third strategy is just hold the big coins, the ones that I think that are going to go really far in the very long term. And that’s completely separate.

So basically, my only kind of active part of that is researching the coins that I want to be holding short term for kind of those 20% gains. So I put a block of time once a week and I do kind of the research for that.

But the rest of the time, everything is on autopilot basically, other than me checking the stats of that one coin that I’m invested in, at one point every day.

Notice how I’ve literally created that strategy to minimize the time that I need to spend banked on crypto all the time. Do you know what I mean?

Like, yes, some people might not like the whole software idea, and some people might want to be more active in day trading, and I totally support that. But for me and my schedule and the amount of time that I have, I know that I have about three to five hours per week to dedicate to crypto, and so I’ve created my strategy on how I want to be trading and investing in crypto so that it’s only taking me three to five hours.

I schedule that one afternoon a week when I know I’m going to have time off from my normal day. And that’s when I do it. Right?

I don’t try and say to myself “Oh, I’m going to do crypto research every morning and I’m going to wake up earlier to do my crypto research and I need to be invested in every single bitcoin and I need to know what’s going on all the time.”

Because that’s not realistic, it’s not realistic for me to know what’s going on every single day, right? 

Like obviously if I was watching the markets every single day and I knew what was going on at all times, and I was able to put in three hours a day into crypto trading, would I probably reach my financial goals that much faster? Yeah, probably I would. But at the same time, it would take away so much of other things that I have going on in my life right now. It would stress me out to the point that I would be really irritable, I would probably make mistakes with buying and selling coins, I would probably start overlooking red flags. I would probably start looking for shortcuts, like sketchy MLM schemes or something like that.

So in the end of the day, it makes you prone to mistakes to overwork yourself, and it makes you look for shortcuts. 

At least that’s what I’ve found, so for me it wasn’t worth it. Three to five hours to week in a bulk of time, that’s what I have to devote to it, so that’s what I devote to it. And then I just, I tell myself this is what you have, and create the best possible strategy, the most efficient strategy with this amount of time.

And when it’s crypto time, nothing else in the world exists. 

That’s my crypto time. It’s only three to five hours a week, but I am 110% focused, with a very well-rested, well focused, well-oiled brain for that particular task at that moment. And it’s been working for me, that works. I have found that that works. And that’s my version of time management.

So there’s that, and I’m trying to think what else I have scheduled in my week.

Well, I have obviously time for the gym. So I am a powerlifter as well as my fiance. We both compete, and so we have to make time for the gym. But at the same time I also know it’s really tempting sometimes to stay in the gym for hours and hours trying to work out this little kink in your technique, trying to make sure you have mobility.

You can always spend more time, like I could do two hours of mobility work before every single workout. And would it help my squat a little tiny bit? Yeah, probably, but overdoing it on mobility work is not necessarily the best thing either. Of course not doing any is bad, but overdoing it can also be bad.

And it’s not feasible for me to spend five hours in the gym four times a week, with half the time spent on mobility work and stretching, and this and that.

No. I get in, I’ve programmed my workout so that I’m working out just under two hours a week, like an hour and a half to two hours a day, four times a week. And that’s max, so the max time I spent in the gym working on power lifting is eight hours a week spread out over four days.

And that works really well for me. I also like getting my cardio in. So I make sure I get 150 minutes of cardio in per week because research has shown it has the same effect on the brain as anti-depressants. And who doesn’t want the effect of anti-depressants naturally?

So 150 minutes a week of cardio. 

The Best Time Management Strategies: Frameworks & Simplification

Always Remember: Missing One Thing is OKAY!

I like to swim because I have a history of playing competitive tennis, so my joints are not that happy if I decide to go for an hour-long run. So I swim three times a week for 50 minutes. And that can be, sometimes, a little challenging. And so sometimes I do have to make a bit of sacrifices around that.

If one week, I’m really busy, I’ll skip a swimming session.

It’s not the end of the world. I’m okay with it. 

And that’s that. Do you know what I mean?

So on average, I spend three to five hours a week on SEO, three to five hours a week on crypto, and then four hours a week on posts.

I know I mentioned before that the full process of getting a post ready and stuff is five hours but because I have some paid tools that help me do a lot of the stuff, and also because I’ve done it so many times and I’ve published, literally, so many posts in my life, I’m very, very, very quick.

So I can do one in two hours.

So I have a staple of four hours a week and I get two posts done per week. But I also put in my calendar that on Saturdays and Sundays, I just put a reminder for myself that if I have time, I can do another article, but only if I have time and if I’m feeling it, or if I have a really good idea that I need to get down or something.

Also, sometimes, I find when I’m doing research on off-page SEO, which I usually schedule on Sundays, sometimes I find that I’ll get an idea for an article when I’m doing that research and then I’ll just want to do it and then I’ll just quickly do it on Sundays.

So that’s a total of 10 to 14 hours a week on that stuff. And then the rest of the time is my gym/athletic time, but that’s my personal time.

And then the rest of the  time is completely free. So, for me, I have one afternoon scheduled the whole week. The rest of the week, after my day is over, I don’t do very much.

You might have a different schedule of course, so I would just suggest doing it in this appraoch.

I also do a lot of different things. I do blogging, I powerlift and I invest in crypto. If you’re just focusing on one area at a time, it will be much, much easier for you. And I 100% suggest starting 1 thing until you master it and then move to add on another.

Best of luck!

 

Martina

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