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How to Spend Your Time Better

Adulting + 168 Hours: How to Spend Your Time Better in 2018

Have you ever read a book that made you completely re-evaluate your goals and life? How about your future life vision? 168 hours made me realize that I’ve been looking at my week all wrong. There are 168 hours in your week, and time management is much easier ( and more important) than you think. Here’s how to spend your time better in 2018, or at least how I plan to do it!

168 Hours In A Day: How to Spend Your Time Better in 2018

How to Spend Your Time Better

1. Identify My Time Wasters

This is huge because we’re all basically addicted to our phone. In fact, I found out I spend over 3 hours on my phone checking for notifications (it’s almost a nervous habit of mine). What I did to do identified this was to mark every time that I looked at my phone, or did something that didn’t pertain to my task. I wrote down what I was doing, and docked about 5-10 minutes.

Also, I noticed what I was doing instead of the tasks that I wanted/needed to do. Basically how I was procrastinating. I’m still doing this because I wanted to take the first 3 weeks of December to really evaluate what I’ve been doing with my time.

For You: Write down what you’re  doing in 15-30 minutes increments for two weeks.

2. Identify What I’m Doing Now

Knowing how long my commute is, how long I normally like to work out, how long we’re normally at church, the approximate time it takes to grocery shop and my normal daily tasks. Why would I take the time to do this? I need to know how much my daily life needs, and the more I know, the more effective changes I can make.

For You: Over the first few weeks of the time period that you’re observing yourself, identify how long it takes to do your normal, necessary tasks. Also, take notice to see if there’s anything that you tend to do to procrastinate these tasks, or make them longer than necessary, write that down too.

3. Figure Out Your Priorities

This can be harder than you think, but it’s an important step. For me, I sat down and thought about what I wanted to accomplish in the next couple of years. I also thought about what’s important to me personally. Here are my priorities:

  1. Spend quality time with Matt, even if it just means watching our favorite shows together. It’s important to me that we have a strong foundation for our marriage.  1-2 hours each night
  2. Spend time writing. I truly love to write, and I really need to make more scheduled time for it. Sharing what I love, and challenging myself is a priority. 30minutes each day. 
  3. Spend time to advance my career. After a really long first 18 months in Boston, I have a job where I feel like I can grow. I want to start to dedicate myself to making actionable goals that will help me grow. 1 hour each week
  4. Spend time with our new camera. We got a new camera for all of our traveling, and for blog photos. I’m hoping to really be able to play around with it. 1 hour each week
  5. Spend time on my health. I’ve been getting up early to work out almost every day the past two weeks, and honestly, it’s been so great for me mentally. I’m sure that it will pay off physically, but I really also need to start watching my sugar intake (after the holidays of course). This past year I was much happier while I was working out, and I know I will be again if I keep it up. 1 hour each day
  6. Spend time reading, because it’s one of my favorite pastimes. I used to read 50 books a year, but have made time for other things instead. This is definitely going to be something that I schedule. 30 minutes each day. 
  7. Spend quality time with family and friends. I have a really bad habit of not doing anything social for weeks because I just want to be a homebody. Now I want to schedule regular “drinks” dates with friends so that I’m motivated to hang out more! 1 hour each week 

For You: Identify your priorities and why they’re priorities. List them out so that when you’re scheduling your week, you remember how you want to spend your time better in 2018. Then, assign the amount of time you want to spend each week on each priority. It will help you to schedule your time.

4. Start to Schedule Your Priorities

One thing that helped me was using an actual schedule on my laptop. I used an Excel template for this, but you can use a word document, a google doc, or a piece of paper. This isn’t completely set in stone, but here’s just an idea!

How to Spend Your Time Better in 2018

For You: Now that you’ve identified your time wasters, your daily tasks, and your priorities, it’s time to schedule! Figure out how many hours you need to sleep, (for me it’s about 7.5-8 hours), then put in how many hours you work, and then your commute time. Is health one of your priorities? Schedule in time to work out when it works best for you. Do you need to write? Schedule it. Even if it’s during your commute, schedule it. This is how to spend your time better in 2018.

5. Test Out Your New Schedule

Personally, I will be trying this schedule out this week (for four days) and then in the beginning of the new year. For me, it’s really about getting into a routine, and actually sticking to my schedule at the end of the day. I tend to want to do nothing when I get home, so it’s about staying motived to finish tasks!

For You: This is going to be trial and error, but do yourself a favor and try your new schedule for two weeks. One thing to try for this is to read Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before. It’s a book about how people motivate themselves, and it helps you stay motivated to stick to your goals.

6. Refine as You Go

One thing that is important to remember in this process that it’s okay to refine as you go. If you find that you need more or less time for a priority, change it. This is your life.

I’m really looking forward to hearing how you spend your time better! Do you have any book recommendations for me so I can meet my reading goals? Or how about any ideas for what to write about this year?

Leave your priorities in the comments below too!

xx

Ashley

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  • Love this post! Identifying the time wasters is key to starting a productive schedule!
    Xo Mindy

  • Karla Leal

    I needed this! I’m always procrastinating and pushing things off until the last minute. Thank you for this.

  • Really great tips! Better time management is something I definitely need to work on for 2018!

  • Love your tips! Finding out those time wasters and actually focusing on getting work done is key!

  • I love how ambitious you are for 2018! Following right along your foot steps 🙂

  • I’ve done this and it seriously helps! I try to track the number of days I read and go to the gym to motivate me to do it more.

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

  • yes yes yes! I need to try to figure out how I can spend my time better in 2018

  • Bibi Camilo

    such a great post! I love reading everyone’s post for their plans for 2018! wishing you blessings!