Time Management vs. Procrastination
I am currently trying to do some time management – it’s more difficult that I ever thought, because it seems that there are always things that come in the way. Right now, for example, I have just caught a cold (Bjarke has been really ill with fever and all, so I think I know what to expect the next couple of days), which means I probably won’t be able to do anything for a while.
And when I sit by the computer, trying to work, I am really great at procrastinating by checking Facebook or Pinterest. Which steals a lot of my time. And then there is all the household duties – which are very hard to ignore when you’re working from home. Imagine going to the kitchen, to get a glass of water or a cup of tea – and the dishes are not taken…. they’re just there…… waiting for you….
Or the laundry…
or the floor that needs vacuuming…
or the bedsheets need changing….
and so on..
I mean, the list of procrastinational (is that a word…?) things to do is immense!
This is not good, when you are actually trying to run a business from home!
On Wednesdays, Bjarke and I go to these entrepreneurs meetings, and last Wednesday we had about time management for 3 hours. Just what I needed!
I learned a lot about what I actually spend my time on. And I got an idea of how much procrastination actually decreases your effectiveness concerning work.Here’s an example:
- 15 minutes of procrastination a day = 1,25 hours a week = 1,5 week a year!!!
- 30 minutes of procrastination a day = 2,5 hours a week = 3 weeks a year!!!
- 60 minutes of procrastination a day = 5 hours a week = 6 weeks a year!!!
I mean – 6 WHOLE weeks!!! I know that I procrastinate more than an hour a day – hanging out on Facebook and Pinterest – which is ending now, by the way! (ahem)
Now let’s look at it, if we put a salary on it…
Let’s imagine that we earn $1250 a month, and work 160 hour a month = $7.81 an hour.$7.81 an hour = $0.13 a minute.
so – if you during one year procrastinate for
- 15 minutes a day = you lose $468!
- 30 minutes a day = you lose $936!!
- 60 minutes a day = you lose $1872!!!!
That is a lot of money going out of the window. And since I work at home, I am the only one who can make sure I spend my time effectively. Which, up until now, I haven’t. So that’ll have to change… now!
I have found out, during those hour on Wednesday, what consumes my time the most – we were to write down 5 of hour greatest time robbers – and these were mine:
- Social networks
- Procrastination (baking, cleaning, checking emails, painting nails, etc.)
- Other work – I have (or rather had) a tendency to say yes to a lot of tailoring jobs – but fortunately not so much anymore
- Trial and error time (learning new software, or drafting a new pattern for example)
- Ineffective planning
And then we were to find solutions to those time robbers, and this is what I came up with:
- Only spend one hour on social networks, and start out with doing work related stuff in the first 15 minutes.
- “Swallow the frog” – do what you want to do the least first, to get it over with, so you can get on doing the fun stuff. And have “opening hours” where you work. 10am-6pm for example.
- Sort the jobs and prioritize what you need to do and want to do.
- Set aside X hours for trial and error time a day, or a week.
- Lower my expectations to myself and make a strategy for my goals and how to reach them – realistically
I think those are my main problems, when time is concerned – and it’ll take time to change my habits, but I’m confident that I’ll succeed one day. :)
If you have problems concerning “getting it all done”, I suggest you do as I have done here – Write down your 5 biggest time robbers, and try to find the solution to them. If you could get your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife or a friend to help you, it might even be clearer what’s really going on. It sure was an eye opener for me!
One of my other biggest problems concerning time management, is that I also have a tendency to be a little depressive some days – I’m not so worried about it anymore, but sometimes it just takes a lot of time, not being able to do anything because of your mood. When it comes to those days, I have learned that the best way to get over it, is not to beat myself in the head over the nothingness I get done, but just let it pass, and let it take the time it needs. Because if I get stressed about the things I don’t get done, I just get more depressed, and get even less done. And it’ll take more time too.
So I just take some time off, stare into a wall, or a screen, or a book, for the time it takes my mood to pass – and then I am somewhat energized, because I have allowed myself to relax.
But I still get annoyed though – I am not that zen. ;)
One day, maybe… I really would love to live stress free life – wouldn’t that be wonderful?
How do you manage stress?
I have tried so many different forms of lists, tables and more lists – like the one in the picture – this is the latest edition, and I think I like it. I think, when I make lists, I need to make them a habit to use, otherwise I’ll just forget them. And they cannot be too time specific, like “on Tuesday at 10.30 until 11.30 you have to do this and that”, because if my mood changes, it’ll just mess it up.
So the best solution for me (I think) is to have specific goals, and a time limit to get it done. Like the picture above. I just need to learn how to be realistic, and take my mood into account, when I am planning.
The tutorial for making this cute goal list is on Pinterest, by the way. :)
When you do time management, I think it has to be about effectiveness, and not so much about productivity. This is where I think I have gone wrong before.
Some days I can be very very productive, but not very effective, when it comes to my business. Like I bake 2 loafs of bread, sew a wallet and clean my sewing studio, and take 3 pictures. Then the day is done, and I have done very little to enhance my work. I have to learn to be effective, and spend less time being productive. (in theory – I like being productive)
The thing is, that I do too many things that don’t influence my work, or makes me money – and since this is the only way I get paid, I have to think about this.
Interest vs. Influence
I do many many things that I am interested in! I sew a lot (less than I would want, but still a lot), I bake a lot, organize a lot – but these things do not influence my work in the way that I get paid. Does it make sense? If we pretend that I had a job in a store that sells clothes, I wouldn’t get paid to bake a cake or sit and do some time management on what I could actually be doing…
In reality, I do know what my work should consist of – and it’s here the procrastination comes in and ruins it.
These are a list of the things that would influence my work in a positive way:
- designing clothes
- cutting patterns and grading them
- getting the PDF layout done
- writing good texts for my tutorials
- doing SEO on my old posts (and new ones)
- Taking pictures of my sewing projects
- Writing tutorials
- writing newsletters
- writing a disclaimer and FAQ
Those are some of the things I need to do. And some of the tasks are just so big, that I’d rather postpone them and procrastinate in stead.
That’s where I usually do things that interests me in stead, such as:
- sew a wallet
- bake a cake
- clean the kitchen
- watch a tv-series
- read a book
- hang out with my cats
- hang out with my husband (and usually complain about that I get nothing done)
That is where I need to “swallow the frog” and get the hard tasks done first, and THEN I can have fun.
Up until now, I am working 24 hours a day – every day! Even the days I try to relax. As a goal, I would like that I only work during “opening hours”, so I can start living again – and be around my friends again. Right now, I don’t see my friends very often, and I think that’s a pity.
So my goal for now is to become an effective time planner, and that I learn to do the hard tasks that needs to be done without hesitation. Then I’ll hopefully get more free time – AND get more done! :)
To conclude this long post – How’s your week treating you?
kisses – Parnuuna