Have you ever woke up inspired? Ready to take on the day. Then came coffee, emails, social media updates, CNBC/Good Morning America, lunch, phone calls, errands and before you knew it the day was over. You earned points for three new goals but achieved nothing. Yeah, me too! Spinning my wheels watching people with career’s I aspire to have is not only discouraging but knowing I am the reason I haven’t achieved more is frustrating. So I got to the root of the problem: Social media – check. Stress due to daily struggles – check. Lack of inspiration because of my somber mood – check. None of which were good excuses to watch my dreams dissipate. It was time for a detox from everything to reset and restart. During my break I created a time management schedule that I forced myself to stick to. It helped me discover time management daily habits to help meet my goals.

When I got serious about my goals I saw an immediate change in my mood and increase in business. The challenge was focusing on my goals. With so many distractions it’s easy to get carried away. Planning and organizing has always been my strong suit. However, turning a plan into an action and working smarter has been the real struggle. After a few weeks I found ways everyone can work beneficially and drop their bad habits. 

Training yourself to create better time management skills will help reduce stress and create opportunities. So how do you develop better time management skills? Persistent repetition. Like any new skill practice makes perfect. I used a weekly planner to track my progress. For two weeks I planned out my days Monday-Sunday hour by hour. Everyone’s individual responsibilities differ, but when you breakdown your day into time blocks you are more likely to stay focused and hold yourself accountable. These 4 habits will help you accomplish more daily.

1. Take Time For Yourself 

Before you start or finish your day you must take care of yourself. Whatever your personal daily needs: Meditation, workout, breakfast, reading, et cetera., prioritize yourself first. That also means carving out alone time daily for the things you love. In order to enjoy work, family and friends, you need a healthy balance of personal, shared and work time. This will eliminate resentment for making other things in your life a priority over you. 

2. Prioritize 

Make a list. Include everything that is mandatory and the goals you want to meet. Start by keeping your list minimal and easy to complete. Break it down by priority and be specific. Once you have created your list prioritize your tasks daily. Identify what is distracting you from completing the things on your list and cut them out. That means everything: Netflix, social media, laziness. Stay focused on your list and work your way through it. As you complete each task you will feel more satisfied with your productivity and slowly invite fewer distractions.

3. Time Blocking

Now that you have a to-do list carve out time for each task and stick to it. The Pomodoro Technique is a great way to avoid racing against the clock. It’s impossible to stay on track all the time but this will help you carve out personal time, productive time and give you the tools to jump back on schedule if you do become distracted. If something doesn’t get done during your allotted time slot continue to move to the next task and comeback to the unfinished task unless there is a deadline. Work your way through the schedule focusing on completing each task. The important thing is that you do not breakaway for hobbies unless it is during your scheduled break time block. If you must break early for a hobby create a longer block for it. If your job is like mine and depends on posting content throughout the day schedule your break time blocks during your highest peak engagement so you can share your content while browsing the web or other accounts that interest you. Once your allotted time ( 15 minute, 30 minute or 1 hour ) is up log out of your accounts, close unnecessary web browsers and go back to your schedule. By sticking to a schedule you will be surprised how much you will complete. Over time you will find a rhyme that works best for you and it will be easy to stay on track.

4. Utilize Your Time Wisely 

Utilize your time blocking by preparing in advance. Exhausting too much energy on one thing can become mentally challenging so prep in advance when you can. If you still find yourself overwhelmed take a break and comeback to it. Clean, read, blog, take a walk, find another way to divert your attention until you are in a clear head space. Then regroup and focus on bringing your attention back to the task at hand. Try to stay focused until completion. 

The more you stick to a schedule and meet your personal deadlines the quicker you will see results. It will open up more time for loved ones and hobbies. Your productivity will make you feel accomplished and motivate those around you. 

By working more efficiently you will see a change in the results you are receiving. There are several habits to transform your productivity but these 4 are a great place to start. It’s up to you to make the change you want to see in your success. Just remember, the people who inspire your success had the same twenty-four hours in a day to achieve their goals when they were starting out that you have.

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is the CEO of www.monikafreeman.com. She also works as a Creative Director, Writer, Brand Strategist and Fashion Editor.

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