This post is a part of group writing project organized by Vivien of Inspiration Bit. I first heard about it from my good friend Shankar. There is another reason why I am taking part in this project which is to let my readers know a little bit more about me and how I manage my time.
Well to start with I am a Software Engineer with a full time job working in the US. I also blog along with doing freelance projects and also do some open source work creating WordPress plugins in my spare time, also being away from my family and close ones in India I need to spend part of my day with them.
Lots of things to do in a single day isn’t it. Well but with a little bit of management I am able to pull of the day with some decent sleep :-).
I am not a early riser and wake up at 9.30 in the morning after which I do all my rituals and head to the office reaching there by 11. I catch up on emails and some other news and feeds within the first hour of me reaching the office starting work at around 12, but being a habitual to do freak before I startup work I write down notes on the things that have to be completed today prioritize them accordingly so that before the end of the day I am well aware of the things that require attention immediately the next day.
What I do with my time?
The Week Days
With work I usually break down tasks into sub-tasks thus making work much easier, the best example I can give is the one when I was creating the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin where I divided all the different tasks into sub modules like backup files, backup database, download latest versions, de-activate plugins etc.
After I did this I simply worked on creating each module testing it out and once it was finished started on the next module. The final task was integrating all the modules to create the final plugin. I saved a ton of time because of being organized and could create the plugin in less than 4 days.
At work I usually leave for home at around 7.30 and get back home by 8.30. Once I get back home have my dinner and prepare for doing my personal work. Like in office I am a bit of organized on my personal free lancing stuff and other open source work that I do. I tend to spend 3-4 hours a day doing personal work, most of the time I end up stopping work around 12-12.30 in the night creating a list of tasks I need to start on with the next day, updating clients, taking backups of work completed, collaborating with other developers etc.
After that it is some time to catch up family and close ones so I end up spending around an hour with them, finally I do some research on topics I want to blog about, creating drafts and publishing them if I am satisfied with it.
I usually end the week day at around 2.30 in the night before heading to bed, I have now quite adjusted to having 6-7 hours of sleep or even lesser at times but it’s all part of working in the computer industry.
Even though it may sound like doing a lot of things in a day with a proper planned schedule you rarely feel you are doing so many things.
Weekends are hugely different and I tend to catch up on 3-4 more sleep than a week day so I usually get up around at 11 in the morning, this extra sleep refreshes me for the week ahead, it helps to take short naps rather than sleeping for a longer period which makes me even more tired so I prefer to take short 2 hours naps on weekends.
Other than that the whole schedule for the weekend is different, more time spent with family and close ones. Though I cannot meet them the Internet definitely closes down the gap.
I also tend to spend more time on freelance and other work covering 6-8 hours and write majority of my posts during the weekend so that I have a good amount of drafts ready for posting for the week ahead.
I tend to jot down all the ideas I want to write about whenever I get them so that I do not forget about it later. On my weekends I pick out those ideas research about it and write the posts. So on a average I spend about 12-14 hours on blogging.
Other than that some time in weekends is kept for going out and having some fun, can’t spend the whole week working :-).
The Key to proper time management
The key to managing my time is having a well planned day so that I know well before hand how I have to schedule my time, proper planning leads to a better and effective way of managing time. Of course you cannot plan for emergencies, but you can always re-schedule your tasks in case of emergency.
Always having a TO DO list helps quite a lot and it definitely lets you know what is left to do. Other than that having a proper schedule also helps to complete things on time.
My planned schedule helps me send schedules to clients on when their projects will be complete, or tell someone who wants me to do some work for them when I can start and complete that work thus saving a lot of hassles later on. Believe me being organized definitely has increased my efficiency by more than 100%.
Do let me know how you manage your time through your valuable comments.