You don’t really need to feel motivated to start — you just need to start! (easier said than done, right?)
While it’s also important to understand why you put off doing something and what causes it, what’s even more important is overcoming it.
Christopher Thang is a medical student at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He is also an Online Fat Loss Specialist certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
His current mission is to help busy working professionals lose 15+ lbs in 60 days with his Progressive Eating Strategy and fitness-lifestyle optimization systems.
Read through as Christopher shares how he manages his time as both a full-time medical student and entrepreneur.
The Chronic Procrastinator
Now, I am not saying I have the busiest schedule out there, and I definitely do not. But, I’ve included a breakdown of my time-saving strategies below that help me find time to work on my business, study for medical school exams, and travel across the US to meet clients.
My deep dive into time management started in college. I was a chronic procrastinator and always rushed to meet deadlines the night before they were due. This left me super anxious and my disorganized tendencies, unfortunately, caused me to arrive late to almost everything. It got so bad that I showed up late to or forgot about work meetings, social events, and even important family gatherings.
Eventually, I had enough of winging my schedule every day (some days I didn’t even know I had tasks due). I tried countless things to improve my time management, and after a few years of trial and error (still ongoing), I came up with these 3 approaches that helped.
Strategy 1: Time Block Everything
Simply put, I time block my entire day out on Google Calendar as the day goes along. It may sound intense, and it honestly is… But, after I delegate tasks, meetings, and other life events, I gain structure and peace of mind for the day. I’m also able to look back at each day to see what I can be more efficient on.
Now, I don’t time block out every single minute of each day a week in advance (would be overwhelming), but I plan ahead for important events. By including things such as meal prep, working out, and business meetings, I can make a micro-commitment beforehand to fit these things into my schedule.
On the day of such events, I time block my day in 15, 30, or 1 hour+ chunks. Once I gain control and understanding of my time, I leverage it to do more work in less time throughout the day (of course, I have to be realistic when time blocking out tasks). I’m also able to enjoy social events, family time, and travel without worrying about work which brings me to Strategy 2.
Strategy 2: 100% Work or 100% Relaxation
Building off of Strategy 1, I stick to a hard rule of either working 100% or relaxing 100%. I take every effort to avoid the gray area in between, where I’d end up working inefficiently or trying to relax (and failing) because work is on my mind.
So, on my calendar, I include 15-minute blocks labeled “Break” (when I’m dividing up work into several chunks using the Pomodoro Method) and long hours blocked off for “Social Events” or “Family Time.”
Of course, life happens frequently, and sometimes events may take longer/shorter than expected or something may come up that interrupts my entire schedule. This brings me to Strategy 3 below.
Strategy 3: Plan Ahead, But Be Flexible
Whenever something unexpected happens, I time block it out in my calendar and shift everything down (Google Calendar lets me click and drag events around on my phone really easily).
Sometimes I shift down tasks so much that I have to move them on to the next day (if possible), but I remind myself to stay realistic if life suddenly hits on some days.
Connect with Christopher
Now, I didn’t develop these approaches overnight, and they took time to develop into daily habits.
However, I hope my strategies would be able to inspire others to stay mindful of their time and perhaps try some of my approaches to elevate their personal lives and hustles.
Linkedin: Christopher Thang