I haven't written one of these in ages because I suck at time management. However, sucking at time management has allowed me to work out how to not suck at it, kinda. Let's get started!
For starters, work out your priorities; what are the things you WANT time for? For me I need time for my photography, football, loved ones, car and my work (full-time job and side hustles). Write down the things you love and want more time for.
From here, keep a schedule. I'm one of those people that would start a calendar for a week or something then give up. You don't need to keep it perfect, just simply assign a day for a particular activity and track this in your phone. Before you know it, things become a routine and you do it as a second nature.
What about sporadic things like going on a photography adventure? Plan it over a weekend and force it as much as you can to happen. Going away is generally the best way to rest your soul and get some banger pics, we often get comfortable around home doing nothing to recover from the work week; do more, trust me.
Kill dead-time, or make the most of it if inevitable. Work out what time it is unproductive and do your best to make it productive. For example: I used to do nothing on the bus to and from work each day (around 1 and half hours), that's a lot of time to be doing nothing. I now do my editing/work on the bus to allow more free time for me later on.
It wouldn't be me without a controversial opinion: Sleep less. Get used to sleeping on around 6 hours a night (or don't - I realise this is probably somewhat self-destructive and people will call me out for this) but I am most productive from about 7pm onwards and awful in the morning. In this case I do most of my stuff at night time (editing, left over work, etc) and struggle my way through the morning where I'm doing things less important such as getting ready for work and commuting on the bus where I don't need to function all that well. I'm generally sweet by the time I'm at work and if not a coffee always works. My time at university allowed me to get used to this and I just never really let go of it - allowing me to pump out more things in my day. Take this as you will and by no means would this work for everyone; but it does for me.
Sometimes there is just not enough time in our lives to do what we want; in which case it’s time for self-reflection and decide how you can live your life in way that allows you to do what you love more. Prioritisation is hugely important – giving your hobbies/work/relationships a hierarchy is a good way to indicate how much time you invest into each one. Naturally we do this anyway – but self-realisation is beneficial and allows you to schedule better.
Further on self-realisation – kinda extreme but realise we are all mortal and only have so much time. If you allocate time (the currency of our lives) into doing something, do it 100%, you’ll get maximum results and be more efficient – allowing more time for other things and achieving big results.
Finally, watch youtube, listen to podcasts and read books about productivity. I’d recommend the 4-hour work week by Tim Ferriss – great read. This allows for persistent reinforcement on time-management as well as inspiration on leading a better life, plus much better advice on time management than I can give (I’m looking at your self-destructive advice).
Anyway, that’s how I balance my life as a IT consultant, photographer, boyfriend, son, brother, grease monkey, footballer, side hustler and adventurer. By no means am I an expert at time management, but I definitely don’t suck as much as I did.