4 Ways to Get Work Done After Hours

I’m the poster child for this issue. Working a full-time day job doesn’t leave a lot of time it energy to keep my freelance writing business running smoothly.

Try these tips for doing it all:


5 Steps: Time-Management Tips For Night Owls

Here’s a DebbieDeyWrites Rewind Post that I thought might be great to bring out again. Now that summer is winding down, you might find it hard getting back into a routine. Take a look at some of my tips to help you get everything done when you’re used to staying up late at night.


Okay, I’ll admit it…I hate my alarm clock!

Always have, always will. It’s not personal. I just don’t like to get up early.

I’ve tried, really. When I was a kid, my mom would literally have to drag me out of bed to get ready for school. Her nickname for me? Elmer’s Glue – because I was always stuck to the bed.

I’ve tried everything from going to bed earlier to cutting out caffeine to putting my alarm clock across the room to force myself to get out of bed. Like most “Night Owls,” I thought it was something I was doing wrong, and therefore, could change. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this “defect” in my sleep cycle is actually genetic! National Geographic has done studies on this and concluded that it’s something you’re born with. What a relief!

Alarm clockImage Courtesy of FeelArt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Once I established that I couldn’t do much to change my DNA and miraculously become a morning person, I began seeking ways to work around it. In addition to being a wife and mom, I work a full-time job outside my home and have my own business as a freelance writer. Needless to say, without a few time-management techniques, I’d never get anything done.


Here are 5 of my favorite tips:

1. Get Organized.

Anytime I’ve been stressed about running late or not getting to something I had promised, it’s been because I wasn’t organized. With so many things to fit into my day, it’s imperative that I actually write down what I need to accomplish. I find that I need more than a “to do” list, so I put sticky notes on everything, use a calendar with audible reminders on my computer, and apps on my mobile phone to record everything from grocery lists to doctor appointments.

The key to making this work is getting into the habit of recording everything and updating it regularly. It’s easy to become blind to the tasks requiring attention, so when an item is done, I discard the notice and reminder. I also look at my lists before I head to bed at night, so I know what’s happening the next day – especially to coordinate with my family’s schedule. If I don’t plan ahead, I can be sure everyone in the family will be fighting to get in the shower at the same time.

2.  Prioritize and Re-Prioritize.

It seems only logical that I have to determine a priority order to my chaotic life. Surprisingly, I still find myself trying to fit “one more thing” into a few extra minutes before work or shaving off some time by multitasking. The problem with that plan is that I always miscalculate how much time it takes to do each task. While it seems simple enough to throw a load of laundry in while I’m waiting for the toast to pop, inevitably I get sidetracked with an unexpected phone call or the smoke detector going off.  I ate a lot of burned toast and ruined a few silk blouses before I figured out I had to prioritize.

Now, I check my list in the morning, determine what HAS to be done that day, and work toward getting those things done. Whatever didn’t make the cut that day moves up the list the next day.

3. Delegate.

While I like to think that I’m Superwoman and can handle everything alone, reality has proven that I’m not, and I can’t. This is still difficult for me to do. I take great pride and joy in doing it all. In other words, I’m a bit of a control freak! In order for me to maintain my sanity, I’ve had to let go of a few things and let others help. Surprisingly, the dishes still get just as clean if someone else loads the dishwasher. There are many things I have to do myself, and asking for help doesn’t mean my Superpowers are slipping.

4. Say No.

This is another challenge for me. I’m a people-pleaser by nature, and I never like to disappoint. If you’re like me, you’ll want to extend yourself to the max just to avoid saying no. Continuing on this path will certainly help you accomplish two things: burnout and dropping the ball on something. Time management is only successful if the amount of work you’re trying to accomplish is reasonable. If you take on more than is humanly possible, or at the least, establishing a standard no one could possibly maintain, bad things will happen. Instead, learn to manage your workload, and kindly defer projects with impossible deadlines to a time when other obligations have been completed. Trust me, your client will appreciate your honesty and commitment to doing the best job possible.

5. Give Yourself a Break.

I know it goes against every logical bone in your body to manage your time by taking a break. I used to think it was crazy to not fill every waking moment with something productive. Of course, I was wrong, and so are you. A groundbreaking study in the journal Cognition suggests “that prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance.” I used to think that my shortening attention span was tied to the fact that I was a night owl living on an early bird schedule. But actually, once I started taking short breaks throughout the day – even just walking around the building for a couple minutes, or the unthinkable, taking a lunch – I found I had more energy and drive to finish the task at hand.

Photo Courtesy of Photostock by FreeDigitalPhotos.netImage Courtesy of Photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve given up thinking I’ll ever be an early bird. In fact, I kind of like how quiet the house is late at night when I’m up writing my blog. Hopefully, these tips will give you a better perspective on how to manage your time better and be more productive, especially because you’re a night owl like me. Now, if I could just figure out how to get rid of that pesky alarm clock!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. I’d love to hear some of your ideas on this subject.  


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3 Small Ways You’re Stealing Time From Yourself Every Single Day


We’ve all found ourselves doing some of these things that literally “steal” productive time from our day. Take a look at some simple tips Nisha Ahluwalia from The Muse that will keep you focused.

3 Small Ways You’re Stealing Time From Yourself Every Single Day

Are you overwhelmed with trying to get everything done at work? Are you falling further behind with no relief in sight? If you’ve said yes to either question, I can help.

Now offering Virtual Assistant services to help you manage your To-Do List. Visit my Virtual Assistant page to see all the ways I can make your work life easier.

6 Time Management Strategies That’ll Help You Break Out of Your 9-to-5 Rut


6 Time Management Strategies That’ll Help You Break Out of Your 9-to-5 Rut has been re-blogged from Lea McLeod, M.A. at The Muse.

has been re-blogged from Lea McLeod, M.A. at The Muse.

We all struggle with not having enough hours in the day to accomplish all we’d like to and have likely tried all sorts of tools to help keep us on track. The reality is, there are still only 24 hours in each day, so we need to learn to prioritize instead of trying to squeeze one more thing in each day. This guide should help you key to unlocking better time management techniques.

Today over 80% of employers now offer some kind of flexible work options. Instead of mastering the art of long hours, you need to master the art of managing a flexible work life.

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Here Are 101 Marketing Time Management Strategies You Need To Know

Time Management

If you’re anything like me, you’re always searching for more time to write. I found this great article by Ben Sailer at CoSchedule Blog that provides some really great ideas.

Don’t panic when you see the title, “Here are 101 Marketing Time Management Strategies You Need to Know.” Even taking the time to read just a few of them will help you find  a few extra minutes tomorrow.

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Visit my Contact Page to get started today.