Benefits of Time Management
Are you floating through your day on a whim? Are you running from when you wake up until you collapse on the couch at night? I have talked often about the importance of scheduling your day. Time blocking your priorities. Just like your computer, sometimes we need to unplug and recharge. Sometimes, this means getting enough sleep. It also can mean to make sure we have white margins in our day.
As I was sitting down to write this, I decided to look back on old blog posts of mine. Thought I’d find a post on how to schedule or block your time. Maybe something about putting priorities on paper. Before I could, I found this gem from 2016. It was before I had as many clients and classes. My dog required so many walks every day, and Monday was grocery day with the littles, and the most amazing thing to me was I sometimes used to take naps. When you wake up at 330 in the morning, and your 5 year old has practice until 9 pm, a nap is how you make it through the day. I jokingly miss naps, but I will never say I miss 4 am runs. Also, 30 minutes of stretching was because my arthritis was so bad. I’m grateful that my medication allows me to get out of bed a little quicker these days.
Back to book margins and your day, though.
Most jobs have you putting fires out during the day, where you may not be able to get to items on your task list. Non management, service industry type jobs, have you clocking in and out at set times and just doing small tasks all day. You may have a list of things to work on once in a while, but the requirements are different. Make sure your expectations of what you will accomplish during your work day fall in line with the average amount of time you have to complete tasks, outside of meetings and emails and fires.
When you make a plan for your day, and you block out the time you usually work, add some space.
If you work until 4 and have a 30 minute commute, don’t plan anything before 5 or 5:15. This gives you time to leave late, get stuck in traffic, or just decompress when you walk in the door. If dinner takes 30 minutes start to finish, say you will eat dinner at 6 pm. This gives you time to take a phone call, bring a full garbage can out, or start a load of dishes. The little things that come up and throw you off your plan.
How I approach time blocking.
Now, I’m always prepared. I say that I will have dinner on the table at 6, done eating at 630. I’m not rushing the meal because we are going to savor our food and have conversation with others. When I make it home at 430, and get right to prepping food, I have a list of items I’d like to do, and set on that list between 5 and my 6 pm dinner time. As a priority, it would of made it onto my schedule, my list may or may not happen this week. This way, I’m not running ragged or wasting time. When I need the decompress and scroll Instagram time, I can take it. If I’m feeling motivated to do more, I can knock out some smaller house chores.
The weekends are either very full or wide-open spaces.
I have my calendar for the week right next to me. Saturday, I am going to get up at 5:30, doing my morning routine, and be ready for my first class at 7. My last class ends at 7:45 and I have nothing scheduled until I take Jack to a class at 1:30. Often, I have a few priority tasks that I will “schedule in” that morning. I have the flexibility to take the kids ice skating or grab coffee with a friend, around what I want to do. Sunday is a run around day, I have somewhere almost all day. I will leave home at 8:45 in the morning, and I hope to be home by 4:30 that night. I am a firm believer in taking time to rest, so I will minimize my must-do items on Sunday. Yes, I will exercise, drink water, and eat healthy. Of course I will take the time to set myself up for the week, and help the kids be ready for school Monday morning. Taking time to connect with friends can totally happen. Planning any projects around the house or writing workouts will not happen.
Where do you need to create some white space in your day?
How can you take the idea of even a book has blank space in its page margins and apply that to your life?