Do you every feel like you have so much on your plate that you just tend to stare at your computer screen and don’t do anything at all, or frequently get sucked into the social media vortex?
Ya, me too.
If I don’t schedule it or write it down on my Post It, I’m not going to do it. Especially for the little things that can add up to big things. I just don’t want to forget!
I’ve always been a list maker and time scheduler so I would remember to do things but mostly because it feels so good to cross them off my list. Like a sense of accomplishment.
Since I started my business there are so many little things I need to get done to make my business function but also to make ME function. I was having a hard time with time management, feeling pulled in different directions and having to put on my different hats every day, it was getting to be a bit overwhelming.
One day, as usual, I was drug down a rabbit hole online and came across a blog post by Michael Hyatt about time management and dedicating blocks of time throughout your week for every activity you do. I’m talking all of your waking hours are scheduled. That’s a bit much for this gal! But I tweaked it and made it my own and I’m constantly tweaking it to make it work for me. And becoming much more productive too!
Here’s how I do it, the practical way (I think):
1. Look at your calendar in weekly view, whether that is Google calendar, iCal, Outlook, desk or book calendar, or whatever calendar you use and assess your typical week and those activities you do. Then think, what are those things that I always say I’m going to do and don’t ever get to? Like writing content for blogs, email marketing, social media, your website…. Write them all down.
- Also think, what in my personal life is struggling that I really need to make more time for? Make a list of all of these things. Just do a big brain dump on a piece of paper or in Evernote. Then move some of those things around on the page grouping similar tasks and things together.
2. Once you have your weekly to-do’s and want-to-do’s down on paper, go through your list and determine how much time per day or week you can dedicate to that group of tasks or to-do’s. Then start laying it out on your calendar in blocks of time.
Here’s a snapshot of one of my typical weeks, my content writing week:
- Monthly: First I went through and blocked out the networking events I attend every month, including drive time so I could work around those particular days. I also blocked off any standing calls or meetings I had on a regular basis. Then I started blocking time for my tasks and to-do’s.
- Daily: I blocked out an hour 7-8:45 every weekday morning for coffee, meditating, breakfast and reading emails and getting caught up on social media. (I wanted to make sure I could develop a meditation routine and it’s worked!). From 11-1 I go for a walk, come back and play with the dogs, eat lunch, then read an inspirational or business book. At 1 I check email check in with social media for 10 minutes.
3. Once all of these tasks and recurring to-do’s were in place, I looked at my calendar in monthly view to see the days and weeks that were typically quieter that I could block off larger chunks of time to more in-depth projects like content creation, course development, market research, etc. and I blocked off those times in my calendar.
- With all of these to-do’s you can color-code your blocks of time to differentiate them so you know the pale green in your calendar is your ME time. Be specific or general about what you are calling that block of time.
Play with that calendar for a few weeks and see how it works for you and tweak it if you need to but don’t be hard on yourself if you aren’t able to stick to it everyday. Life and work happens but it’s a good guideline to try to achieve.
You can get even more drilled down and specific than me, or loosen it up a little bit too. I like to have a little bit of wiggle room and use it as my ideal guideline to manage my day, week, and month so I can plan around it but be able to dedicate the time to the things that NEED to get done. Including ME TIME!
Blocking groups of time and time chunking has really helped me feel more organized throughout my day. I also feel less guilty about taking some me time for walks and playing with my dogs because I’ve found that by doing those things too, I get new ideas and breakthroughs.
And now I’m much more consistent about content creation such as writing these blog posts, sending emails blasts, and planning out my social media calendar.
So try time chunking, even just for a few things that you need a little nudge to do on a weekly or monthly basis. It will help you dedicate the time and focus!