Who Is In Charge? You or Your Schedule?
I hear far too often, ‘I am just so busy,’ or, ‘I don’t know how I could have time for that.’
I hear these things from people who are striving to improve their mental and physical health, but cannot break free of the vicious cycle of their own schedule.
So many things get piled onto our schedules and before we know it our weeks are jam packed, followed by totally full weekends and we have no time to take care of ourselves or even just sit down and relax. I can totally relate this this because I lived this way for many years! As a matter of fact if I am not careful I am quick to fall back into this cycle. What I am saying is I can totally relate to you, therefore I am going to speak from my personal experience and what has worked for my clients.
First I want to ask you a question. How often in an average week do you sit down and review your upcoming schedule? If you are looking at your schedule regularly, congratulations! You are on the right track. If you are not……..well this might be the biggest reason you feel overwhelmed or scattered.
For me the answer is 7 times. I sit down each evening, with my schedule, Sundays for a longer more in-depth look. So grab your doTERRA motivate essential oil and great ready to dive right into your schedule. I am going to break down what this looks like.
Sunday Evenings (about 30 minutes):
Review my past week and make sure that all of my priorities where met as well as think about what flowed well and what didn’t
Look through my schedule for the upcoming week and time block (more on this later)
Communicate needs for important items with those that need to know
Make sure I have my top priorities scheduled for the week (what are top three things I want/need to accomplish and do I have enough time set aside for them)
Make my to do list for Monday
Go to sleep with a clear mind and clear plan
Monday-Saturday (5-10 minutes):
Review my previous day, what flowed well, what didn’t, is there anything that I didn’t accomplish that I needed to
Look at my schedule for the next day
Confirm any appointments I have
Make my to do list
At the most this takes one and half hours total out of my week. That is only 2.5% of my week!!!!!! However, these short checklists and routines allow me to move through my week without feeling my schedule is in charge.
I quickly mentioned time blocking and I wanted to talk about this a little bit more. I had heard a lot about time blocking, however I really started to learn more about it after reading the book, ‘The 12 Week Year,’ by Brian P Morgan. In this book he talks about 3 times of time blocks for performance time, Strategic Blocks, Buffer Blocks, Breakout Blocks.
I start by making sure my necessities are in the schedule.
Work (especially if you have set hours)
Childcare (if you have kids)
Then I make sure I have the blocks carved out. Strategic Blocks are three hours of uninterrupted time to create and work on money making activities (this is great if you are an employee or self employed, the idea is making sure you have time set aside without interruptions). In the book he talks about how important it is to ensure you are not taking phone calls, checking emails or having meetings in this three hour block.
Next I add in buffer blocks. Buffer blocks are there to help you handle the unexpected. You need to decide how many blocks you need, maybe one 30 minute is good, or maybe your need two 30 minutes or more. This is basically my catch all time. Following up with unexpected calls, needs at home, kids homework, emails etc.
Lastly there are break out blocks. Three hour long breaks during the week for non-work related activities for you to refresh and recharge. For me this often includes a hike, surf or time at the beach. I know not everyone’s schedule will allow for this, however maybe one day a week you can take an extended lunch break. You will be amazed how refreshed you feel after and how much more productive you will be.
I find in general we often try the look away approach when it comes to our busy schedules and unfortunately this just doesn’t work. Initially this may feel very uncomfortable, however as you get into a routine, I bet you find that you are more productive, less overwhelmed and stressed. You may even look forward to taking time to look at your schedule.
Want to learn more about how I help my clients master their schedule and more? Use the button below to connect and schedule a time to chat with me!
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