If Time Blocking Can Work For a 4-Year-Old, It Can Work For Anyone!
Time blocking is the key to adult time management as well as toddler time management. Read more to learn how!
It is November, and it’s that time of the year when... well, our lives shift again; and we begin to focus on family, hosting (whether virtual or in-person this year), shopping, and decorating while maintaining business as usual. In other words, it is time to reassess and get committed to managing our time so that we have enough energy to really enjoy the extra time with our loved ones.
I would say over the years, I have gotten better and better at managing my time and making sure that self-care is a daily routine. If you have read my previous blog, 5 Life Lessons I Learned on the Golf Course, you have already learned what those are. For me, self-care is very important and something I have consciously done for over 15 years.
Yet, as with many when the pandemic hit and we were required to go into isolation, I was completely thrown off. It was surprising and, frankly, a little disappointing that I could be derailed so easily. I knew that I was an extrovert; still, I did not realize to what extent. I found out in March that I needed to be around people regularly to have the energy for my daily routine. For 10 years, I was doing my daily meditation practice. All of a sudden, I wasn't doing my workout routine of 25 years (not kidding) which I no longer could make myself do, even after finding amazing in-home videos. Getting up to work... well, it was a grind. Thankfully, nothing for me really changed in the work department, as our company has been completely virtual for over 2 years. Still, having the energy to get through my work was getting harder every day.
After a month, I said... “Enough Is Enough”! This is what I did:
I got really intentional about my time management again. I went back and made sure to start my morning with my daily planning routine. I looked at my calendar every morning and time blocked all of my work time based off my To-Do List; then I shut my eyes and visualized myself going through my day.
I made sure that I visualized my workout, meditation, and having fun with Belen, my 4-year-old daughter, on the days I had her (another thing I was struggling to do; even though, before the pandemic, it was easy and natural for me to do).
I asked for help! I went back to my therapist. We went back to weekly sessions where we can explore the challenges, and I had a sounding board and someone helping me find strategies to get back on track.
The Law of Attraction also stepped in. When I started asking for help, I received a great gift. I met my boyfriend on April 4th and immediately, I took the risk to ask if we could cohabitate 2 days a week. It was risky, but it was worth it… just having a human presence in my work and living space again was enough to keep me motivated and moving.
Within another month, I was getting back on track:
I was back to meditating (not every day, but most days).
I was exercising 3-4 days a week either by going outside to run, ride my bike, or do an exercise video.
I was back to having fun with my daughter and now a new boyfriend.
And... I was back to time blocking pretty consistently and being productive with work and life.
There was still one thing that I hadn’t been able to figure out… and that was my daughter’s home school schedule. It felt like on the days I had her, I wasn’t getting any work done. I was constantly fighting with her about getting her 1-1.5 hours of homework done; and in the middle of all that, I was never feeling like I could complete any of my work blocks.
Then, I had an idea! What if I start a morning planning activity with Belen where we did a planning session? It had worked for me, my team, and many of my clients whom I taught for many years.
So, I did it:
The next day when Belen woke up, I opened my electronic calendar:
(a) "This is when Mommy has a client meeting"
(b) "This is when Mommy has to work for 2 hours"
(c) "This is the hour we are going to do your homework"
(d) "This is the first hour we get to play"
(e) "This is the second hour we get to play"
Belen and I were back in the flow! Since then, we have had smooth days... as every morning together, we have this routine!
If I can do it and Belen can do it, YOU can do it! Getting intentional about your time management, blocking time for all of your workflow, and getting your teammates and your children involved is the best way to manage your time. And, of course, asking and seeking help when you need it.
May you all have a lovely holiday season and may you manage your time well and have the energy to do it all! Happy Holiday Season!
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Written by MerriLyn Gibbs