All the Architects said YES!
But no, not that kind of plan. This kind of plan
Oddly enough it was learning to budget for my finances that made me realize that I was treating my time like I was my money. I thought I had more of it than I really did and I wasn't managing it properly. This explained why I often felt overwhelmed, burned out, and like a chicken without a head.
I needed structure.
So, I took the same approach of allocating a task to every dollar and applied it to every hour of my day. I decided how long my workday would be which would allow me to get ample sleep to minimize burnout and protect my health. Then I plugged in my prior commitments. The things I couldn't or wouldn't compromise on - work and worship - and planned everything else around them.
I used the Google Calendar app because it syncs easily across my devices and I could separate my personal & business calendars into different accounts but still see them together in one place. Using an digital tool also made scheduling recurring events a breeze. Could you imagine having to erase and re-write entries for every week as you make adjustments? I made adjustments very often.
The first month was a mess.
That was okay though, because now that I could see it in graphic form it was obvious how much of a mess it was. As I went through the month I added things that I forgot to include, adjusted times that I had allocated to make them more realistic, and reorganized things that were just not working. I put EVERYTHING on the calendar instead of appointments alone so I could see what areas were overlapping or in conflict. As I tested out the times I allocated, I made adjustments for things like travel time and preparation.
To make sticking to my new schedule easier and to waste less time trying to minimize the amount of time wasted figuring out that I should be working on, I tried to make each days schedule as similar as possible with generic placeholders. Even if the specific tasks were different. For example I had a "Get Ready" event. I planned to get up at the same time each morning whether I was going to my day job or working my Avon business.
I also set notification alerts inside the tasks so alarms would sound on my phone to remind me of what I had to do next. Setting and keeping time constraints is still something I struggle with but when I stick with it I work more efficiently.
By the third month I began to make each time slot more specific. Recently I've realized that I needed more time for follow-up. In the past I had a "Follow-up" event for following up with leads but no specific time for following up with customers, my team, and more specifically new representatives on my team. I revised my calendar to assign specific times for those events as well.
So, you see it's still a work in progress. When working on your calendar, don't feel like you can't start until it's perfect. It never will be until you start somewhere and flesh it out as you go.
While this was the last step in my 2016 Upgrade Series, like my calendar, I'm still a work in progress. I'm sure I always will be. That's okay though because even in sharing these posts with you I've reminded myself that I'm making progress. While I started the year feeling frustrated and thinking that I kept getting stuck in the same place I realized that there's really some growth there. I can hopefully remember to come back and read these posts when I begin too feel down again.
Upcoming Series On Three Habits for Accomplishing More
Three Habits for Accomplishing More- #1 Purge
Three Habits for Accomplishing More- #2 Manage
Categories: Inspiration, Lifestyle