Can anyone else believe it’s the first week of a new month again? I don’t know about you, but I’m a struggling a bit with how quickly last month flew by and how many things I meant to accomplish and never did. I mean, my to-do list looks longer than it did at the beginning of the month!
Will this month be the same? I certainly hope not, and because of that, I am working hard to keep accomplish that to do list this month.
I’m a list person. Even if you know me well, you might not know that about me, but it’s true. On any given day I have sticky notes stuck in my purse and on the back of my phone, as well as notebooks filled with lists of things to accomplish.
Over the past couple months, though, I’ve seemed to steer away from making my lists (and following them) and my ability to accomplish all the things I need to get done has vaporized. In fact, most days I feel a little lost as to what to do next. (If you notice me wandering around aimlessly, point me back to my list, please!)
This month I am making lists with the purpose of becoming more time effective – and I’m actually going to check task off of them as well!
I’ve learned a bit about time blocking, recently, and although it’s not a new concept for me, now that I am working from home it is critical that I make a more concerted effort to do so. For those of you unfamiliar with this concept, it’s essentially scheduling periods of time within a given day or week to accomplish certain tasks.
For example, if I know that I need to put in some time on social media today, then I might schedule a half hour from 9:30 to 10 a.m. and another half hour from 4 to 4:30 p.m. Around and between those times I might have three hours dedicated to writing, one-half hour for lunch, one hour at the gym, and fifteen minutes (or more) responding to emails and clearing out my inbox.
By following my time blocked schedule, by the end of the day, I will have accomplished the things I needed to get done, rather than having spent the entire time on social media. Hopefully, that will mean my list of things to do will shrink as opposed to being added to the next days’ tasks.
It doesn’t happen without some planning, though, so I’ve made a tentative schedule to keep me on task.
(Don’t worry – it’s safe and sound among all of my lists!)
Right along with time blocking comes the idea of prioritizing. You see, while social media is an important part of growing a blog following, it’s not the only part and needs to be given less time than, say, design and content creation. As you can see in my schedule, I’ve given more time to content creation (writing) throughout my days.
The same is true for my personal life as well, with self-care (including going to the gym and eating healthy) and time spent with family, deserving a great part of my attention. This month I intend to make both a bigger priority than I have in recent weeks.
Perhaps for you, prioritizing includes more time spent with a friend, reading a good book, or meal planning for the week. Whatever it is – block out the time and make sure it gets done.
In order to prioritize what matters most to me, I am determined to say no to the things that don’t require my attention at this moment. As tempting as it might be to take on additional projects, add meetings and gatherings to the schedule, or sign my child up for yet another after-school activity, this month it needs to be a greater focus on “just say no”.
It sounds harsh, but that’s not the case. Rather, for the purpose of allowing my family (and myself) some time to get past all of the noise and engage the things (and people) that really matter, it comes down to a choice – will we say yes to something good, when we can say no and have something better in the long term?
Additionally, my goal for saying no goes a little bit beyond the personal to the financial. This month we are saying no to anything that hasn’t already been budgeted for or discussed well in advance. It’s not a “no spend” month in the traditional sense, but it’s definitely an attempt on our part to reign in our spending and focuses more heavily on saving.
(Ask me how it goes at the end of the month!)
It Doesn’t Come Easy
Trust me, if it was easy for people to check everything off of their to-do lists each month, more people would do it and fewer people would be stressed out. It takes someone that is willing to stick with it, despite changing circumstances, and put forth their best effort.
How did last month treat you? Are you behind or caught up on your to-do list? What are your goals for this month and how do you plan to accomplish them? Let me know in the comments below.