Do you have the time?
In the beginning, God created day and night, and he gave us 24 hours to the day. Thousands of years later, here we are complaining and begging for more hours in a day, that would solve all our time management issues, right? Are we really suggesting that God Almighty made our days too short?
You will never have enough, until you decide that what you have is already enough. Time is no exception to this. The truth is, we have enough time, we are just convinced that we don’t. It’s something society has pushed on us in this ever growing hustle culture.
You have enough time. You just don’t have time to waste.
You have enough time, but that time is still finite. In order to use our time wisely, to get the most of our 24 hour days, we need to set some boundaries with our time.
What are you willing to spend your time on? Netflix, scrolling social media, sleeping in late; are these really the way we WANT to spend our time? Do you actually feel good when you do these things? Or, would you feel more fulfilled using any spare time to actually rest, to quiet your mind, to pray or meditate, read a book, or watch your kids play? Decide what you’re willing to spend your time on, before you find yourself with “free time.”
How much time are you willing to spend cooking, cleaning, or working? Sometimes I feel like I’m spending all day on these things, and that’s really not how I want to be spending my time.
Boundaries are important with our time. Think of how you WANT to spend your time, more than how you think you need to. Decide what it is that you want to be doing more of your day, and put a time limit to the things you don’t like doing. Set that boundary.
Batching tasks for simplicity and productivity.
Task batching is a great way to set these time limits. When you know how much time you’re willing to spend cleaning in a day – let’s pretend it’s 1 hour – you can set aside that time each day and do all the cleaning at once.
This is great for productivity because you aren’t constantly switching gears between unrelated tasks. It’s also great for your mentality because you don’t feel like you have cleaning to dread all day, it gets done and you can move on and forget it for the day.
Batching tasks also looks less cluttered in your daily planner, and gives you 1 task to look at instead of 10. In a way, you’re tricking your mind into thinking you have 1 task (1 hour cleaning), instead of all the individual things that you will be cleaning (wash dishes,wipe counters, sweep the kitchen, pick up toys, vacuum the living room, take out trash….).
Leave a blank space, baby.
When setting your boundaries and time limits, leave some white space. You can look at is as flex space to use on whatever feels right at the time. Blank space can be used for intentional rest, playing with your kids, sneaking in a workout, catching up on additional tasks that you didn’t expect to get to today, anything.
Leave space that’s not designated to anything. It’s not a do nothing time, but a plan nothing time. Feel into it when this time comes, do what feels necessary in that moment. We can’t plan every hour of our day, every moment of our existence, and expect to feel fulfilled. You were created to have free will and carefully planning your entire day goes against that instinct.
Blank space leaves room to rest when you’ve kept on track for the day, and it also leaves space to catch up on those days you get off track. Blank space is important when schedule blocking your days.
How to schedule block: it’s really up to.
I’m going to show you how I currently schedule block my days, but remember: we are different people and our days look and feel different. What works for me, won’t necessarily work for you. It’s okay to do things differently, the only wrong way to plan your day, is by doing what doesn’t work for you.
I take a few minutes every morning to set up a new time block specific to the day. I find this to be much less overwhelming than trying to keep a preplanned template for the whole week that fills in every moment of every day. The point of schedule blocking is to give you freedom, take your time back, and to end the overwhelm – not to add to it and make you feel constrained.
Each morning I will choose 3 priority tasks for the day (today was pay an online bill, write blog drafts, and fold laundry), and I include these into my schedule block. WIth these tasks I know that I need to have a “work” block and a “housework” block for the day.
My work block typically always takes place an hour after I wake up, and I save my house work for after lunch. Knowing your body and your energy rhythms throughout the day really helps to set you up for success with this. I know my mind works best early on, so that’s when I’ll do any writing, admin, or planning. I allow myself time to decompress from the mental activity with lunch, then transition into house work or errand running.
This is what today’s time block looks like in my planner:
3-5: House work
8: Boys bedtime
10: My bedtime
This is what’s really happening:
8-9: Morning (this is when I make coffee, let the dogs out, set up my work space, talk to God, stretch or walk outside to get grounded for the day)
9-12: Work (this is when I’ll pay bills, create family and work budgets, write blogs, schedule social media, show up on social media – and I always get interrupted by the kids for things, and that’s okay!)
WHITE SPACE – typically used for lunch and undivided attention with the kids
3-5: House work (this time will be spent folding the laundry, putting it away, decluttering the kids’ closet and pulling out of season and outgrown clothes today. I’ll also spend a few minutes picking up the whole house just to reset before dinner. Typically, I won’t spend a full 2 hours on housework, because I don’t like to clean and I will very easily distract myself and get off track. That’s okay, that’s why I give myself 2 full hours).
6: Dinner – prep, cook and eat dinner.
WHITE SPACE – family time.
8: Boys bedtime (this is when we begin the bedtime routine of baths, brush teeth, stories, etc).
10: My bedtime (this doesn’t always happen, but it’s the goal!)