I know how important it is for you to have enough free time that you can tackle the important things that come up. For that to happen you’re going to need to leave room in your life.
I know how important it is for you to have enough free time that you can tackle the important things that come up in your life. For that to happen, you’re going to need to leave room in your life and your calendar.
The problem is when we don’t do this, we leave ourselves open to being one phone call away from disaster. Here’s what I mean by this. If I have a fully booked calendar and I have no time to do anything else, I can almost be sure a customer’s gonna call, and that customer’s gonna have a problem that needs to have attention spent on it immediately, but if I don’t have any time, I might put it off for two, three, four days, and when we put off a major problem or emergency issue for those we work with, whether it’s our customers, our employees, or suppliers, it’s not gonna get any better when we make it wait three or four days, and sometimes, when you get to that three or four days, you’ve gone from having an issue to a full-blown disaster, which is gonna take you tons of time to fix once you finally get around to working on it.
The issue I see over and over is people like you schedule your day with so many things on your to-do list there is no way you can get them all done. You might always be feeling that there is no way you can take anything else on no matter how important it is.
When this happens, you’re opening yourself up for disaster. Too often, important things that you had never thought about pop up, like a customer service issue that we just talked about. Too often we are frustrated because we haven’t left time in our life for us to handle those disasters and emergencies that come up.
I understand how hard it is to leave time or even know if you have time in your schedule. Too often, many people don’t even know how much time they need to accomplish what’s on their list. The reason is simple: we just haven’t thought about the amount of time it takes to do things in a realistic manner. We always think we can do more things than we can actually do, and we always think that it takes us less time than it actually does take.
I finally learned this when I started doing a really, really simple thing. You might be curious about what that one thing is called. It’s called time-blocking.
That’s when you take your task list and put it on a daily calendar, and schedule when you’re gonna do each one of those activities in that list, and here’s what’s gonna happen: it’s gonna be two things are gonna happen, actually.
- You’re gonna find out that you’ve most certainly have over-scheduled yourself. If you’re like most people I know that have a to-do list every day, if you don’t have a to-do list every day, you really need to have one every day, but most people I know have 15, 20, I’ve seen as many as 50 items on a to-do list for a day, and all you do is you keep scanning that list. You keep scanning that list, and scanning that list. You haven’t really found out what are the important things you need to do?
- The other thing you’re gonna find is that it takes a lot longer to do the things on your list than you thought it was gonna take. Now, my experience, I can’t get eight, more than eight or nine things done in a particular day. Sometimes I get up to 12, but typically, it’s eight or nine things. If I schedule more than that, I don’t get them done, and I don’t have time of set aside for the emergencies of those incidents that come up that I hadn’t planned on.
So here’s what the plan is if you wanna stop feeling stressed and have room for the unexpected in your life.
- Number one, look at your schedule and have an honest appraisal of how many days it will take you to do just one day’s list, and I wanna repeat this. How many days it’s going to take, not how much time in that day because if you have 15, or 20, or 25 things on your list, that very possibly could be, on one day gives you all the things you can do for a week, so this is why we focus on one or two projects at a time. It’s why we focus on doing the important things first in the day, and it’s why we always schedule our big rocks using time blocks, and then we fill in around that when we have a few extra minutes here and there.
- Number two, I want you to use time-blocking, see how powerful can be, and easy to use. You just take your calendar, and you take that to-do list, and you put the things on your calendar that are the most important things for you to do that day, and then you put a list together of the things you can do when you have a few minutes here and a few minutes there, but the big rocks in first are the things that are gonna take you 30 minutes, an hour, an hour and a half, maybe even two hours out of your day to do, so when you do this, then you’re getting the important things in. You’re doing it at the time of day when you have the most energy, and that’s when you should schedule these long, intense work things. It’s part of a thing that’s called deep work, so I want you to learn about what deep work is. Maybe Google it, and you’re gonna find out that deep work is when you need to have an hour, 90 minutes, or two-hour blocks put aside to do work that’s really important, needs a lot of effort, a lot of time, and no interruptions.
- Number three, I want you to stop over-scheduling yourself and realize there are only six to nine things you’re gonna do in the day most days for most people. Yeah, you’re gonna send some e-mails out, and that will take you five, 10, 15 minutes, but schedule all your e-mails in a half-an-hour to a 45-minute block, and then you’re not stopping to do e-mails every 10 minutes when one comes in, so here’s what I want you to do.
I want you to make sure you schedule your free time every day. This will allow you to time for the unexpected, and will help you feel a whole lot less stressed, and I’m assuming that’s something you might find valuable.
If you find this concept interesting, why don’t you give me a call, or better yet, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be glad to walk you through how this is done, and we can set up a time for a short conversation.
You see how it can be used in your life. I’d appreciate if you would scroll down and let me know what you think about time-blocking in your life.
Hey, this is Josh Patrick. You’re at the SustainableBusiness. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.