Monday, February 18, 2008

Block 'n Roll

working from home is pretty darn awesome. you get to plan your own schedule... oh wait-- i have to plan my own schedule? it’s a sneaky catch-22-- without a blueprint for your work week, you may end up working harder than you need to, leaving little personal time (or as i call it-- “me time”).

i’ve been working out of my home for a stretch and i find it to be quite nice. the freedom to do as i please is satisfying but I sometimes miss having a schedule set in stone. being on time or on schedule is something that comes naturally to me. in the beginning of my professional organizing career, balancing work and “me time” was easier. sure, i was learning the ropes but i had the time to. fast forward to now and i’m lucky to watch one dvd a month. when i realized i wasn’t using my netflix subscription to it’s fullest i knew something had to be done.
i can help other people plan for just about anything, but i also know that a healthy lifestyle effectively balances both work and play. for that, i needed a little assistance. i called my amazing friend and colleague Dyana Valentine to the rescue. after a few questions regarding goals, we dove right in.
the picture above is what i scribbled down as we were brainstorming. the strategies and tips really helped free up some time as well as allow me to focus on what really needs to get done week-to-week. i wanted to share some of those with you... so keep reading and plan to get it done!
1. start with the beginning of your work week
2. look at your planner. what are you already getting done during the week that
works well for you (keep it that way)
3. look again at your planner. what is left on your to-do list that re-appears every
week. try and schedule the things that are important next to those tasks you
are getting done. also ask yourself “if the tasks aren’t being done-- are they
really that important?”
4. now start with each day and block off time for: 1. clients and/or work
2. answering email
3. client cultivation/ideas
4. bookkeeping/bill paying
5. laundry/grocery/errands
6. 1 to 1 client time
7. “me” time
there are many categories that could pertain to you-- make a list before you start and try to place them where they flow for you. if you’re a morning person, schedule clients or return phone calls then. errands should be grouped together so you’re not running out to the store more than once a week. and always be flexible. when a client is in a bind and you must move the session, just go with the flow. you’ll recoup the time by filling it with another task. planning out a schedule will also help you say “no” when that friend of yours calls to have long lunches. you’ve always had trouble saying no-- but now you have to because you have “xyz” already blocked off. if it seems a bit overwhelming at first-- start small. add one new block of time each week for a task. before long you’ll have oodles of time for all those items on your to-do list that never get crossed off. or, if you’re like me, you will finally be able to sit back and take advantage of your dusty netflix movie rentals.

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