We are in the middle of Hanukkah and Christmas is just 11 days away! I admit I have done all of my shopping online. I will be going into Walgreen's this week to pick up our cards, but other than that...it's been done all virtually just like just about everything else this year. Don't worry, this is not a post about how terrible 2020 has turned out...more on that another day. I have saved a little bit of time not having to find a parking spot downtown or at the mall, so I have been doing a lot more pilates in my basement these last few weeks. Time. Funny, we often say there isn't enough of it and it goes by so fast. I agree whole heartedly because I could swear my 12-year old daughter was a baby in my arms just the other day...
Yep, there I go daydreaming again. Yes, time can be quite the enemy sometimes, but it is really in how you manage it. I continued to practice "block scheduling" to keep myself on track since I decided to leave my full-time job 5 years ago. I found the skills I learned as a project manager translate directly into managing work/life at home. My colleagues and I would joke that our days were filled with meetings and we never had time to do actual work. Anyone that has worked in the corporate world knows that meetings take up A LOT of time, but nothing actually gets accomplished. You see, work is discussed during these meetings, it just doesn't happen. Yes, I realize I sound like a crazy person as I type this, but it is so true and I know many of you are nodding your heads in agreement.
So when I needed to review pages (I worked in higher education publishing for 20 years), I had to block out that time. When I needed to read reviews on chapters, I blocked out that time. You get the picture. God bless that Google calendar as it was respected by all. If your time was marked as "busy" it was understood that you were not available. We lived and died by those calendars. Case closed. If my boss knew not to schedule a meeting while my time was "blocked" why can't I respect my own calendar and time? Exactly.
Since moving out of that world, I do indeed have more time...no doubt about. I will never forget talking to a friend while running on the treadmill the morning after my first day of "not working". I told her how much I got done the day before. She smiled and proceeded to give me some advice. She told me to hold on to that momentum and to be careful about saying to myself "I have so much time now!". She said that if you need help getting something done that you should ask a busy person, because they know how to manage their time and that is why I accomplished so much on my first day out of the office. It's so true, especially in today's society with distractions literally at our fingertips. If you give yourself the entire day to do one thing, you will take it. I completed so many tasks that day because I held myself accountable to a scheduled list of tasks. Let me say that again. A "scheduled" list of tasks. It's one thing to make a "to do" list but it is quite another to assign blocks of "time" to those tasks.
I have done my best to hold on to that. Don't get me wrong, I have slipped here and there but I still use an old-fashioned notebook to block my time out....and that includes working out. You can google all sorts of ways of managing your time. Maybe you need color or maybe you need something beeping at you every time you had to start a new task (that didn't work for me) or most likely you will come up with your own method. My best advice is to do it in the way that works for you....but I cannot say enough about blocking out your time. It's so psychological and it works! It forces you to prioritize your tasks for the day. If you really want to get in that workout---look at your blocks of time and get it in. Heck, I have done a great workout at my kitchen counter while cooking dinner and I write that in to my planner! (I am a pen and paper gal- something about writing it down in pen just makes it important)
Why am I writing about time now? Because guess what? It's December 14th and those Christmas cookies aren't baking themselves? But even more important...keep you body and mind fit and schedule that workout! Take an hour, take 20 minutes, whatever you have, just block it out!