Work stye, life style: Pt 2

So last week, I came across the idea of batching. I shared my love of Google calendar and my admiration of Jess Lively’s very clean set up for her coming weeks. After I published that post, I sat down with pen and paper and wrote down what I hope to usually accomplish in one day and allotted specific time frames for each of those goals. If you work from home (or are attempting to or would like to at some point) this kind of mentality is necessary for actually getting things done as opposed to just saying you need to get those things done and complaining about not having enough time at the end of the day. If there’s enough time during the day when you’re physically at your job in an office (or just in the building where you physically work) there is no reason why there’s not enough time when you’re sitting in your home office.. right? There are just a lot more distractions and a much more happy-go-lucky attitude that accompanies working from home.

After writing up my daily schedule (I separated M/W vs. T/R for different projects that I work on and keep up with on a weekly basis) I went and plugged it all into my calendar. My calendar is also synced up with my phone and I added 10 minute pop-up reminders (and turned off the email reminders.. I don’t need an email every hour when it’s time to switch tasks). A pop up note on my cell phone to remind me to wrap up this task and get ready to transition to the next is a great idea for me. If you don’t like your phone next to you because it’s a distraction, then maybe email notifications that pop up in the corner of your computer are for you. For me, it clutters my inbox and I already have problems deleting emails regularly.

This week, (kind of like Jess Lively’s first week) isn’t as clean as I would like for it to be and you will notice a few overlaps in time frames because I scheduled things outside of where I decided it’s best for me to schedule future appointments in order to keep a better-flowing schedule for the future.

Behold:

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I have Monday – Thursday planned out all the way until it’s time for me to put everything away and start getting myself ready to go to work at 5. I’ve scheduled everything from lunch to dinner prep and down time to recharge whether that be watching TV or taking a nap. I have found that if you don’t schedule it, it usually doesn’t make it on the day’s activities and ridiculous amounts of time are lost browsing Pinterest for “just a minute.” My M/W are a little bit more straight forward and flow easily. My Tues/Thurs are a bit different depending on if I have any bookings for my Mary Kay business. I would LIKE to have bookings between 10 & 12 on Tues/Thurs and so I have reorganized the rest of my day while still trying to accomodate all of the same things as M/W. If I don’t have a booking those days though, then I can follow the M/W schedule.

Next week is a new week that doesn’t have any preexisting appointments to jumble what I’ve set up.

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As always though, life happens and there will always be some improv involved but I just feel so much more organized and READY to tackle the things I need to because I have a set time when to do it and set times when I can relax without feeling guilty about it. This is week 1 of batching. Here’s hoping for a much more productive and less stressful week!

Happy Monday!

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Life style, work style

I’m one of those people who revels in having a full calendar. I get annoyed/weirdly enjoy telling people that “no, I cannot make that because if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times.. I need at least a week’s notice.” At the beginning of my day, I sit down and look at my page-long to-do list and feel powerful and ready to attack. By lunch time I’m usually still on track and making a good pace. It’s once I hit 1:00 after lunch that the mid-afternoon slump and [just a] 30 minute nap beckons to me like a siren. If I cave, the rest of the day is done and I wake up groggy most times and in a rush to get my head in the right place to get ready and go to my [real] job that pays the bills. During the day I participate in self-motivated efforts with this blog and my Mary Kay business. When I give in to the nap, or sometimes even if I don’t, my to-do list may get one or two more things checked off and a good chunk is left untouched and added to tomorrow’s list. Unproductive.

I came across a new concept of organizing and working in bursts that seems to me to be more effective than a monstrous to-do list (or 2 or 3 lists) and I’m going to participate in a challenge to implement this approach in my own life as well. The method is called batching. I read a post yesterday that explains about the method and its roots. Author Tim Ferriss explains it like this:

“Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action. Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant. Being selective – doing less – is the path of the productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest.”

 His book, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) can be found on Amazon here.

Being busy is a form of laziness? At first I was caught off guard with this statement but the more I thought about it, the more I realized the truth in it. I over-schedule myself with house to-do items, blog to-do items, Mary Kay to-do items, social obligations, you name it.  Running your own business venture or businesses ventureS like I’m attempting to do (while working meanwhile and running our household) requires a lot of work. It really does. But I have to wonder if I’m working the best way. I think not.

Jess Lively said:

“I encourage anyone else who is struggling to keep up with their calendar to join me on this week of batching!”

I’m struggling. I subscribed to her email and I fell in love with her color coded google calendar (which I already used obsessively to stay organized) batch schedule.

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My calendar:

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If you notice on the left, I have 4 calendars currently lit. That’s right, I use 4 calendars for my life. The school calendar is actually not mine, it’s Josh’s – but I had him input his assignments and things so that I would be aware of when he would have to spend large chunks of time that might otherwise affect things that we have to do around our house, or together.

For the most part, I use my calendar for due dates (especially bill and due date reminders) but as you can see the rest of the day (before my 5-10 work shift every night) is open. In comparison, Jess Lively’s schedule is color coded and blocked off so that there’s a focus for each block of time. I’ll be working today to implement a similar color-coded blocking off of time throughout the week to meet all of my personal & work obligations. There’s something nice about having the whole day to do everything in whatever order I would like, but it’s not really that productive.

On another note, I believe in having a balanced lifestyle. I came across this article about 5 things you should do in the morning to kickstart your day off the right way. Read here. My favorite?

1. Lay in bed for at least 5 minutes after you wake up. I usually spend those 5 or 7 minutes talking and snuggling with my puppies as they’re trying to convince me to get up because it’s time to go outside and eat breakfast! I’ve got a few others to implement (like the exercise thing…) but between giving myself a little extra time in the mornings and scheduling out my days to better reflect my work/personal needs – it’s all going up!

How do you feel about batching?