I believe that structuring your time is one of the most important skills you can try to master. The day I learnt to break down my time into blocks and manage them accordingly was a godsend! Don’t get me wrong, I am one of the most organised people on the planet. I schedule my meetings and appointments, ensuring that I stagger them so as not to stretch myself too thin, and I am also punctual to the point of frustration to others, but one day I learnt how to make sure I scheduled in other things, not just formal appointments, and this was a ‘light bulb moment’.
Scheduling blocks of time is crucial to living a relatively stress-free life. We all schedule in our appointments, meetings, and items of importance such as our children’s sporting commitments, trips to the dentist, etc. but do you formally schedule in your exercise, work time (as in doing the actual work), or block out time for you? Start now and it will be one of your greatest life savers. Anything that is important to you should be scheduled into your diary or planner. The fantastic news is that you will be more likely to stick to what is written down, ensuring that your ‘not so important’ items also become a feature in your life,
and something that you stick to and engage in.
So it’s time to schedule in your exercise, your personal lunches/catch ups, as well as business events, perhaps a massage once a month, or half a day to work on your marketing plans. Whatever is important to you or you feel you need to focus on and dedicate more time to, allocate time to in your planner exactly as you would to a formal appointment. Don’t forget to tick off once complete, I find this a very satisfying end to the process knowing that I have completed it and can look forward.
Whilst we’re on the topic of allocating blocks of time and scheduling accordingly, do you actually know where you are currently spending your time and on what? Are you being at your most productive or are you losing hours and hours to social media or reading blogs? Do you sit down to your email and re-surface hours later, not really having achieved much at all? Spend a week writing down everything that you do on an hourly basis. It doesn’t have to be ridiculous and detailed but start to understand where you are actually spending your time, or perhaps where you are losing valuable time to things that may not be in your best interests. If you do record and analyse, I’m certain you’ll be quite amazed and find some areas for improvement or items to fine-tune.
When structuring or allocating your time, work in half hour or hourly blocks as you will find this much easier. Be sure to take a break at the end of each block, stretch your legs if you’ve been working at a desk, have a glass of water to re-hydrate, and take a short walk to the kitchen, bathroom, or back room to move your body. If you work in retail or in a job where you are constantly standing, then sit down, take a couple of deep breaths, and enjoy a glass of water to refresh and rejuvenate. It’s all about balance and structuring your time to make the best use of it that you can as this will help you in your quest to be a little more
balanced and less stressed.