Scheduling for Focus
Last week I started to share with you what I’m doing to try to focus myself and the importance of scheduling to kind of take back my time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day and I’m tired of wondering how and why others can be so successful with their 24 hours and I feel so unproductive with mine!
So I’d like to explain in a little more detail how I’m breaking down each part of my life and each task I’m responsible for. Of course, with a husband, 4 kids, a dog and a business of my own there are always things that come up. But blocking time out for the necessities that will happen more times than not, is important.
Let’s get started!
I begin by identifying the different areas of my life, what I call “blocks”. The building blocks I’ve identified in my life are: Family, My Health, Home Business, Counseling Business, and Author Business. Yours may look different but just think about the building blocks that make up the sum of your life then name each one. You won’t necessarily use the names of your blocks on your calendar, but it’s important to have a work/life balance so by identifying all of the major things that make up your life you can allocate your time in a healthy manner. I like to use color blocks-each building block has a color and I’ll put that on the page.
Okay, now that you’ve identified the building blocks that make up your life we can continue.
Each block contains items. My Family block, for instance, contains: church, Tae Kwon Do, movie nights, group exercise (walks, park, The Y, etc.) So as you can tell each item contains an activity that will require a bit of time. This is what you add to your calendar: you will plug your items into your day/week/month. Start with those items that you know are going to happen. For our family we know that Sunday is church and Monday nights/Saturday mornings are for Tae Kwon Do. Movie night or family night is on Fridays. And so on. The group exercise tends to be more spontaneous but I wanted to keep that item on my list so that it gets included. I find the Family color block then plug in my items in the correct day/time. It ends up looking pretty AND organized. Win, win!
I’ll share with you all of my blocks and items on my blog so that you can see that the list of items can be extensive. I’m sure I don’t have to highlight for you how many responsibilities you have, you feel the weight of them just like I do, I’m sure.
My Blocks and items are as follows:
-Exercise (Y, park, walks, etc)
•My Health (M/B/S)
•Home Business (HB)
-Paperwork (mail, kids school papers, etc)
-Projects (organize a closet, sort clothes to give away, rearrange attic, etc)
•Counseling Business (CB)
-Paperwork (Billing, Clinical notes, etc)
-Communication (emails, calls, fax)
•Author Business (AB)
-Learning (monthly theme)
-Storyteller Nation FB group
-Other social media
I also shared with you how I have begun to choose monthly themes that are to help me focus my content consumption. My March/April theme centers around my Author Business. That theme is: Building an email list, and more specifically building an email list with Convertkit. I’ve done my research and just keep coming back to these guys. I know there are a lot of others that would be just as great: AWeber, ConstantContact, and Mailchimp to name a few. But, I’ll be honest, Joanna Penn’s and Pat Flynn’s endorsement of Convertkit kind of sealed the deal for me. So, I’m learning, mostly by spending time on my dashboard in Convertkit and watching all of the videos (some 2 or 3 times) until I understand them. I have told you before, I am technologically impaired so the learning curve is wide for this one...anyway, I have to listen to something a number of times before I get it. I learn better is someone is actually sitting beside me to show me how to do this stuff so, if tech is your wheelhouse and you want to meet for a coffee and some tutelage, I’m game!
Okay, so April’s theme is obviously a big one for me and if I feel like I’ve gotten far along enough in understanding it I can move on to the next theme or add a theme and spend less time on this next month. An idea I have for my next theme is important for all of my businesses! That would be... budgeting! Of course there are always things I want to learn for home such as healthy eating, parenting, communication, etc. And both businesses offer plenty of learning opportunities as well, so I will be creating lists of things I’d like to learn or level up on for the future. I’ll share those as I add them.
I hope that what I shared today was helpful for you and that it made sense as I talked about it. If you’d like to see this for yourself or get a free blank calendar page, please visit: Sarahfenlonfalk.com. You are always welcome to join Storyteller Nation on my website as well for freebies, info and more. Check out the Storyteller Nation facebook group to join the conversation about creating using words, art and photographs. Stories are powerful and there are so many ways to tell them!