Time Management - Quarantine
Let's talk about something that used to be a huge struggle for me, time management. Oh you sneaky devil. I don't know about you , but I can so easily get sucked into a vortex of doing the exact opposite of what I should be doing. If I should be working, I'll get sidetracked watching a show or scrolling through instagram... Essentially, if I dint have a hard deadline or had to physically get up and leave for something, I probably would waste a lot of time. This only really became a problem in the last few years, for some reason I never had this issue in college. So, over time I've been able to figure out a few things that have helped me focus.
During quarantine I feel like I have been slipping back into some poor time management skills so now is a perfect time to spruce up some skills.
ONE- Lists, lists, lists - Every morning, one of the things I do when Is it and have my coffee is make a list for the day. Depending on the day, it can either just be a mental list or one I actually have to write down. For work things, I will usually use the "reminders" app on my computer so I can check them off one, by, one... If its for Cubicle to CEO Chic I'll likely write them my notebook. If I don't have that with me it's a folder in the reminders app. Lastly, for just day to day life things (like going to the grocery store, things to do, things to clean) I put them on a giant sticky pads. Honestly the lined Post-It Notes are to die for. I use them for to do lists, grocery shopping and they really help. Creating lists helps me center and focus on what I have to get done in a day. I never recommend making a list thats too long, it should be on the key priorities for the day.
TWO-Time Blocking. So I really learned a lot about time blocking through The Skinny Confidential. She uses it and swears by it so I wanted to give it a try. Turns out, she's right, its amazing. I use a timer cube and my calendar to time block. Time blocking will let you just set aside chunks of time to focus on one thing at a time.
-Time blocking with my Timer Cube! I am absolutely obsessed with the timer cube. Ive only had it for about a year but I swear its life changing. I use it all the time and it changes the game. The one I have is black and white so very chic. It has a 5, 15, 30 and 60 minute setting. I know its super easy to set a timer on your phone. What is so great about this cube is how simple it is. Part of why I don't like setting a timer on my phone is because it give some too much of an excuse to pick up my phone and the possibility to explore. I use this a ton if I get up early to work on Cubicle to CEO Chic before work. It helps to set it and zone out until the buzzer goes off! I also will use it at night when I read. Like my work, I can also get lost in a good book. I don't need to stay up all night reading a good book, I'm too tired for that. If you want more options for a simple timer, you can get this hexagonal timer. It has two more timing options and a larger countdown area.
- Time blocking with the calendar. Its as simple as setting meetings up for yourself! Below is a snapshot of my Cubicle to CEO Chic calendar. I have things that are happening Since I'm not in the office like normal I have given myself more time to write as you can see below (as I find time in the work day I'll write and block it off) I have different categories by color. When something is posting I have it int Pink, anytime I take photos its in Grey, Writing is in black and working out is in orange. Every Sunday, I sit and block off when things are posting, what workouts I want to do, photos that need to be taken and so on. The lucky thing about working from how now, is that I have more time to focus on Cubicle to CEO Chic, so I've been trying to take advantage of it. I don't usually plan out when I'm going to write. I more know the deadline for a post is coming up so I usually sit and write every day after work. Now that I have had more time, I end up putting it on my calendar as I go. Seeing where your time is going, is really helpful to ensure you are using your time how you really want to.
THREE- Give yourself a good space to work. This last point may be the most important thing when you are trying to focus. This really depends on the type of person you are. Some people can put their head down and plug away on the subway, I am not one of those people. I need to be at least okay with my environment I work in. You can head to my Desk Talk post to check out my ideal physical working condition. Aside from that, I love having my timer cube, some water and some music! You want to be in a "happy place" when you are working and trying to focus. Overall, as long as you can put your head down and focus on what needs to be done for the slotted amount of time or until the task is over, you are golden!
Just like that, one, two, three you are golden and ready to hit the ground running. Remember, list out your priorities, time block and put yourself in a good space! From that your work will fly by and you wont even realize how productive you are being until it's done.
Until next time,