On Monday, I wrote a post about my belief that we need not fear over committing and should learn to say YES rather than no. It sparked an interesting discussion with a friend of mine who asked: “How will I get it all done?” My answer is simple in theory but definitely not easy in practice and that’s to play with blocks of time. If you’ve never worked within a block schedule, it might look like it requires more discipline than you’re used to. It does. but that discipline buys you a lot more freedom and creativity as well. Here’s how to start.
Gather Your ProjectsPutting a list together of all of the projects that need your attention is an important first step. It will allow you to see where you need to put your focus and when. I use Google Keep for this, but scratching it out on a legal pad or journal works too. List everything you’re working on with its due date and you’re ready to start.
Put the Big Rocks In FirstI do not have space and you do not have the patience for me to retell the great Stephen Covey’s big rocks and aquarium story, you get it. the only way everything fits is if the big rocks go in first. When we play with blocks of time, the first things we schedule are our big rocks. These are client meetings, meetings with our superiors and appointments that take top priority. Get these in first and everything else will fit in around it.
Schedule Appointments With YourselfAfter we’ve listed all of our scheduled appointments with others, it’s time to schedule appointments with ourselves. I like to work in 30-minute blocks and these are sacred promises that I make to myself. Schedule time to work on:
- Projects from the master list
- To process email
- To make phone calls
- To run errands
- To read
- To write
- To think