Last week I focused on getting something out of my mind that’s been hovering there for a long time and that was reading, something I love, want to do more of, but know I didn’t really retain much information from.
This week I want to focus on something else and that is organising my time better so I can actually see how much time I DO have available to do additional things and stop feeling like I’m a boat in the ocean being swept around from left to right with every wave that hits.
This has been a struggle for me for a long time. I’m very much in the moment and it’s easy for me to get roped into “just doing this one more urgent task”, “just helping out here a little bit” or “running errands”. I feel like the last 2 years have been the least efficient of my life and that means that my own tasks that are important are giving way to other people’s agenda and they are being left. My own wellbeing has to be squeezed in whatever time remains somewhere – and that’s all because I have no boundaries when it comes to my time.
This is something that has caused me a lot of stress and a persistent feeling of chaos. I don’t actually have a problem with saying No to people when I can’t or won’t do something, but I kinda think that “well I didn’t have anything else planned for the day, so yeah why not”. Where I should be checking what’s on my list of things that never get done and doing some of those – but this list doesn’t exist. The day didn’t get planned, the week didn’t get planned and therefore it’s easy to just say yes.
What’s the struggle?
I have tried 100 different ways to organise my day/week/month/year and none of them have stuck long term.
I think it’s a combination of a lack of clarity on where I’m trying to take things and what my focus is combined with bad organisation, so I’m going to tackle both so I can make space for the things that matter. And be clear how much time I even have to play with.
I did try time blocking in the past and that worked well while I was clear on what I was working on.
I did try organising every minute of my day with google calendar and that did not work, so I’m going to need to come up with some kind of mix of techniques.
What’s the goal?
I’m extremely disorganised at the moment, the only thing that is reliably getting done is my work. Everything else I may get done or not and I may just put it off. I do laundry whenever the pile gets too big, I clean sth. when it looks like it needs cleaning and I read whenever I find a quick moment maybe only once a week – and I don’t want to carry on like this. It means that if something is NOT obvious that it needs attention it gets forgotten and the consequences can get expensive.
I have a few different goals with this:
- Be clear on all of the to-dos that are PERSONAL and make sure they are getting done when they should be done (eg. residency paperwork, opening new bank account, booking appointments to get hair cut etc.)
- Put the recurring things that need doing on a schedule that is flexible (eg. cleaning bathroom once a week)
- Creating flexible blocks of time on my calendar to get things done (eg. one block for personal care, one block for life admin, one block for cleaning per day etc.)
- Put my work into a schedule so it doesn’t on and off eat up time all day every day
- Being able to pre-plan activities such as trips and holidays way ahead
What are the first action steps?
To see the full extent of what needs organising and come up with a good way to set it all up I guess I need more clarity on everything I am trying to get done and then I need a way to remind me to do it.
1. Setting up my calendar – I’m going to take time out today to set up my calendar, add appointments in for the week and block the hours that I need for work. This then needs to get done every Sunday, so that I’m clear on the week ahead.
2. Get clear on the tasks I am trying to do in addition to work, write them all out as a list, then put them on a schedule in Notion and add enough time blocks to my calendar to get it done (eg. if cleaning takes 3 hours a week, I need to add 3 1hr blocks somewhere on my calendar, so that I can get it all done).
3. Practice my daily routine of checking into notion and my calendar at the start of my day to get the full picture of everything I have to do every day, make any minor adjustments for example changing the order of things (if it’s raining in the mornings and I’d set aside some errand time, I can switch it to the PM and do work in the AM instead).
4. Make sure that before I close off the day/week/month I prepped all the things for the next day/week/month. That needs to be figured out (this could include stuff like tidying living room before going to bed, filling up calendar on Sundays).
5. Consider setting up some life admin days, so that I’m up to date with filing stuff, clearing out etc.
I will get started with the calendar and getting an overview of all the things today and then I can adjust the plan for the rest of the week accordingly.