Aloha and Welcome Back! So Happy to see you here! Christmas time is just around the corner, and we are I have been busier than ever (and I wouldn’t have it any other way!)
If you are on Kauai, be sure to check out our Household Tasks and Gift Certificates to get your house holiday ready. Gift Certificates make a great stocking stuffer for those busy people in your life! Spots are filling up quickly, so be sure to book or purchase now!
A Year of Aligned Action: A Planner for Your Highest Self is now LIVE ON AMAZON!!! I am so stoked to launch this killer planner/workbook. I have been building my own bullet journals/planners for years, because I don’t want just a calendar, I want an action plan! This planner is it! My favorite strategies and components combined to actually get clear on my goals and take action and smash!
Speaking of goals, today I want to talk about creating routines and schedules to streamline life. Schedules, Routines and Focused work session allows us to get the absolute most out of our day. As I mentioned in my last post, I have been really focused on systemizing my life. As someone who leans towards the impulsive side of life, it has been making such an impact on my overall productivity, happiness and quality of life!
Before you start any type of schedule, I recommend you tackle your daily routines. Start looking at the major blocks of your day. That might look like:
As a work from home mama, my daily routine has been growing and evolving with my son’s schedule. He is now 2 and it looks a bit like the blocks above. Just remember your day is unique to you, so make sure you break your day up in chunks that are relevant and practical to YOUR life.
Next you are going to break down each chunk of time by what you need to get done, want to get done and what you are doing that needs to go. Check out the Routine Builder post on my sister website Rhumbline Wellness. Try this Routine Builder Worksheet to get really clear about your needs, wants and current habits.
When developing an effective system for your life, career or business, you need to identify EVERYTHING that needs to get done, so don’t skip this step. I find that it helps to write everything down that needs to get done for specific area of my life (for example in my business) for an entire month. Start with the big picture then funnel down by week, then by day, then by which part of the day is best for each activity. Try to put similar things together so you are working in one system at a time.
Also, this is a great time to identify what times of day you are the most energetic, focused and productive. You want to prioritize certain activities for these areas of your day! For my
Once you know what needs to get done during each chunk of your day, you can move on to a scheduling method that works for you!
Scheduling Your Day
Learning to schedule my day was really important in helping with my recovery from Post-Partum Depression (I am currently developing a workbook from the strategies I used to overcome and thrive beyond my PPD). As a business owner it is crucial for me to have a schedule to provide consistent service to my clients, to make sure I am scheduling in creative space to develop new products and of course to make it all work with a Toddler at my side!
Blocking or Chunking
Block Scheduling or Chunking is a method of scheduling your day that simple assigns tasks to a specific area of your day. You list the items for that day in order of priority and do them as time allows. This loose form of scheduling is a great system for people who are fairly new to scheduling their day. It’s also the method I found the most effective as a new mom, since life with a baby is sometimes unpredictable. I also found it to be the best type of scheduling when I was as the height of my depression. The looseness of it allowed me the grace to deal with energy lows and resistance that comes with depression.
I still use a form of this type of schedule; however, I have things listed in the ideal order that I want to do them. I don’t have a specific time, but I do have rough idea of when things will happen. I always anything that needs to happen at specific time first, then build around it. This can be meetings, clients, events, services, doctor appointments and so on. This gives me the rough in. Then I list everything from there. Make sure you are putting a realistic number of items in each section of your day. Allow space for the unexpected. The idea is to be automated, but flexible!
I recommend blocking similar activities together. For me that looks like putting admin tasks like invoicing all together at one set part of my day and I would pair that with answering emails. Both require computer work, but neither take too long, so I can lump them into one section of time. If I am creating in Canva, I try to stick to just that program, I make pins, put together graphics for my blog posts and create worksheets in the same block of time. I also block together activities for my son that are similar to what I am working on. For example, if I am doing admin work, I block it together with drawing time for him. If am working our garden, I have him practicing with his tools, raking, hammers, shovels. It helps to have concurrent activities in mind for your kiddo. This helps keep both of us in a routine and reduces distractions. Bonus, my son feels involved in what I am doing.
The Pomodoro method is a time management tool that was developed in the 80’s by Francesco Cirillo. It uses 25min blocks of FOCUSED work broken up by short breaks (usually around 5minutes). Every every 2 hours or so you take a longer break, 15-30 minutes. This gives your brain a chance to rest and reset.
I LOVE this method of working. This is the most effective approach for me. I have modified our blocks to be 20 minutes long and our breaks to be 10 minutes long. At this stage this is the perfect amount of time for G’s attention span. I spend 10 minutes of time playing with him, then back to work. This has allowed me the Focus to actually get through tasks. The 10 minutes of play make a world of difference in my son’s attitude too. This helps everyone feel a lot better by the end of the day.
Here are a few tips for succeeding with the Pomodoro Method:
- Focus on ONLY ONE THING AT A TIME: This is the most important aspect of this technique. Focus on only one task until it is complete. Then move on.
- Put Small Tasks Together: Complete one Task start to finish, the move on to the next small task.
- Break Down Large Tasks: Create 4 Parts to large tasks. List the main actions needed to complete each smaller section of each task.
- Record Your Interruptions and take a full 5-minute break: Pay attention to where you are being interrupted, take a full break and start over. This gives your brain time to reset and get back to the task at hand. Later You can take time to see what kind of interruptions you have and plan ways to mediate them.
The Pomodoro Method is effective because it demands your presence and reduces the urge to be distracted. As a parent it allows time for hyper focus and time to be present with your child or children. This helps you and your child learn how to focus. This technique also combats overwhelm by breaking down large projects or to do lists into totally manageable amounts of time and combining it with consistent pressure allows you to make noticeable progress on your goals, projects and to do lists.
Eat The Frog
“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning…
And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
– Mark Twain
Brian Tracy wrote a great book on how to combat overwhelm and achieve more, called Eat The Frog. The philosophy he uses is called Eating the Frog, like in the Mark Twain quote above, meaning you do the most difficult, biggest thing on your list very first. As in it is the very first part of your workday. You do it in the morning when your mind is the freshest. This method partners great with the Pomorodo Method, where you apply 25 minutes of focused attention to the task. You can use this system at work, at home, when approaching major life goals. This is a great method for applying constant energy and action towards your biggest, most daunting goals, like starting a business, finding a life partner, Bucket list traveling, or buying a house. The key to success is building great habits (that’s the action) and applying them consistently.
Get Clarity, Identify Goals, Make Plans, Take Action
When it comes to building systems and routines that work it comes down to 4 main points.
- Get Clear about what you want out of life, out of the year, out of the months. Those things are built by your days, with your habits and routines. When you are clear about the future, you are going to get a lot clearer on what your day-to-day habits should look like.
- Identify Your Goals. If you have a vision for your future, you can set goals to get you there. What kind of things has the future you achieved to be where they are? Those are your long-term action steps. Your day-to-day habits will be your short-term action.
- Make Plans. Having a clear list of goals lets you begin to make plans. I like to think of this like putting together a piece of furniture. First you look at the big picture (THE OUTCOME). Yay it’s going to be a bed. Next you identify each Part (This is what you will need on your way to your goal, this could be finances, supplies, a network, etc), Last is assembly. That’s the action.
- Take Action. This step is the most important of all. If you do not take action, you will not accomplish your goal. Simple. You must follow your action steps. This is where implementing the strategies above will come in. Tackle you hardest tasks first. use focus Blocks to devote your time specifically to your goal.
Delegating tasks that could be easily performed by someone else is going to go a long way in creating space in your schedule and allow you to stay focused on your goals. Switching tasks takes time and energy, both in handling the task and getting refocused on your goals. That is why delegating is such a great tool when it comes to making the most of your time.
Delegating helps reduce overwhelm and burnout. Sometimes there are things that need to get done, that just suck. Maybe it’s doing the dishes or putting away laundry. Maybe it’s running to town for groceries or to pick up an order. For someone else it might be handling emails, doing taxes or writing copy. These are the task you should delegate to someone else as soon as you are able. If you can’t afford to hire someone, consider some type of work trade, enlist the help of family, or consider reworking your budget.
At Aloha Tammie Professional Services our mission has always been to help other make the most of their time. We are obsessed with living a full and fulfilled life, sharing moments with friends and family and truly living our dreams. Our tasking service was designed with your time in mind, allowing you to delegate tasks, town runs, shopping and household chores and really create space to live your dream life.
I hope you found some useful tools in this week’s post! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to get blog updates and follow along on our crazy island life! Aloha and until next time!