I am normally a very meticulous person when it comes to my work flow. I sit at my desk, grind It out and then I move on with my day. Even if it’s 8 hours straight, I just like to get it done and then move on. I am the girl who works through her lunch break because why waste time.
This mentality does not work when being a work from home Mom.
I tried it. Tried it again. & again. I failed every single time. I got frustrated, anxious, depressed, overwhelmed…
How do you reverse years and years of work mentality? How can you maintain the same productiveness of your old self, in your new and more demanding life?
Now I will say that somedays without Brian being home, I don’t know if this would even be possible. He helps so much when I have deadlines, conference calls or need to work on my blog. However, there have been days when he’s working and I am alone with Logan that I have needed to test this method and it WORKS (when he’s being good)
How do you time block?
Time blocking is setting an amount of time to work on a specific task as vigorously as you can until the time is up. When the time is up you move onto a new task for a set amount of time; so on and so forth.
My schedule is that I work on a project for 30-45 minutes at a time. So I will spend 45 minutes working, 30 minutes cleaning, 45 minutes working, 30 minutes playing with Logan.. I keep that going until my task is cleared and my chores are complete. I usually begin my blocks at 9:00a each morning, starting with work.
Logan isn’t on a consistent schedule with his naps, however, he stays relatively the same each day, so I can manage this a lot better.
I do adjust my time blocking if my schedule allows. For example: if Logan is taking a nap, I can expect that nap to be 45 minutes – 2 hours. In that time, I usually double down on work so that way I can end my day slightly earlier than I normally would.
I wish I would have discovered this sooner because I usually experience a burn out when it comes to tasks. While hustling and getting it done ASAP feels rewarding to me, the level of unnecessary pressure I placed on myself was not worth it.
How do you stay on schedule?
Set an alarm on your phone or with Alexa to alert you when your time is up. It’s kind of like taking a timed test back in the day and you had to drop your pencils and put your hands up. That is exactly what I do. I finish my thought if I am in one, put my computer to sleep and move on. I usually write my to-do’s down on my “Get Sh*t Done” sheet and then detail my work flow on my daily agenda sheet to make sure that I don’t forget anything.
Does this add time to my day?
Yes. I am not going to lie here and say it doesn’t. It extends my work day to sometimes 9PM but, I value the time I get to spend with my little monster while he is awake; and I find chores oddly relaxing so it is a great way for me to decompress from my projects (especially if they are tedious).
What if you need to do something to meet a deadline, how do you manage a time crunch?
I hate getting into these situations, but of course I drop everything and get sh*t done. That’s the way I roll, I am very much the definition of organized chaos. I problem solve, FAST. It’s a blessing but my attitude doing it is the curse.
So when you have a deadline and you need to crank it out OUTSIDE of the time you’ve set. Do the damn thang girl, handle it. It’s okay to not live by the clock every single time. Life is all about flexibility
Do you time block on the weekends?
Sometimes I do. I love setting a timer for 15-20 minutes when cleaning a room and doing the most I can until that timer goes off and then move onto something else. This reminds me that no room should ever take more than 15-20 minutes to straighten up, if it does I need to start Kondo-ing my life or being more thorough when I spend time doing so during the week. One thing I have not mastered is being able to do laundry in a timely manner.
Since going back to work after having Logan and discovering this method to manage my time, my productivity is up, my stress is low and my little guy Is thriving. Sometimes a method that you thought wouldn’t work for you, is the one for you.
This is so helpful to me. I work from home with my daughter too and it can be so hard. I tend to get distracted but I’m trying to be better about time blocking. It can be so hard on deadline, as you said.
Whilst I haven’t completely nailed my own technique yet, I do already love time blocking and think it’s super helpful. It feels a lot less daunting getting stuck into a task when you know you have a break coming up. My partner and I have really opposite schedules, but he comes home from his break in the middle of the day, so I do certain tasks in the morning, then relax and eat lunch with him once he’s home, and then do some other tasks once he’s gone. It makes the day go much smoother and ensures that I am using my time most wisely!