Time management.

Moving your family 1,000+ miles means a lot of new beginnings for everyone involved. New city, new weather, new job for my husband, new school & friends for the kids, new routines…you get the picture. But lucky for me, I apparently have 3 chameleons for children who are able to adapt to anything!

Thankfully, I was able to keep my corporate job that I’ve been at for almost 10 years and work remotely. When everything else was changing, it was such a feeling of security to have that one familiar constant. I was able to focus on creating a smooth transition for my family because I didn’t have to put all my energy toward learning a new job – and for that, I am so grateful. But – while I kept my job, I did make the transition from going into the office every day to now working from home. I thought it’d be easy. I thought I would LOVE getting to wear whatever I want everyday and having the flexibility to throw a load of laundry in during a 5-minute break rather than walking a few flights of stairs just to stretch my legs. And I do love these perks – but there has actually been a bigger learning curve than I had guessed.

Working from home is not only lonely {I need friends!} but requires so much discipline. Because I’ve been working full-time out of the house with a 40+ minute commute each way, managed to juggle the kids’ schedules, keep them fed/bathed, and have a few minutes at the end of the night to spend with my husband, I assumed that I had good time management skills – but since moving here and {essentially} having more time in my day now that I don’t have a commute, I realized that I was still feeling just as stretched. That can’t be right. So, I did some digging and came across the concept of time blocking. Let me just say: LIFE. CHANGING. If you have ever struggled to get everything done that you need to, do yourself a favor and try it out. I just started about a week ago and I planned to give it a solid two weeks before sharing my experience with you guys but it truly only took a couple days for me to realize that this is the key that’s been missing. I don’t want to sound cheesy, but it has literally allowed me to take control of my day.

Now, I want you to know – I’ve struggled with ADHD my whole life. And I’m not using that term loosely as in “oh, I can’t sit still longer than a few minutes ADHD” – I’m talking diagnosed by a psychiatrist {in college} and heavily medicated ADHD. And the medicine worked great until we decided that we wanted to try for kids and I had to quit taking it. That’s when I started to struggle a bit at work. But, I used techniques that worked well for me {checklists, removing myself from distractions, and lots and lots of colorful highlighting} to the best of my ability and was able to push through. But unfortunately, that just wasn’t cutting it once I started working from home. Granted, I was still getting the job done, but I wasn’t feeling productive or a sense of closure at the end of each work day. I was trying to do 30 things at once and my mind felt more cluttered than it has in years. No bueno.

So, what I did was setup a Google account to access the Google Calendar app. That’s Step 1 – if you don’t already have an electronic calendar system you love, try it out. There are tons of color coding options, the ability to set reoccurrences, keep notes, set alarms, whatever you want to do. Then, I had heard Lauryn Evarts {The Skinny Confidential} mention The Miracle Cube Timer and time blocking a few times on her podcast and she swore by it – so I tried it out {Step 2} and let me tell ya – this tool is key! When I got it, my husband was like “Isn’t it just an alarm clock? Why don’t you just use your phone?” Well, my sweet, innocent, laser-focused husband, when my phone is within arm’s reach, I unintentionally grab it and start surfing through social media. Or text. Or order a new pair of shoes. Or check the weather in Zimbabwe. Or look back on pictures of the kids from 2013. Or make a list of baby names – and we’re not even having any more children! So, no. To be productive, I can’t have my phone too close to me. Period.

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So there ya go, a free Google account and a $20 Amazon purchase helped me take back my life. The cube obviously doesn’t do the work for you – you have to stay committed to your time block AND you have to carve out time to actually map out your time blocking schedule; but it’s truly just as easy as adding items to your to do list, yet more efficient. The biggest key is to stay on track. When the timer goes off, you’re done. It’s time to move on to the next. If you need more time for whatever it is you’re doing, add an additional block at the end of your day to come back to it.

Lauryn Evarts offers even more tips on the topic here so check it out – I can’t give this woman enough credit for introducing me to this process!

So now that my time management is on track, I just need to settle into my new home office space and I’ll be set! I’m working with a blank slate here which is exciting but also a bit overwhelming. I finally ordered my custom desk a few weeks ago and I’m anxiously awaiting the August 28th finish date! I’ll be sharing the office creation with you too so be sure to keep an eye out for that – I’m not cutting any corners so I’m sure you’ll find a little design inspo along the way!

In the mean time, if you have any time management tips and tricks that work for you – PLEASE share! This really seems to be working for me, but I feel like it’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of organization and maximizing my productivity – and plus, I’m willing to try anything twice, so send the ideas my way!

Until next time,
Amanda

6 thoughts on “Time management.

  1. I’ve not heard of this method before, but it sounds great. I don’t think I could manage working at home very well because I’m easily distracted so this would probably work well for me too.

    Liked by 1 person

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