Yesterday I shared a few tips on what I do when I need to focus and get a lot of stuff done in a day. Here in part two I have a few more things to think about and approaches to take when your life gets crazy busy. Enjoy.
Write it All Down
Because of the book, I decided last week I needed to try to schedule what I was going to write about for About every day through the middle of November. I didn’t quite make it, but I have a better idea now of when I’m going to need to produce new content and what it will be, what sorts of knitting projects I’m doing for that site and when they’re due (because I can’t just stop all other knitting because I’m working on a book) and other obligations I already know about between now and then.
If you’re wondering, red ink is what I’d like to get done for my book that week, yellow highlighter is appointments or assignments that require me to be in a particular place at a particular time and blue highlighter is new content for About. There’s nothing for this blog on it (yet, though I’d like to get a little ahead of myself) and nothing for Craft Gossip, since that’s a daily project. But at least I have a better idea of what’s happening for the next 10 weeks or so and can hopefully plan accordingly.
I will be the first to admit it looks really daunting, but it also makes me feel like I have a tiny bit of control, which I absolutely need. Which is also why I’m cleaning out my yarn stash at this exact same time.
I will also admit that a digital version of this would probably make more sense, but I need a physical manifestation or I won’t remember things, and I kind of liked pulling out all the different colored pens and highlighters, school supply junkie that I am.
I don’t really like to work after the Bit has gone to bed, but I know that’s the only option some people have for getting things done. Just remember, the day isn’t over until you turn off the light, and you can always end on a high note by doing one more little thing.
On one of my sites I did a giveaway every day during the Olympics that went live at midnight, so I usually ended up doing those after the girl went to bed. One night I did two, and that made me feel super-productive. It’s always great to get ahead of yourself!
(Also I almost always knit at night, but that’s hardly ever actually on my list. You know it’s a bad week when both showering and knitting are actually written down!)
Try Again Tomorrow
It’s a rare day indeed that I actually finish a to do list (though it did happen yesterday, shockingly enough, on a day when nothing else went right at all). It’s very rare for me to cross everything off a list in a single day unless I’m really lowballing it.
And that’s OK. I think of a to-do list as a goal (you’ll see on the one in yesterday’s post that I wrote “best possible Monday” at the tip) that gives you a place to start the next day. Sometimes if I know what I want or need to write about several days in advance I’ll put it on my list even if I know I don’t have time for it that day. In a way that means I have a list that never ends, but that’s the way it goes, I guess.
Block Out Your Time
When things get really crazy I get really specific and actually chart out my entire day. I try not to get more specific than half-hour blocks, but sometimes it comes to that. Sometimes I actually get out my timer and sometimes I trust myself to move onto the next thing when it’s time.
This is best done when you have a lot of things you need to make progress on but not necessarily finish, or if you can leave some time at the end of the day for finishing up those projects you might not have gotten done earlier.
Setting a timer, though, is a good way to trick yourself and make yourself work faster, because you’re trying to get the task done before time runs out. I do this with household chores fairly often, and I think it helps me get more done.
I really intend to start blocking out my time again, probably tomorrow, so I have a more even distribution of my time being spent on different projects (say an hour each for three different clients, plus an hour of book work, half an hour each for chores and exercise and that’s about the time I have without the Bit) instead of getting immersed in one thing and then realizing it’s 3 and I still haven’t written that book review (which is true, except it’s actually 2:40 right now).
Have a good time management tip for when things are crazy busy? I’d love to hear it!
Thanks for visiting, commenting and sharing!