A common obstacle that we face is time management. Great time management allows us to get the most out of our days and balance our work, family, social life and hobbies.
With lockdown back in effect its likely you may be feeling that your days are "blending into one?"
Whether you have no time in your busy schedule, or happen to have a little too much time at the moment. Creating structure will go a long way in ensuring you are your best self.
Structure means different things to different people. Someone may find enough structure from a daily or weekly checklist, other people may need their whole day set out to make sure they get certain things done, in order to achieve their goals.
When we allow ourselves to float around with no sense or purpose, we can quickly lose our motivation. With lack of accountability, our sense of achievement can diminish and feel as though we are wasting our days.
Structure can allow you to gain a sense of control and achievement, you will gain stability, calmness, and pride in knowing you have set your day out and at the end of it, when you hop into bed, reflecting on what you have achieved. If you have many responsibilities or are a very busy person, daily structure can help you to prioritize and manage your workload, and make sure you get the things done that you really need to. If you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, this will encourage positive habits around time management, effort and energy.
How do we structure in lockdown?
- To Do List
A great one for those who find themselves struggling to gain momentum. Ticking off some small easy tasks, before your major difficult ones, can be a great way to get the ball rolling and feeling a sense of accomplishment early on, that will help you tackle your bigger tasks for the day or week. By writing what you need to get done, you have a plan that you can stick to, and at the end of the day or week, proof of what you have achieved.
- Calendar/ time blocking
While a to do list tells you what you need to do, time blocking tells you when you need to do it. If you often feel like you're a slave to the rhythm rather than the conductor i.e. you spend your whole day on someone else's timeline or your time is stolen from you, time blocking is a great countermeasure. By filling your calendar with things, you want to do, it's much harder for others to steal that time from you. There are plenty of apps which can help you to block your time. Starting with a to do list before you block your time can help you to prioritize tasks that are most important to you. If you're trying to limit your screen time, you could have it on a piece of paper or even a white board. Draw a time table on your white board in permanent marker and then fill the blocks in with a white board marker. When you get to the end of the week, simply wipe down the board and the timetable will be there, ready to fill in your next week.
- Appointments or commitments with others
If making a timetable isn't your thing, making commitments with others is also a great way to make sure you get things done. Most people are better at keeping promises to others than to themselves. Get the support of a friend, close colleague or family member. Agree to check in each day or a few times a week, at a specific time. Tell each other what you plan to do and you can encourage and keep each other accountable, share your frustrations and discuss ways to overcome obstacles.
Finally: Give yourself a break
None of us expected that 2020 was going to be what 2012 wanted to be. Jokes aside, none of this is normal, the vast majority of people are not being as productive as they would be under normal circumstances, this is especially true for those of us who are parents, have caring responsibilities, are worried about our own or a loved ones health, are experiencing financial difficulty or have mental health struggles. Remember that the structure is there to help guide you through your day. It can change, bend, convert to whatever you need it to be. In other words, don't lose sleep over it.
Implement structure now and thank yourself later, we promise it will help.*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.