This year has a been a bit of a whirlwind if I am being honest with myself. I am now at that time of year where I begin reflecting on everything including my home, finances, style, and career. Over the weekend I didn't do much, in fact I pretty much did nothing but reflecting. I've started reading We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates. My partner went to hear him speak recently and brought home the book. I haven't yet got into the nitty gritty, in fact I only finished the forward, but I am intrigued and will be diving back in.
Reflecting on this year has made me see where I have grown up in many areas of my life as well as shown me some areas I need to improve upon. One of the areas I really wanted to tighten up as I move into the new year was my "work" schedule. I am an entrepreneur and I like to think I am pretty productive, and do well at getting things done. But as my career and business endeavors have expanded, I have had no choice but to improve upon my time management after much scrutinizing.
For awhile I felt pulled in many directions and if I am being truly honest no two days are the same for me. I can be creating content for SavageGazelle.com or EstroHaze.com, speaking on a panel, and creating a marketing plan for a client all in the same day! On top of that It's not unusual for me to get a acting gig or two, so that can drastically shift my schedule. And what's most important is that I absolutely LOVE what I do. I am challenged everyday to create and share and I aim to please and bring value to people. What I don't like is feeling overwhelmed to the point where my work no longer makes me feel alive but instead starts to feel like a chore. That scattered feeling is not the look.
As I work to streamline and manage my businesses (EstroHaze, social media consulting, acting), I have found implementing a time blocking schedule to be truly effective and efficient for me. I used to be a pen and paper girl, and I do still print out everything but I have moved my to do list digital, and I am so glad I made that choice.
I start off each Sunday making a list of my task for the week, both personal and business. On the right side of the list is time I am allocating for each task. From there, I add my task to my time block calendar. Sidenote, I use the Marinara: Pomodoro® Assistant - Chrome Web Store time extension to manage the time I spend on each task. I love this timer because I can adjust it to my needs and it also has a break timer so I get some room to breath throughout the day.
I found this time blocking template through searching the good sis Pinterest. The template has been an absolute godsend!! I have been using it just under two weeks now and I am getting shit done and really seeing how long certain things take. I am excited to open my weekly calendar again and no longer feel overwhelmed. If things pop up as they almost always do, I can easily move things around. The template also has a section for monthly goals that I haven't quite tackled yet, but I am conjuring up some goals for December. Also in my productivity toolkit is Trello and you see in the images above that Trello is also time blocked on my visual calendar.
If you are looking for new productivity tools and are tired of the to-do list, then I highly recommend you take some time and try out this template. You can also download the Google Drive app so you can access your visual calendar anytime. Let me know if you try out this template and how it goes for you. I recommend setting up a weekly alarm so that you can sit and plan out your weekly calendar - I typically do this on Sundays. It helps me sleep better knowing my week is pretty much set and all I have to do is execute. When it's time to do my task I simply start the Marina timer and get to work. After each Pomodoro cycle a break cycle notification will pop up. You will also see the number of completed Pomodoro cycles you have completed for the day.
So, there you have it. I am reflecting on ways I can improve my time management and sharing it all with you. Here's to kicking ass in business and life people!