We live in an uncertain time. And I know a lot of you might be worried about losing your job in the midst of all this chaos. So in some ways, this blog may not have the most appropriate timing.
But on the other hand, I know that there are hundreds—nope—THOUSANDS of you out there right now working from home and thinking about how much EASIER it is than being stuck in a gopher hole in the middle of a windowless expanse called an office. How much LIGHTER you feel without your boss popping in every five minutes to critique your work. How much HAPPIER you are typing away at a computer in your home office or at the kitchen table with your kids nearby watching Frozen II for the thirtythousandth time.
And I know that if I were still in this job I'm about to describe to you, I'd be in that same place right with you. Wondering why I stay. But feeling obligated because money.
I don't want that for you.
I want better for you.
So I'll share my story in the hopes that it inspires you this week.
Let's talk block schedules. So a typical day for me is spent running after a 17-month old and running a full-time, 6-figure earning business.
Do I sound crazy? Yes. Did I stutter? I did not. And I don't put "6 figures" in there to sound froo-froo. I do it so you know that "working from home" doesn't actually mean "training ferrets for the circus." It's a legit business that requires a lot of TLC. Naturally, so does raising a semi-decent human being. Which brings us full circle—BLOCK SCHEDULES!
You may have heard of these. Essentially it's a way of breaking out your day so that every minute is accounted for. And I can understand how—for some of you—that may sound worse than nails on a chalkboard. For an over achieving organized freak of nature like me block schedules are an entire day served on a golden platter.
And believe me when I say that this type of planning will absolutely improve whatever unorganized disaster you're currently calling life. Which includes:
I probably missed a few scenarios but you get the idea. Block scheduling works because it takes away time fillers like scrolling social media. It also helps eliminate procrastination because...well, frankly...you simply won't have the time.
I will say block scheduling works extremely well when you're incredibly honest with yourself about your abilities. For instance, I know that unless my workout is first thing in the morning—it doesn't get done. I know that my first work-related tasks of the day need to be my biggest challenges of the day because my brain is at peak performance at 6 am.
So what I'm saying is, it may take you some time to find a block schedule that works for you. I have about 6 of them that I rotate through on any given day. Mine are planned out in 15 minute increments—because that's about the amount of time my daughter will stay occupied by an activity. If you have older kids, you can do 30 minute blocks. I've found hour long blocks to be too large and, in most instances, have fallen off the productivity wagon so to speak. The more nit-picky you can get with your time blocks, the more success you'll have—especially if you have a limited attention span.
Don't be afraid to make a block schedule for each family member. Mine is combined with my daughter's at the moment. But when she's older and/or a little more independent, she gets her own block schedule tailored to her age.
Please download the sample I whipped together in Excel. Fancy, right? This is a particularly good one if you find yourself working from home with littles as I know so many mamas are right now.
A final note before you go: Set yourself up for success. Don't be afraid to put in a 15 minute block for social media. Or watching television. Or stretching. Or getting things done around the house. Block scheduling only works when you can be realistic with yourself. So set achievable expectations—and get a little more ballsy* as you see positive results.
Alright, and one more final note. This is the final, final note. Be flexible. Sometimes you can have a whole beautiful schedule laid out in intricate 15-minute sequences and the whole thing gets blown to hell when a crisis arises smack dab in the middle of what was supposed to be your snack break. Mmm. Snickers.
That's okay. Life happens. You are human. Allow yourself grace and move forward with your day as best you can—knowing that tomorrow you can start again.
*Is ballsy a word? It doesn't look right. Or sound correct. Ballsy. Ballsy. Ballsy.