“We overestimate what we can get done in a year and underestimate what we can accomplish in ten.” Bill Gates
Too often we use our calendars to bully ourselves into completing tasks on a deadline. Or we allow others to cajole us into things that monopolize our free time. It’s time to say, “Enough.” Your calendar should be a tool, not a taskmaster. Use it for appointments and special events. Stop using it as a box to cram a bunch of to-do’s into. You won’t do half of them and then you’ll feel like shit when you look at it the next day.
Learn how to become an agenda driven, block scheduling bad ass with this quick blog post and my free Google Sheets workbook.
Become Agenda Driven
An agenda is sort of like a mission statement for each area of your life. It is short and action oriented. It sums up the things that are really important to you. Do not just make a goal list. Keep the focus on the process rather than result. In the example below (a portion of my personal agenda) under My Life’s Work I don’t say that I want to be a bestselling author. I focus on the process of becoming a bestselling author by saying that my agenda is to, “Write, write and write some more. Keep writing until there are no more ideas.” By keeping an agenda centered on the process you take the pressure off of yourself and keep the focus where it needs to be….taking small steps towards big dreams.
What drives your schedule? Think about the things that really matter….your family, friends, wellbeing, community & creating the life you really want to live. Write 2 purpose statements for each category below. Your purpose statements help guide your daily choices by considering them when you are scheduling your time blocks. Always ask yourself, “Is the best use of my time? Does this align with my agenda?”
- Family & Friends
- Service & Community
- Health & Wellbeing
- Home & Hygge
- Your Life’s Work
- Learning & Growing
- Love & Relationships
Create Your Time Blocks
If you haven’t been hanging around with me long, you will discover that I absolutely love teaching examples. Why drone on when I can show you rather than tell you? Time blocks are lists of like tasks that are batched together. You will use these time blocks to create your most productive day possible.
Look back at my agenda. One of my categories was Health & Wellbeing. Taking care of myself physically, emotionally & spiritually made my list of agenda items. That translates into several blocks in my time block chart: morning ritual, daily self-care, spiritual and just for fun. I’ve created a list of activities that I can engage in that will further that agenda item in small blocks of time. No pressure or stress, just a list of small steps that lead to the big dream of your agenda.
Create your own time blocks. Check everything against your agenda statements. Aligning your day to your agenda will bring peace & purpose to your life. You can use the time section to set a limit or to estimate the amount of time you think each block will take. I tend to treat these as time limits. Take Pinterest for example, I could spend way more than an hour at a time on my favorite site, so having that time block keeps my browsing in check. Using time limits is a great way to make sure that you are taking those baby steps each day without neglecting the other things in your life that are equally as important.
Scheduling Your Blocks
You have a clean slate in front of you. The next week of your life is grid of time that is open and screaming with possibilities. You’ve got exactly 168 hours in this next week to fill with your lovely time blocks. Treat it like a puzzle that you are putting together in the most life shattering way you can. When you stop looking at your day as a list of to-do’s and start looking at each block as an opportunity to create the life you want to live, you have indeed become a block scheduling bad ass. Here’s a peek at my schedule.