Now that we’re working from home, and balancing more than just work during the day, is it time to update your time management system? Many people report handling business and personal activities during the previously work-only hours (e.g., helping your kids with school activities), and they all need to be done!
Over the years, I’ve helped many clients and students with a time management system which involves a double entry system: you list everything you need to do (and cross out things as they are done), and a second one which allocates the tasks to a working day (e.g., 8 hours). Another feature of it is that it’s completed the night before you stop working and left on your desk, so when you come in you check, make adjustments if needed, and move forward, as opposed to planning the day then. (See prior newsletter articles.)
Today, many of us are stretching the 9-5 day to handle child and parent care issues, etc. by recognizing that there is no community. So we can use the commuting and transition times to handle personal needs. Plus we want to take advantage of family time and so we use a longer schedule of hours (e.g., 8Am to 9 PM) in which we take care of everything (e.g., from 10-2 we’re in child-care mode). So we may enjoy longer dinners with the family and do the last review of emails not from 4-5 PM, but 8-9 PM).
When we first went into lock-down we had to improvise. It’s still impossible to develop a concrete schedule – since this is summer time and no-one knows what’s going to happen with work, school, care, etc. in the fall as Coronavirus spikes require our attention. Still we’ve learned what works for some activities and can, on a piecemeal basis, put together a schedule-template. For instance, one of my coaching clients scheduled coaching during his son’s mid-day nap. After a few weeks, it became clear that the growing boy’s nap time should be changed… and so we did with great success for everyone.
As we get closer to the fall and/or you begin to have a clearer sense of time needs and commitments, update your time management plans. If you have questions, feel free to contact me.