It’s working! It’s working!

August 28, 2012

by — Posted in Life at Home, Solutions

Ok… well, it’s only been two days, but so far, my time budget is going really well. After making my list (which is up to 54 items today), I created a Time Budget. (Sorry, I tried to attach it as a picture and it won’t let me, so you’ll have to click on it to see exactly what I made. And I just made it in Excel, so you could always make your own.) Then, using markers I filled in the big stuff, like work, yoga, stuff that doesn’t change from week to week. If you create your own, you could always add those in, but I decided to try to conserve printer ink and just write them in in fun colors. Also, I decided on a name for the phases/stages/etc. I think I shall call the “blocks”. They are time blocks.

Next, I started filling in the most time sensitive things from my list, and then other items. As they get put in the budget, they are checked off. When they are completed, they are crossed off the list. (So I guess my list is shorter than 54, since some things have been checked off.) I’m trying not to put more than a couple of things in each time block so as to avoid overloading myself or getting overwhelmed with something that takes such a significant portion of time that other things cannot be done in the same time block.

There have been a couple of great things that I’ve found so far… and I think will be really good as I go forward:

  • Having something to do first thing in the morning has been motivating to get out of bed, dressed and ready for the day. Before (yes, only 2 days ago) if I would lay in bed thinking “I should get up,” but didn’t have a specific thing to do (unless Avie was up). Then I would lounge around thinking about all the stuff I could be doing, but not quite making a decision. That wastes a lot of time! Sometimes I’d get excited about something, but forget a more pressing thing I should have done. (Like laundry when I’m completely our of underwear!) Having something checked off the list early in the morning feels good and is good motivation to keep going.
  • Having an ongoing list of things I want/need to do helps me fill in time. If I find myself with a little time to spare, I don’t have to squander it wondering what to do. I just look at the list and think, “yeah, I could get a page or two of my scrapbook done,” or “that diy eye make-up remover looks like it will take 10 minutes, let’s do it!” (Which I did. Today. In the noon block.)
  • Having blocks of time, rather than a rigid schedule allows for flexibility. Avie’s naps are fairly predictable, but rarely at the exact same time. It depends on her mood, her last sleep, what other things we have going on that day. Also, if something takes significantly longer than expected, or shorter than expected, it gives me the freedom to move things to another block. Flexibility is key. If I had a rigid hourly schedule, I would probably pull my hair out because nothing would ever go as planned. This allows me to have margins and down time. If I finish my block early, I can chose to add something else, or I can choose to veg out and watch TV or something.

So that’s where I am. If you’re like me, the first week is always the easiest. It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s still fun. I’ll give it a few weeks and report back. In the mean time, if you’re looking for more info about taking care of your time, I found this series on MoneySavingMom.com very helpful and I’m trying to implement some of this (particularly the bedtime?) to aid in my time budgetting.