An Organized Life – It’s all about Planning

I’ve been struggling a bit with lately with organization and time management. I find myself waking up late every morning, skipping breakfast, feeding my dog and running to my work computer where I will sit until 2pm before I even begin to think about lunch. Some people think that telecommuters would have a better work/life balance, and one hand I do agree. I’m able to take care of personal or blog issues during breaks at work, and that alone is awesome. However, it also means that I need to be more diligent about starting and stopping work. When you work from home, it’s always there and it can be VERY hard to separate the two.

So in an effort to begin finding a better work/life balance while working full-time from home, I going to be trying a new system this week.

Plan out a week of meals, and stick to it.

I usually plan out my dinners so that I can go grocery shopping once a week. However, I have a tendency to wing it on breakfast and lunch. I need to get back into a system of eating three main meals a day (along with several snacks) and it’s easier to eat healthy and ‘on schedule’ if I have a plan.

Artichoke Crusted Chicken

Stick to a regular bedtime

I need my beauty sleep to be the best me. When I’m tired, random naps happen, and they can suck the fun out of the day. For example, today I sat on the bed after work to play with my dog and woke up after the sun had gone down. I lost several hours because I haven’t been getting enough sleep at night. It’s amazing how much sleep can affect you all day long.

Baxter has the right idea!

Nap time Baxter at Home

Use a Planner

I am a fanatic about using my Outlook/Cellphone Calendar for work related meetings, functions, deadlines, etc. However, I try to use my memory for all my personal engagements. With the addition of the blog and more house/education/freelance projects, my brain is beyond full. I just can’t remember everything and I feel overwhelmed.

I don’t know about you, but being overwhelmed, feel to me like I’m suffocating.

For the next week, everything goes in the planner. Once I make it a habit, I can look at other options, such as electronic calendars (Outlook/Google Calendar). Although, I really love the act of writing my to do list down so I may stick with the old skool paper version.

DSC03156

To Do Lists

This next week is all about to do lists. However, the key to work/life balance is to have separate lists. One list/notebook for work, and one for personal. Meaning I can walk away from the work list at 5pm and call it a day. It creates a clear division between work and personal, which helps separate the two in my brain.

Pinned Image

Source: organizing.yourway.net via David on Pinterest

Track the Day

Ok, this is going to seem a little odd to most, but I’ve done this before and it worked out as a great way to get me back on track. For the next few days I’ll keep a notepad with me and track everything I do each hour. It’s tedious, but so worth the effort. After a few days I have an idea of when I’m most productive, tired, lazy, busy, etc. With this information I’ll then take the next few days and schedule each hour of the day. Even the simple tasks are written down; such as…

7am-8am [Wake Up, Feed Bax, Wash Face, Brush Teeth]

8am-9am [Walk Baxter, Eat Breakfast]

9am-11am [Start Work, Check Email, Deal with Emergencies, Prep Next Call]

…and so on…

It’s not something I do everyday, but having a strict plan just for a few days is usually enough to get me back on track and my brain gets a chance to de-fog.

DSC03157

I’ll check in next week and provide an update. In the meantime…

How do you keep focused during the day? Any tricks?

One response

  1. Pingback: 2011 Recap | Changing My Destiny

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