How I utilize time blocking to get things done and keep myself from spiraling into anxious chaos.
I need routines, now that I’ve entered my 30’s I can admit that to myself. In my teens and 20’s my schedule was all over the place. Even after getting married and living with my very conscientious husband, who often lectured me on how I wasn’t helping myself by staying up late into the night and waking up at eleven, I couldn’t manage to get myself on a decent routine.
With the tragedy of the new year, I realized how deeply I needed a routine to pull me out of my depression, and now that I’m working on fine tuning that routine, I’m returning to the concept of time blocking.
Time blocking is something that I’ve tried to do multiple times but always failed due to burn out. When I was working fulltime, clearly my job “blocked” a huge amount of my day. Staying up late into the night was the only way I was able to get any writing done because my husband would go to bed at a decent time, unlike me. I would stay up until 1AM, 2AM, sometimes even 3AM if it was a Friday or Saturday night. No longer do I push myself into the wee hours, mostly because I realized how counter productive it was to wake up half way through the day.
I get to bed every night at 10PM. I do not set an alarm, I let myself sleep as long as I need. Sometimes I wake up at 6:30-7:00, other times I wake up at 8:00-9:00. After waking up I try to go for a walk/jog as soon as possible, otherwise I will talk myself out of it. I’m focusing on weight loss these days, as I am a matron of honor for a wedding and I challenged myself by ordering a dress two sizes smaller than I am… The wedding is Oct 2… Five weeks from now. So, five weeks to lose two dress sizes… what could go wrong? Heh…
With the approaching wedding and a HUGE need to get into this dress no matter what, since last week I’ve cut out my carbs again and started walking/jogging and cycling. I was already weight training with my female friends two days a week, so adding cardio + yoga the remaining five days, and reducing my sugar/carbs should do the trick. Hopefully. Otherwise I’m going to have to resort to some insane K-POP idol crash diets in the remaining weeks.
Once I’m done with my hour long walk/jog I make my husband and I some breakfast. This is also the time I’ll have my iced coffee with a sugar-free vanilla pump and a quarter cup whole milk. Then I’ll jump on the stationary cycle down stairs for 25 minutes. After that it’s time for some yoga, about 20 minutes. Then it’s time for a shower.
After I’m showered I get ready for the day: do something with my hair and face; at least apply sunscreen. Do a little eye make up, throw on a sun dress for the summer (and because my man likes to see me in dresses throughout his work-from-home day). Then it’s time to write, baby. Weirdly enough, being all spiffed up makes me more excited to write romances, as if feeling sexy translates to my writing. Go figure.
My writing time block is roughly 6-8 hours a day, and will consist of a few sprint sessions (30-45 minutes at a time) followed up by whatever else I need to work on that day, whether its blog posts, brainstorming story plotlines, or working on future projects. I break this time up by taking breaks to clean the house and cook. An example of this would be doing a load of dishes in between writing sprints, something I’m literally gonna go do once I’m done with this blog post.
My goal everyday is to have the following completed before my husband is off work:
1) house cleaned
2) dinner cooked
3) writing/project tasks for the day and next day’s tasks planned
5) showered/looking beautiful/smelling good
Then we spend quality time together until we go to bed at 10PM to do it all over again. The weekends get crazy because social obligations arise, but my goals for the weekends are to maintain the house enough that I can wake up on Monday morning and not have a stack of dirty dishes, a disgusting bathroom, and four loads of laundry looking at me in the face before I’ve even had coffee.
Besides, I have to get my cardio in.
Thank you for reading! See you all Monday!
image credit: getty images, pulled from “How to make running a habit for longer than the lockdown” by Andrea Gaini for Runner’s World