Making Room: Tips on Time-blocking

Download a free version of my time-blocking schedule here.

To all my non-planner friends,

It was an easy task, really. All I was instructed to do was put the tissue boxes above the cabinets. I can do that.

I crawl my sweaty body on top of the counter in the back of my messy classroom and begin sliding each tissue box above the cabinets.

One-by-one, decorative kleenex, Despicable Me tissues, and off-brand dollar store boxes were being stacked like a Jenga game. After stacking twenty mismatched boxes, I ran out of room. Hopping off the counter, I nonchalantly turned around to see my two organized friends, Anna and Shabina, staring at the space above the cabinets.

With several remaining boxes scattered along the counter, I announce, “Finished! What’s next?”

The two confused faces moved their eyeline from the tissues to me. They giggled to each other as they shook their heads.

“Becca…I said ‘organized.'” Anna responded, as she crawled onto the counter to correct my mistake.

Thank God for the organized friends in my life who, without, I would not have a functioning classroom!

To this day, I’m not sure HOW she made room for all of those tissue boxes, but I digress.

That’s the thing about organized people. They never run out of room. Organized people know what to throw out and what to keep. They know how to arrange things perfectly. And they always, always, always make room for what’s important.

Including time.

See, I’m a take-my-shoes-off-wherever-I-feel-like-it-type girl.

I’m a let’s-just-see-what-we-feel-like-type planner.

I’m a just-throw-it-in-there-and-close-the-door-type organizer.

But like dirty closets do when the door opens, everything comes crashing down when you are forced to remain at home for weeks months on end. My schedule wrecked. My future foggy. My plans nonexistent.

During the first month, my to-do lists were left unchecked, and my generic schedules were ignored. Free-for-all living was my everyday life. I’d Netflix and wine most of the day away and then wake up in the middle of the night with this heavy guilt that I’ve gotten nothing accomplished. And the spiral of unproductivity, anxiety, and guilt would repeat once again the next day.

I knew something had to change.

A few people told me about time-blocking, but it wasn’t until seeing Tiffany Danielle Haynes’ (IG @tiffanydaniellexo) makeshift schedule that I swore myself away from the thing forever – There’s NO way that type of high-level organization could ever work for me.

That is, until I broke down and tried it.

In my two-day-old PJs and three-day-old messy bun, I began tweaking Tiffany’s amazing time-blocking schedule into one that made sense for me.

Five straight days of time-blocking later, I felt like I finally created enough margin to do things that brought me joy. I felt motivated enough to complete things I always avoided. I felt energized enough to repeat the process daily!

My Time-block Schedule

  • 30 minute increments from 5:30AM – 10:30PM
  • Affirmations
  • Top Priorities
  • Other Notes

Affirmations

Affirmations are my favorite part of the organizer. These are positive statements that I repeat to myself several times throughout the day. I use these affirmations to guide my thoughts and actions; my day begins by meditating on them through yoga, exercise, or prayer.

You can create your own affirmations based on something you’d like to believe or speak into your life. Think about where you’d like to be. Think about what you’d like to believe about yourself and your life. You might not fully believe your affirmations. That’s okay. The beauty in these statements is to be gentle and kind to yourself, feeding your brain with positive energy.

Oftentimes, I will use some pre-written affirmations specific to my unique personality using the Enneagram. This is a personality tool that is used for spiritual and self-growth. You can find some amazing affirmations for your own personality type from Ann Gadd on The Enneagram 9 Paths Blog.

Try it Out

From one unorganized person to another, know that organization doesn’t always have to be a jail cell. It doesn’t have to be a cuss word. And it doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you fully commit to trying time-blocking for a week, I think you’ll find it will change your [quarantine] life.

While I still don’t know how to fit all the tissue boxes above the cabinets, I do know it’s possible. And while I still struggle with accomplishing the things I want during the day, I know I can.

Both start by simply making room.

To download a free version of my time-blocking schedule, click here.

Sincerely organized,

Becca

2 comments

  1. I totally relate. When I first retired I watched day time tv till at least 12:30 everyday. But after about 5 months of that, I realized I needed more, so I have a very flexible weekly schedule. If I want to toss it out if something Comes up, no problem. It happened all over again with self quarantine. The first few weeks I slept a lot and watched tv. Then I got busy on all those tasks I have procrastinated about doing a bit everyday. Flylady helps me a lot in getting household thins done.she has a book, Sink Reflections, that explains her system. What I love the most is her 15 minute philosophy and getting big tasks done in short spurts rather than all at once. All in the book. You can borrow mine. All that to say, give yourself some grace. This is a super difficult time for extroverts and even introverts. You will be inexplicably tired – take a nap. It’s really okay. You will be depressed, go outside. Create. Watch tv. Go see your precious new brand baby – oops, sorry that’s me. And when you have a day of the blues, just watch some tv and read a book. Escape. It is fine cuz we are in a very difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

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