As many of us continue WFH (as well as for those of us returning to offices and other workplaces), managing our time well and balancing our personal and professional responsibilities often feels impossible.
Here at Mondays, we’ve had our fair share of WFH days and experience with remote working and balancing our time— and we’d love to share something that’s helped us!
Working from Home
A big challenge around working from home is finding the work life balance that was easier to separate when work took place in a completely different location. When working at home, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all the things you have to do in both your personal and professional life and they often start overlapping.
This of course looks different for everyone, but we often find ourselves cooking while prepping for a meeting or forgetting a deadline because our kid needed some last minute help with his math homework. Even worse, we sometimes skip meals or forget to get up from our desks to stretch and move because everything we do is in the same place.
We’ve all been there, and we know it’s hard to keep track of everything without becoming overwhelmed or feeling like you’re missing out on things. This is where time-blocking becomes your new best friend.
What is Time Blocking?
Time blocking consists of setting a certain task with a specific amount of time you think it will take. Our brain works in an amazing way where you’ll find yourself actually completing a task in the time you give it. This not only increases productivity, but will also help reduce the stress that comes from staring at a long to-do list.
Time blocking can help to ease that overwhelming feeling you get when you see all your tasks for the day, week or month all at once. This is especially true if you like merging your home to-do list with your work one. Time blocking allows you to focus on one thing at a time which allows you to put all your energy into that single task and helps you complete it faster than you may have otherwise.
Finding Balance with Time Blocking
Time blocking doesn’t only apply to those of us working from home and it certainly doesn’t mean packing those extra hours you have now with more work. Even on the busiest days, (ESPECIALLY on the busiest of days), it’s important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself and finding some balance.
Sometimes, that means scheduling in your meals, mid-day stretches, daily wellness activities, family time, friends time etc. You may find yourself doing this naturally on most days, but on the days that can get really busy, it’s important to block that time out to make sure you’re getting your daily dose of wellness. This is part of your to-do list after all!
Here at Mondays, we created a customized Time Blocking worksheet that we love using and would love to share with you:
The 3 areas of our (extended) Mondays time-blocking sheet
Even within the time blocking sheet, it’s important to keep things organized and in order of importance. This will allow the brain to process things in a similar manner. Having everything on one page helps you feel more secure about where your information is and also makes you visibly see whether you’re maintaining a healthy balance and not running at risk of burnout!
Use this main section for your time-blocks. This is where most of our scheduling goes in and it’s front and center for you to organize in a way that makes sense to you.
Sectioning off pieces of your calendar will allow your eyes to only focus on one task at a time and not let everything else stress you out.
Along with the calendar, it’s useful to keep things you want to stand out on a separate list that you can refer to at any point during the day so you don’t have to go through everything on the calendar.
Pro-tip: we like to use the first line of the ‘Top Priorities’ column for our daily self-care activity so it’s always top of mind!
This general to-do is for some lower priority reminders you want to keep handy for the week. Again, searching through a calendar full of things will only stress you out more so use this and the “Top Priorities” section for quick reminders.
Lastly, time blocking, whether you’re working from home or getting back into the office, is a great way to stay on top of your work but also on top of your personal well being — it’s all about finding a healthy balance.
Make sure you schedule your ongoing activities for the day as well. Make time for lunch, as well as time to stretch, talk to friends, exercise, and of course, shower! :)
Good luck and let us know how it goes!