Get More Out Of Your Day With A Time Map

Have you ever found yourself in a pattern of constantly having to react to life? There are a 1,000 things on your need to-do list and 62 others on your like to-do list, but the fires are constantly popping up, the day is done and you drop into bed feeling the sting of failure because true productivity didn’t happen.  You vow to yourself, tomorrow you will work harder and longer to accomplish the items from today.  The problem is that tomorrow comes and the hamster wheel continues to turn.

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After I had our 3rd child, I truly believed that my life had become a plate spinning, circus act.

  1. I had 3 children under the age of 5
  2. I was running a home based business
  3. and homeschooling our oldest daughter

Each day, brought with it a host of “fires”, from the baby soaking through another set of clothes, to the 5-year-old struggling with her math at the kitchen table, and the 3-year-old trying to lasso his ceiling fan with his belt just because it looked fun.  Somewhere in the middle of all of that fun, I needed to find time to do the cleaning, laundry, dinner, errands, dr. appointments, manage clients, bookkeeping, time to be a wife, lesson plans, and try not to loose myself in the process.  It was a beautiful mess.

I would roll out of bed with the best of intentions and roll back into bed beating myself up for all the things I had failed to accomplish that day.

It was during that most challenging time of my mothering career, that I found a way to be my most productive self.  This system has served me well through the years and will work for singles and married, for the young to the not-so-young, for those who work outside of the home to those who work inside the home.  No matter your circumstance this system will guide you to accomplish more over time and relieve the guilt and stress you may be holding.

In a few steps each week, you can control your time instead of having time control you.

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 Map your day/Week!   

“The secret to time management is not about getting more done, it is about choosing the most important things to get done, and filling in around them.”

I call this, Time Mapping.  Set aside time each week to look ahead to your most important time commitment’s.  What appointments do you have?  What are the household responsibilities that need to be accomplished?  What would you like to make time for each day/week?   Exercise, devotions, classes, hobbies, volunteer work, 1-on-1 time with your spouse, or maybe you’d just like to take a bubble bath.  Make a list of what your important things are.   Then using an hourly daily planner (like the one we have available here) mark in your critical items.   Once those items are in, take notice of the time that you have left.  The important things have been mapped, the space that is left, is now free to fill in with items that you have been wanting or needing to do, but never had the time.

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Color is Your Key.

Just as every map has keys to help make it easier to read, color will be the key to navigating your time map.time map 2  For each one of the main categories of your life, assign a color.

When you block your items onto the calendar, mark them with their assigned color.  This will help you make immediate visual connections to your schedule.

The other added bonus of using color to block your schedule, is that you appreciate the white space that much more.  White space are the times on your day when nothing is scheduled.  By seeing the white space, you are able to visually see the margins of your life with so much more clarity.  This will help you evaluate if there are things that you can or should add, it will also help you to see if there is a need to eliminate things from your schedule, because there is not nearly enough white space.  Which leads me to my next point… 

Don’t forget to add yourself to your schedule!

Just because you are busy, doesn’t mean that you are being productive.  Our most productive selves happen when we are well rested and centered, both physically and emotionally.  As a mom, I am constantly pouring myself out into the lives of my family.  There comes a point where there is nothing left to pour, until I stop and recharge.  Only you can determine how often and in what ways this needs to happen.  For me, I have an hour every afternoon, that is my dedicated time out.  Melissa has left the building!!!!  This time is so necessary for me to rest, recharge my battery, and to prepare me to face the rest of my day.

Productivity happens through intentionality.  John Maxwell has a quote that I absolutely love, “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.”  If you’d like more productive days and less of the hamster wheel, create a time map.  It will change how you approach each day.   Next week we will share a few more keys that will help you in your productivity journey.  Be sure to subscribe to receive post updates, if you haven’t already done so, to be sure you don’t miss any.

More In 24 offers personalized Time Mapping consultations.  It would be our pleasure to help you find more productivity in your days!     Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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