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Goal Update: Time Management

Early in the year, I shared some of my time-management challenges and my attempted solutions for them. Since then I have taken complete control of my time and now have perfect work-life balance (or work-life integration, if you prefer) and have mastered the four hour work week.

Just kidding.

While I feel like I’ve made some incremental improvements, I think that most of it is a testament to getting a new puppy and being forced to step away from work at regular intervals to take her outside or distract her from chewing on our sofa.

Here’s what I have learned from my time-management solution attempts:

  • Time blocking is hard. I am a very priority-driven worker, which means that I am going to do the most important thing first, regardless of whether or not I am in the appropriate “block” of time. I also set a very strict schedule for myself initially, which made working with me a challenge. I have since loosened things up a bit to offer dedicated meeting blocks and time for sales efforts, but beyond that I’m trying to be more flexible.

Original strict time blocks.  

Original strict time blocks.

Adjusted time blocks with more flexibility.

Adjusted time blocks with more flexibility.

  • The 9:00 PM “shut down” is nice! I haven’t managed to adhere to it every night, but I’m not beating myself up when I have to work an extra 30 minutes while something mindless is on TV.
  • Massages are also nice! I’m 2/6 for getting one every month, but I will keep fighting.
  • Being more realistic with my task list for the week has been one of the most rewarding changes I have made. Rather than getting to the end of the week and wallowing in the fact that I have a ton of work left to do, I can celebrate the things I have accomplished and go into another busy week with a better attitude—not already feeling like I am behind on Monday morning.
  • Forgiving myself as I would forgive someone else is still a work in progress. When I look back at the barriers that pop up and challenge my ability to get things done, I still tend to question what I should have done differently. I know this isn’t realistic and I need to continue to be nicer to myself and surround myself with people who lift me up when I need it most.

I believe goal updates like this one are so important. Sometimes we fall into a pattern of seeing someone else’s posts or goals and assume that the road to achieving them is easy. The reality for me is that something that seems small—taking control of my time—has a huge impact on my well-being and sanity, but it doesn’t come without its own bumps in the road. Whatever your challenge is… keep going!

You got this.

Curious about this whole work-life balance / integration debate? Our new Developing Female Leaders workshop dives into this popular topic!