At the beginning of this week, I decided to try two time management tools together and used my Morning Brain Dump and Daily Schedule sheet to get my tasks out of my head and down on paper.
I added the scheduling sheet as, even though I loved the brain dump sheet idea, I felt a bit frustrated at seeing all my tasks laid out in front of me and not getting everything on the list done on that day. You can read more about my first week using the Morning Brain Dump here with a short critique here.
Working from home can often mean than hours run together and you can become bogged down in the many tasks which can eat through your time which may be better spent elsewhere.
My theory for adding the Daily Schedule sheet was to take important and time sensitive tasks which I had written down and make time for them in my day as well as adding fun and exciting jobs which I would usually have done first at the expense of what really ‘needed’ to be done.
I also write in large chunks of ‘Play’ time to ensure I ate lunch, went for a walk and saw other people.
I found this practice to be liberating and mostly I felt more in control of my day which freed up my brain for more creative pursuits.
If I have written down on a piece of paper that I need to go for a walk at lunch time and pop out to the shops for 2 hours, then I follow my own directions and do so. This encourages my brain to breathe a little, have some space to think about my business (and other aspects of my life) and has generally made me more productive and a little happier.
It also means I know I haven’t forgotten anything. It’s all written down ready for me to return to my desk for the next work ‘block’.
I have found time and again that I am a happier person and I get more done with regular breaks. The trouble is, when you love what you do, it’s hard to tell yourself to take a break. Sometimes you think you’ll get out of the ‘zone’ and you won’t be able to get back into it.
While the sheet is super useful, I think having it electronically might be more useful for some others. I have been using my Google Calender to input the exact same data and I like that it’s available on my phone and computer so I can check in with tomorrow’s tasks before the end of the current day so I know everything is all in line and I can sit back and relax for the evening.
I’ve heard a number of very successful creative entrepreneurs talk about the importance of downtime.
It’s something we all need yet rarely take the opportunity when it’s presented to us. Instead of taking a day off to lounge on the couch, we would see it as an opportunity to spend it networking on social media or cleaning up our website.
These tasks are important but not as important as our own solace and mental health.
All in all, I would highly recommend working with both the Morning Brain Dump and Daily Schedule sheets (or an online calender system). I feel more organised and in better control of my day now and I’ve even helped friends and family to add it to their own day in a traditional workplace or even as a full time parent!
Here’s a copy of both of these sheets again for you to use as you wish.
Please leave a comment below if you’ve used these sheets (or something like them) and how it has helped you in your own life.