I’m excited to continue my Work Life and Mom Life series in 2017 and look forward to continuing to share my story as a working Mom. If there are any topics you’re interested in hearing more about, please send the ideas my way!
I spent a lot of time in 2016 building out routines that work for me and my family. As the year ended, I couldn’t help but feel that I finally found the balance I’ve been looking for the past several years. Ironically, I have more on my plate than ever and I think finding this balance was because I had to. Nevertheless, the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some things that have been working for me. (no pun intended…)
Today I’m sharing the main thing that has helped me be more mindful with my time at work the past few months. I’ve made a considerate effort to keep my work within the 9-5 hours over that past year and consequentially I’m getting more done in less time. This has forced me to have systems in place that allow me to get stuff done and this is one of them.
It may surprise you, but I stopped writing to-do lists and started doing this instead.Instead of writing to-do lists, I’ve started to block out the time I need to accomplish each task. For me, this has become the best way to make sure I’m accomplish everything that I absolutely need to get done during work hours and it prevents me from having to spend extra time which takes away from precious time with my family.
I spend about 30 minutes each week figuring out what’s really urgent. Instead of having one long, running to-do list I have a weekly update that I send to my boss each week with progress reports on each project that I’m working on. I do this partially because it’s something that we do at my company but also because it allows me to check in and make sure I’m making progress on each.
From there, I take a look at my week and figure out any meeting prep that needs to happen. After that I have a good idea of what I need to accomplish between my projects and meetings and most importantly when these things need to happen. Each task goes on the calendar and I block time for each to make sure they get done in time.
This helps me prioritize my week but also acts as a way to protect my time. And it works! It allows me to get the things I need to get done in the time I have allotted to me. It helps me leave work at work and be able to leave on time to get home to my family.
What’s one thing you’ve changed this year in the way you work? What’s one way you work smarter and not harder?