Budgeting Time for the Week – Part 3
Budgeted Time – Part 7.3
This process says that I am so serious about my time that I’m willing to apply the discipline of making sure I use time to the best of my ability. That is if you do it consistently. Setting and living by a time-budget requires a weekly true-up of your calendar so that you can see what is in front of you. To create a 30-day rolling schedule simply means you are training yourself to look ahead 30 days each week. In other words, you’re creating a discipline of looking ahead and planning for the next 30 days. When we make a habit of this rolling 30-days process, the current week will have been reviewed at least three to four times over the last month. You are planning your week and making sure your week is in your control as we spoke about in the previous section. This is called planning to the next level. Here is how it is done in five steps.
Step 1 – Set available time slots.
Look at what you have on the calendar, then go ahead and set appointments for all of the open spaces in which you desire to do any type of work. In this way, you get to choose how much workspace you have and when is the opportune time for your work. This is called finding your available time-slots. If you are looking at Monday, for example, and you notice that there is free space from 10:00 to 12:00, add an appointment in that slot. Label it as free or as I do “open”. This free appointment is now one of your available slots on your calendar. Do this for the next 30 dates on your schedule. Once completed for this 30 day period, you now have a view of all of the open blocks of time that is optimal for you to do whatever it is you do. Your open blocks become the available space to use to fit in your priorities. Notice I said, “fit in” your priorities and not “work in” your priorities. That’s a huge difference. This one simply processes and returns control of your time back to you.
Step 2 – Insert Staple Activities.
Here is a quote for you, “if it is not scheduled, it doesn’t get done.” Remember that. “If it is not scheduled, it does not get done.” Therefore, make sure you set your staple activities into your schedule. This way you can make sure you don’t miss performing your staple activities and overlook them. Here a few activities that are what I call my staple activities to give you some examples:
- Yardwork – Set time on your calendar for the recurring yard activities that you perform.
- Shaving and Haircuts – Because shaving takes time, I want to make sure that my shaving and hair appointments are on my time-budget.
- Financial True-up – Make sure to block out time to true-up your finances. So that we don’t overlook this needed activity is why we have a list of staple activities that get included in the time-budget.
- 30 Day Rolling Calendar – Since we have a 30-day rolling calendar process, we must add this as a staple time-transaction as well as we’re going to be consistent.
- Processing Journal Notes (Evernote & OneNote) – Because I have two sets of journal notes, Evernote and OneNote, I place time on my calendar to review them. What good is having a journal (notes) that you never go back and review?
- Recurring Errands – There are some things that you have to do repetitively. For example, if you have a pool, then you must have the pool water tested. Is this activity listed on your planned schedule? It’s a staple item.
- Dates (Date Night & Father-daughter Time) – Dates with my wife and dates with our daughter must be scheduled if we wish to have this time. Otherwise, these dates are so easily overlooked, forgotten, or taken for granted.
- Exercise – Exercise if important, needs to be scheduled. While you might not be able to find time to exercise daily, you can find time to get in a number of exercises. Go ahead and put it on the calendar.
- Book-ends – Bookends are your way of setting time at the beginning of your day to make sure today’s time-transactions are appropriate as things tend to come up in your life. Then at the end of the day, review how you need to adjust tomorrow in light of what may or may not have happened today.
- Coaching sessions – I do a lot of mentoring so I have slots designated for the best times available to work these into the rest of my time-budget. I set limits and boundaries here so that my time is respected and used responsibly.
- Times for reflecting (Daily, Monthly, and annually) – You should have a couple of different times for reflection: five minutes daily, one hour weekly, half a day monthly, and a couple days for annual reflection. This is one activity that if not pre-planning, it doesn’t get done. So go ahead and put these items into your 30-day rolling schedule process.
Step 3 – Add Priorities.
Any projects that you have that you want to get accomplished stick those in the calendar in an available time-slot. Because I am an author I must plan for enough blocks in my schedule to write. Therefore, I have my writing activities mapped out in my time-budget.
Step 4 – Fit in Other Projects.
Any other projects that you think you can fit into your schedule or feel like you need to do, add them to remaining open available time-slots. Keep in mind that by the time you get to this step there are very few open spots left in your calendar. This is what you should expect if the previous 3 steps were done appropriately.
Step 5 – Find Space for “If Possible” List.
If there are any blocks left following steps 1-4, then use them for your “if possible” list of activities. You must get used to giving every particular slot of time a name. It’s like what Dave Ramsey says, “give every dollar a name.” You want to give every block of time a name. When you have some extra space, go ahead and have a list of things that you call “if possible list.” Fill in your remaining time with these items.
Performing the activities of creating a 30-day rolling schedule in summary goes like this:
1 – Set available slots that you have or desire to have.
2 – Insert your staple activities.
3 – Insert your priorities.
4 – Insert any other projects you think you can fit in and that you think need to happen.
5 – Insert any “if possible” items you have for the left over time-slots, if possible.
Sometimes it is not possible because some 30 days have other things that reduce the time available. It’s harder to have more blocks when holidays and vacations take up days that would have been used otherwise. Using the process of a rolling 30-day calendar is designed so that you have control of your calendar, so that you can get the output and results that you desire, and so that you accomplish the plans that you have set. This is how you maintain your weekly time blocks in your schedule. We call it the “30-Day Rolling Calendar.” This will take your life, your calendar, your week to the next level.
Question: What would be some of the staple activities you would insert into your weekly calendar if you were performing your 30-Day Rolling Schedule?