So, as you can tell, I’ve been a bit off the radar for a few weeks – sorry!
This is mostly due to wedding planning, which is slightly taking over my life at the moment – organising two blessings on opposite sides of the globe is taking it’s toll!
Ironically, the lesson for May was time.
I want to share a very quick update for May, because I did actually make some quite integral changes in my habits, which I have already seen have a positive impact:
Get a nice (paper) diary
I love stationery. I especially love Korean stationery, which is all types of cute and colourful. One of my favourite online stores, Fox & Star, specialises in really beautiful stationery with a unique edge – and it’s not super expensive. I bought myself the Iconic Planner, similar to this one, but in a pale blue instead of navy. A paper diary helps me to see everything quickly and easily, rather than scanning through my phone diary. I was always double-booking myself before, but this really helps.
Schedule a regular ‘diary date’ if you’re in a relationship
This is one that some of my friends are evangelical about, and I used to think they were crazy! But I’ve now realised that going out for a coffee and looking over our diaries on a regular basis, to update each other on the weeks ahead and to ask questions like: ‘Why aren’t you coming to this with me?’ are really useful 😉 We also schedule in regular weekly dates, and have clear expectations on which days are best for us to schedule in time with others – but you may feel like that’s too far! But we’ve found this helpful, particularly because Ben is a quality time person, and also a J (for those who know Myers-Briggs)!
Schedule no more than one thing a day
This is HARD for me, because I’m queen of the multi-tasking, see-five-different-people-a-day, fill-every-moment sort of variety. If there’s a spare moment, I see an opportunity to fill it with something from my to-do list. But no more. If I look in my diary, and I see one event or person already in there (whether that’s a coffee date, drinks with friends, a Skype chat), then the rest of the day is out in terms of appointments. Even if we’re talking lunch with one friend and trying to arrange an after-work drink with another. Yes, I could do that – I could make that work. But one thing a day keeps me feeling focused and gives me a consistent, regular boundary. Instead of wondering if I can ‘squeeze someone in’, I’m focused on just seeing that person and only that person today. I’d say this has been the thing that has made the biggest immediate difference to my time management.