Curious if you spent some time pondering the questions in Part One of this Blog? So…where are you spending instead of investing your time? Have you identified the life-giving “rocks” in your life? I was reflecting back on one of the blogs I wrote in July 2019 titled What Rules Your Time and how we often let the urgent crowd out the important. I’m feeling very convicted that I must learn to be more intentional with my time to ensure that I have a God-honoring life.
Before I reveal the concept that has been serving me, I must shed some light on my life. I work from home, which should be an ideal work environment. However, when you are the cook/nutritionist, dog-walker, grocery shopper, errand runner, housekeeper, laundress, etc. (you get the picture), I can be easily distracted. I was craving a tool to help me invest my time. Here is the concept that I have recently implemented and seems to be helping in my day-to-day intentional living.
Time blocking or what I fondly call time chunking.
Allow me to share more about what this looks like and how it might be a great tool for you as well.
Rocks - To stay productive in the personal, professional, and spiritual areas of life there should be approximately five rocks in the jar. These rocks may represent starting the day with the Lord, spending time with loved ones, exercise, or a career project that needs to be accomplished. Now put these into a weekly calendar and time chunk them. Here's how it might look:
For example; quiet time with the Lord is a standing appointment on my calendar. Every morning, 6:00-7:00 a.m. I read my Bible, journal, and pray. If I don’t get this time, as does occasionally happen, I’m not nearly as satisfied because a key “rock” is missing.
Time with loved ones is in my calendar as set appointments. I make sure that I calendar all of the important events, i.e. birthdays, visits, and vacations. All of the other “pebbles” and “sand” must move around those sacred times. I give myself permission to say “no” to anything that downgrades that special life-giving “rock” into a “pebble”.
My work as a Christian life coach, which I consider my calling, is one of my big time chunk items. Each day during the workweek has designated time chunks for projects. Blog writing is a great example. When I am working on my blog, I time chunk 60-minute blocks of time to research and create content. My cell phone sits at a distance with a timer set for the allotted amount of time. I, then, intentionally work on that project for the set time. I don’t respond if my phone rings or if I get a ding for a text (however tempting that is). Depending on my progress, I may re-set the timer or pick another time in my day where I will revisit the project until completion. You get the idea.
Pebbles – Relationships with friends, hobbies, housecleaning, might all fall within this category. Here's a personal example:
Friendships are life-giving for me. I schedule calls with different friends every week. I will pick a day and time chunk the activity. Exercise is a “rock” but I will often combine a phone call with walking my dog. Then I am accomplishing three of my essentials in a one-hour window. Exercise, dog-walking, and friendship!
Sand - When we feel that we have successfully given the proper attention to the “rocks” and “pebbles”, We will give ourselves permission to dabble with the “sand”. Here's the final example from my life:
Social media scrolling is “sand” for me and must be monitored as well. I have a setting on my phone that only allows for an allotted time on any platform. Once that time is reached for the day, I’m cut off. I like to think of social media browsing as a reward for the productive time I spent time chunking the important things in my day.
After part one of Schedule your Life or Your Life will Schedule You, I spoke with a friend who was going to make this a project with her 6-year-old daughter! Got me thinking that I would love this visual too! So important to have a tangible reminder of intentional living. Wouldn't you agree??
Lastly, living an intentional life is best done in community! Stay tuned...we are launching a Facebook group and would love for you to be part of it. LIKE Unique Paths Coaching on Facebook. In the next few weeks, you will get an invitation to our new group! This group will provide support for intentional living!
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