Staying on top of work and life is tough. With both work and social commitments to balance, alongside making time for ourselves and our own self-care it's hard to find time to always fit it all in. I talk a lot over here on Jennypurr about blogging and the more strategic sides of content creation, but I want to explore and share today some behind-the-scenes of my process for managing my time and my work. One of the best ways I do this is by using multiple calendars to stay on top of work and life, and although this may sound like a complete juggling act at first it's actually a great way to not feel so overwhelmed by everything that's on your plate.
So if you're struggling to balance your job, your blog, and your side projects without feeling overwhelmed, today I'm sharing a little insight into my process and how I manage to keep my head above water when it comes to juggling all the many tasks each week can bring.
The main reason I use multiple calendars is because it helps me to compartmentalise my work and my schedule. I used to think seeing everything all in one place would help me to plan accordingly but in reality it just leaves me feeling super overwhelmed. I can see at a glance everything, but on a day-to-day basis I like to tackle each workload and project separately so I don't feel overly scattered between them all. My calendar process looks a little something like this:
Google Calendar for Jennypurr: I like to keep my editorial calendars separate as this way I can really hone in on each and feel focused. I use my Jennypurr calendar solely for my editorial calendar - which I spoke about in more depth in this recent post. I plan out posts, newsletters, themes, series, and any special events and I refer to it each and every day when seeing what work needs doing for this blog.
Google Calendar for ALO: For the online magazine I co-run with Rebecca, we share a Google Calendar for our ALO editorial calendar so we can both see upcoming pieces and articles due to go live on the magazine. This is how I plan out each sections rota and stay on top of what pieces have been completed or not. Keeping ALO and my blog separate is the only way I balance the two without them overlapping. I like to think that when I open up my Jennypurr calendar I have my blogging business head on, and when I log onto ALO I change hats and embrace my job as an editor.
Sunrise Calendar for Business & Life: I've recently switched over my day-to-day calendar to Sunrise as I wanted something separate from my Google accounts and I also couldn't deny how well designed this one is. Sunrise links up with my business Google calendar which syncs up any coaching sessions, client meetings, and business reminders, but I also like to use this calendar to plan out my life at a glance. From personal appointments and events, to how I like to block out my work days, my Sunrise calendar is currently pretty much always an open tab on my browser these days.
My Top 3 Tips for Staying on Top of Work & Life
Break my days down into blocks: This is something I've started doing and it really is helping to make a difference. Instead of just working alongside a to-do list each day, I now start every day by breaking my day down into blocks. Because I spread my time between client work, this blog, ALO, and general business maintenance it's much easier for me to just focus on one thing at a time. I block out my day (usually in 1-3 hour blocks) for specific projects and tasks and set reminders to help me to move from task to task.
Prioritise the things that matter: Recently I've been trying to decipher between which tasks are 'important' and which tasks are 'urgent'. Sometimes I make so much space in my work day for the urgent tasks that the work that is important to me struggles to get my attention. As much as some parts of my work can't be ignored, I'm learning to prioritise the things that matter more and make space in my schedule for the work I really want to be doing. This also applies to my personal life. I found I was sacrificing time with friends to stay at home and work and I realised I wasn't prioritising the things that are really important to me. I now actually build into my calendar social events and specific time with friends throughout the week, and especially with Alex I like to try and keep blocks of my evenings free so we can actually unwind together and end the day catching up.
Maintain boundaries: This is a huge lesson I'm learning recently - the importance of boundaries. I'm a huge people pleaser and I can really struggle with the word 'no'. Keeping some parts of my week sacred just for me is hard, but I'm finding that it's so important if I want to maintain a healthy and productive approach to work and life. For example, on Friday's I always have a health related appointment that can be a little draining so I always keep the rest of the day free from any client work as I know I wouldn't be able to bring all of myself to those sessions. I also never schedule anything too tasking for a Friday and instead try and fill my day with lighter tasks and space to explore any side projects and pieces of work. Maintaining boundaries is so important, as giving ourselves space to recharge, spend time with the people we love, and take care of ourselves means that when we do get back to work we're in a productive state of mind.
How about you? Do you have multiple calendars too? I'd love to know your best advice for staying on top of work and life?
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