As spring comes to a close, a slower, summer pace takes hold. At the Knitter’s Planner, we like to embrace the blessing of each season, so today we’re sharing five steps for ‘spring cleaning’ your calendar, so you can settle in to the joys of a slow and peaceful summer.
As you come into this season, remind yourself that rest is a vital part of wellbeing. It improves your concentration and memory, reduces stress, and contributes to a healthy immune system. Yet many of us only feel justified in resting when we are sleeping or on vacation! Here are some tips to carve our space for rest in your calendar.
Before you can make any changes, you need to figure out where your time is going. Try keeping a ‘time journal’ for a week or two, keeping track of how each 30-minute increment is spent. This helps you see exactly how you are spending your time.
As you begin to focus on how your time is spent, set a timer as you start a new task for how long you think the task should take. Then do the task to see if you were right! Often, things take much longer than we assume they will. Maybe you thought cleaning your house would take an hour, but it actually took four, and maybe that the ’15 minutes’ you took each evening to scroll through Facebook was actually an hour.
A time journal may seem like a silly practice- maybe even a waste of time- when you first start, but knowing the true amount of time different activities take can help you plan your schedule in the future. This will keep you from setting unrealistic expectations as you schedule things. If cleaning your house takes four hours, you will know not to try and fit it into only three!
Once you know how you’re truly spending your time, you can start to decide what to edit out.
It can be hard to decide what goes and what stays, so here are a couple of ideas to get you started:
- Look at your time journal. Are there any obvious ‘time wasters’ that you can reduce or remove?
- Look at any repeating tasks, clubs or standing meetings. Do you still want to be doing them? Are you doing them out of obligation? Can you cut them out or reduce the frequency? If so, this might be a good way to clear up some time.
Now that you’ve opened up some space on your schedule, you can increase your time management skills by using that found time as effectively as possible.
- Reorganize your schedule so you are doing similar things together; this is called activity batching. For example, try to focus on administrative tasks one day, then creative ones on another. Before you run errands or go to an appointment, take a few moments think of everything you might need to do while you’re out. That little bit of extra thought could save you a lot of hassle (and time) going back into town!
- Learn how to multitask wisely. Remember that you can do two things at once, but you can only focus on one thing at a time. Visiting with a friend on the phone while you fold laundry works, but you can’t (and shouldn’t!) visit with a friend while you pay your bills. Pair a low-focus activity that requires manual labor with a high-focus activity that doesn’t.
Set limits, rules, or boundaries for your schedule. Only you can decide what limits are best for your life, but here are some ideas:
- Determine how much screen time you’d like to average per day and use available apps to send yourself reminders when you hit the limit.
- Find an activity that you love and block out time for it each week. Consider it an appointment with yourself.
- Set a time each day to ‘wind down’ for the day.
Time is unruly, and is always trying to get away from you. Maintaining good habits with your time is key.
- Each day, do a mental check-in. What tasks are important, and what can be ignored? Write down your top tasks (3 at maximum) and focus on them first.
- Each month, reflect on what worked (and what didn’t). The Knitter’s Planner Monthly Goal Setting page is the perfect place to do this.
- Remember that small changes are more sustainable than big ones, so keep looking for the next small change you’d like to incorporate.
We hope this helps you to go into summer with a lighter load and the ability to slow your pace a little bit!
We’d love to see how your are using your Knitter’s Planner to carve out time for rest. Tag us on social media, or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org