Since December, I had been busy with several projects. I am one of the tech guys at Optimize Yourself & I was helping them prepare for the new semester. This meant a lot of work at the back end, making sure the website is bug-free and students can navigate it smoothly.
Aside from that, I made logos for 2 clients. One of which took me 2 weeks of brainstorming!
Good thing my other client for web page design decided that we just make a one-pager because they didn’t have enough website assets yet.
Aside from these, I had a photo editing gig (100 photos), several video editing projects & my service in the ministry.
Yep, it was a lot. It was overwhelming.
I had some help but of course, I still needed to make sure that everything was in order. I wanted to have an excellent first impression to my clients. But it was at the expense of my own freedom.
I didn’t want to admit it but somehow, I was a little burned out.
I got too excited
Is this really what I want to do for the rest of my life? Yes, I am working at home. But I barely have time for myself. Those visions I had before I started going full time WFH, I didn’t get to enjoy them that much. Watching movies with the family, exercising, learning new things.
I haven’t done anything in the courses I enrolled in since December.
It was my fault, anyway. I was too excited to accept many projects without assessing my own workload.
So yeah, this WFH gig simply wasn’t working.
Then I heard of this thing called Time Blocking. I thought it was the same as a weekly/daily schedule but it’s not.
I already have my normal schedule in place. But the problem is that my schedule is not set up for time blocks.
Time blocking means specific tasks has to be done in specific time periods. No more, no less (as much as possible). The problem with me is that whenever I am in the zone, I tend to go beyond. I have the urge to finish a specific task while neglecting all the others.
So even though I have this 10 AM to 5PM allocated for work, I didn’t know how to go about the different tasks. As the neglected tasks piled up, I ended up doing some “overtime work”.
(Hey, isn’t getting away from overtime work and spending more time with the family one of the objectives of going remote?)
Let’s try this…
Two Sundays ago, during our family goal setting session, I decided to implement time blocking in my schedule. I also asked the kids to do the same.
My weekly schedule went through a total renovation. I sorted my projects in the order of their deadlines. But aside from that, I sorted the specific tasks in the order of how much thinking I would need. I placed the “thinking” tasks in times where I’m most productive.
After organizing my time blocks, I started to strictly adhere to these blocks. If it was time for me to stop doing a particular task to go on to the next, I stopped. Even when the urge to continue was strong.
I have to discipline myself to follow this technique if I want to make this WFH thing work for me (and not the other way around).
Is it working?
It was difficult at first, but as I moved along I found myself slowly getting the time I need for myself.
One by one, I was finally ticking off finished projects. I was also able to get back to the self improvement program at Optimize Yourself.
And if you are able to read this essay up to this point, it’s because I finally got to start with the copywriting course at Virtual Careers Academy. Though the program hasn’t officially started yet, I already started with the bonus material.
Now I’m taking my life back. It’s time you take back yours too!