Whitney led a conversation with a select group of NationSwell Council Members focused on taking back your time while juggling work, demands at home, and everything in between. NationSwell supports the nation’s leading problem solvers by helping them develop and advance solutions that strengthen our communities and country. Whitney was the featured speaker at NationSwell’s Communal Table where she shared advice with attendees based on her experience as a successful entrepreneur and highly engaged parent.
How do I create boundaries to protect my time now that everything I love and care about has become meshed together because of the pandemic?
Since the first days of the pandemic, many of us have discovered that we need even more structure than before. People who normally don’t crave structure needed to create boundaries to cope with the sudden change of being at home with partners, pets, and extended family. Whitney heard from her coaching clients firsthand that there is an increased desire for structure
Whitney recommends creating a daily schedule, a tactic that is highly effective for her personally and for clients in her coaching program, Take Back Your Time. Even if you’re not normally someone who loves structure, creating a schedule helps you get clarity about what to expect from your day, which gives you more control over your time.
Sit down with your calendar and your schedule for the day or week. As you go through your appointments, meetings, and all the things on your to-do list, create blocks on your calendar based on how much time you need for each task. This helps you visualize your day so you know how much time you need to complete everything on your list. During the time you have blocked, commit to focusing on or completing the task that you set during that time. If you have a lot of small, similar tasks (i.e. laundry, cleaning, errands), bundle them together and block out time to get them all done at once.
A daily schedule is especially helpful for parents who need to balance childcare with work. Instead of switching off spending time with kids at the last minute whenever one parent needs a break or has a meeting, partners can create a schedule together. By mapping out a daily schedule that includes assigned times for each partner to spend time with the kids, parents can create a childcare schedule that works best for everyone. Kids get to spend time with each parent, and parents can enjoy uninterrupted time for work or relaxation. Building a schedule also helps avoid that conflict and tension that can arise when you have to make decisions in the moment.
The pandemic has disrupted our schedules and changed the structure of our days. For many people, the lack of structure means the boundaries between work and family get blurred, which can make you feel super overwhelmed. Work with your partner and family to create a schedule for the tasks you need to get done and to help prevent conflict. A daily schedule gives you the clarity you need about your priorities, so you can take control of your time and focus on what’s truly most important to you.