In this week’s edition of Things I Wish I Knew, New York divorce lawyer Joleena Louis discusses how she finds the time and remains productive.
As a solo, my schedule can quickly get out of control. I have a lot of things to balance at once and an overwhelming number of people all want my time.
Despite my obsessiveness with productivity, I found myself getting bogged down with consults, meetings, and phone calls that interrupt the work that I need to focus on each week.
In the past, I’ve shared how time blocking has helped me get so much more done. All of my to do’s get scheduled on my calendar and I try to block similar tasks together. For example, I block out time to return calls and make all my phone calls during that time period.
But some weeks even the time blocking isn’t enough to help me stay on top of focused work.
Initially, I started blocking out a few hours throughout the week to get things done. But I found that as soon I was getting into the groove with my focused work, it was time to switch to another type of task. So I started blocking off entire days to get things done.
Here is how I do it:
One full day a week, every week
Consistency is what makes this idea work so well. As a result, you have to stay committed to blocking this time off every week.
For me personally, I find it easier to block off the days at the beginning of the month before everything gets filled up. The actual day of the week changes depending on my schedule, but I always make it happen.
No phone calls, meetings or emails
On my focus days, I block my calendar so no appointments can be made. No exceptions. I don’t take any phone calls and have my receptionist take messages for all calls. I don’t check email until the very end of the workday (if at all). If you truly want no interruptions you have to be strict about this.
Find a place of solitude
I find a quiet spot to work where I can put on headphones and ignore everything else around me. Getting away from other people helps me stay focused on the task at hand.
This process ensures I get my most important tasks completed each week. I often get more done that day than I do the entire week.
Even if you can’t block off the entire day try keeping a least try to find a few hours for yourself. You’ll be surprised by how much you can get done.