I don’t, really.
I think it’s interesting advice, though. It comes from Cal Newport. You know that I’ve written about him before and while I don’t always agree with everything he says, I find a lot of it very thought-provoking and useful. I highly recommend his podcast, which I have been listening to consistently. His episodes are long (there was a recent 1 hr 40 minute one!) and my podcast time is rather limited these days, so it means a lot that I still find them worthwhile.
Anyway, I have also discussed my devotion to YNAB, the budgeting app where you “give every dollar a job”, putting all of your income into tentative spending and savings categories. I LOVE this approach and have been tracking $$$ spent for several years now (since 2015 with a little break in 2019, according to the blog).
Over the years, using YNAB has definitely helped Josh and I become more intentional spenders. It wasn’t an instant lightning bolt sort of transition, but it definitely has shaped us and probably influenced some big money-related decisions in our lives.
But time? I love the idea in theory, but in reality I find time a lot more . . . slippery. Especially with kids. Especially with kids AT HOME. Especially when I am home with them.
Sometimes I am successful with time blocking, though it’s not an entire-day-of-blocked-time situation. More like: 10-12pm – WORK ON XYZ PROJECT BECAUSE IT IS NECESSARY! For example, I am currently starting to approach the deadline for an ACGME reporting project and have already marked Tuesday on my calendar as “DIRE, DO NOT PUT ANYTHING ELSE THERE BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO GET THIS DONE.” I suspect I will be successful with time blocking that day because the urgency is pretty clear in my head.
Other times though . . . I love the idea of allocating minutes to different things in an intentional way (hello, obsessed with planning/planners!?) but am not always entirely successful with follow through. My day spent somewhat distracted in Annabel’s room, for example. On other days, I just find the process unnecessary because my calendar is blocked for me (patient appointments, mandatory GME meetings, etc).
Finally, I wonder about time blocking and leisure time. I’m not sure I can look to Cal as a role model for this because he has declared pretty definitively that he doesn’t really do much leisure time aside from “thinking walks” and reading. But I know I’m not alone when I sometimes regret spending an evening on Insta when I could have allocated those minutes towards something else. Would I be better off actually making a plan to spend those few minutes on reading / a manicure / no-phone kid time / etc?
I also think there is an interesting intersection with habits here. If you have ingrained habits that work for you, it sort of negates the need to formally time block. Example: my morning routine. Up, coffee, read/blog, workout, etc. I am usually quite happy with how I spend the first ~2 hours of my day, with no formal planning/blocking needed. I guess in a way I feel like the autopilot approach is more effective for me, but it does sometimes make the days blend together. I will acknowledge that it’s important to assess habits form time to time to see what adjustments need to be made.
(Maybe certain habits are just time blocking on autopilot?)
ANYWAY! Some Friday musings for everyone. This week went so quickly for me — I guess that’s what jumping back into work does! C&G start school in a little over a week and I am greatly looking forward to that, masks and all.
Random side note: I have to record a recruitment video in the hospital today and it just occurred to me . . . will I be on video wearing a mask and goggles!? I feel like I’d be better off just self-recording on my phone from home if that’s the case! Hmm.
Ooh! And new product alert!
Speaking of budget . . . I am totally going to order some of AmandaRachLee’s new washi tape (and probably a dotted journal too, who am I kidding).
It goes on sale 8/24. Something to look forward to 🙂