230 | An In-depth Look At The Strategies I Use To Schedule My Time

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What You'll Discover In This Episode:

  • My Underlying Scheduling Methodology
  • Why I Schedule In Three-Month Increments
  • The Crucial Time Block Preventing Me From Being A Bottleneck
  • The Holding Days & Bonus Days Tricks I Use
  • Inspiration From My Business Model That Might Work For You  
  • So Much More!

As a kid, I didn’t love doing puzzles but my aunt did. Every time I visited her, she had a puzzle in process on her card table (and still does to this day). As far back as I can remember, she taught me her puzzle strategy: separate all the corner and edge pieces from the inside pieces, then create the border with them. Next, sort the interior pieces by color and/or pattern.

To this day, I still remember my aunt’s do-the-border-first strategy and I apply it to my own schedule. And just like my aunt never put away that card table because she always had a puzzle in process, I am constantly referring to and tweaking my calendar because my schedule is a constant work in progress.

Instead of putting edge and corner pieces on my calendar first though, I schedule hard dates according to holidays, my son’s school schedule, and vacations, by blocking off that personal time. Then, I schedule my wake-up time, bedtime, morning and evening routine, and lunchtime. I’ve learned over the years that if I don’t schedule a proper lunch break, I tend to work right through it, then lack energy and focus the rest of the day. So, I make it a priority.

Scheduling those activities on my calendar first creates a structure which all the other activities in my life need to fit into, just like the border of a puzzle. Unlike a typical puzzle though, I can move around all the interior pieces until they fit to my liking. All the client appointments, team meetings, content creation, podcasting, administrative activities, project management, self-care, family time, and date nights. I’ve used this puzzle border technique for years to schedule my time and it’s served me and my business well by providing the optimal level of structure and flexibility. Still, it’s just one of the effective  strategies I use to schedule my time. 

In this episode of Productivity Straight Talk, I give you a behind-the-scenes tour of my personal, color-coded calendar as I divulge several detailed strategies I use to schedule my time that helps me keep my life in balance and my business running smoothly.

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Amber De La Garza

About the author

Amber De La Garza is The Productivity Specialist! Amber helps small business owners maximize profits, reduce stress, and make time for what matters most by improving their time management and elevating their productivity! Amber is a sought after coach, trainer, speaker, writer, host of the Small Business Straight Talk Podcast, and creator of Leverage Lab®.

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