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Welcome to the MilHousing Nation Podcast, where we bring you stories from fellow military spouses who have been in your shoes. From New spouses to veteran spouses. You’ll get tips, tricks and actionable steps that can help you along your military life journey.
This episode is brought to you by Caliber Home Loans. Caliber is committed to educating military families about their VA loan benefits and bringing your military families home. Get connected with them online by visiting caliber at caliber military lending.com. Now here’s Ashley Peebles.
Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Real housing nation podcast. I’m Ashley Peebles. And I’m so glad that you joined us today. So today, we are going to talk about managing our calendar, our to do list, our never ending list of things that we have to do, and really how to manage our time, a little bit better with what I would consider my three top tips. So I’ve been an entrepreneur and owned my own business for about a decade. And I work from home, I homeschool my kids. So all of those things meant that I had to get really good at managing my time managing my calendar, and making sure that my calendar wasn’t managing me. So I’d love to share with you just my three top tips, if that is alright with you all today, you know, in the world that we’re living in right now, with virtual school, half virtual school, half homeschool, half public school, whatever it is that you are facing, in this crazy year of 2020, I want you to know that it’s possible for you to stay on track, and stay in control. You know, one of the worst feelings that I have in my life at any time, is just feeling completely out of control. And I am a person of faith. So I obviously understand that there’s someone else in control of my life. But I will tell you that when things start spinning around, and I don’t know what is on the calendar for the week, or what I’m missing, I’ll just lay awake at night. And I’ll think, oh, my goodness, what am I forgetting? Or I will say yes, I’ll totally do that for you, Susie. And then I’ll completely forget. So I would love to go over these tips for you. So number one, we’re going to go over managing your calendar. Now I manage my calendar with something called Red, yellow, green time. So think about it this way, red, stop yellow, proceed with caution. And green is gota. So what I want you to do is I want you to divvy out the things in your life that are red, then what that means is you cannot do you’re not going to book anything else during this time. So let’s talk about managing your work calendar. If you are, if you’ve got a home based business, if you are an entrepreneur, your green time is going to be the time when you are working, you are going after it and you’re not doing anything else except working. Your yellow time is going to be your flexible time. That’s the time that if you need to run to the grocery store, you can however, at the same time, you could take a business call, you could take a business meeting, your rent is the time when you’re not going to be working. That’s when you’re going to the gym, that’s when you’ve got family dinners, that’s when you’ve got family time, or that’s when something else is happening. You know, I know for me, I have kids that play sports, and we’ve got a lot of things that are on the calendar. I want to be the mom that’s present during those practices. I don’t want them to look up from practice, whatever they’re doing, and always see mom on the phone. And that was not always my mentality. I was the one that was like, Okay, I’ve got an hour at football practice. I will work during that hour. But I can’t tell you the the conviction that I got one day when we got in the car, and my son said Mom, I had the greatest catch in my life and I looked up but you weren’t looking, oh my goodness gracious. You want to feel bad about who you are as a person. And everything as a mom, everything under the sun, have your son tell you that. So I got really good at managing my calendar, and making practice football practice read time, which means it’s non negotiable. I’m going to be watching my son practice. I’m not going to take business calls. I’m going to be in the moment. So I want you to think of red Tom as being you’re in the moment time. If you’re watching this on YouTube and not just listening to the other podcasts. I’m going to show you my calendar or a calendar previous one right now. What you’ll see is you’ve got blocks of red, you’ve got blocks of yellow and you’ve got blocks of green. If you can’t see this, I want you to know that it’s mostly red, and I want you to be okay with that. And I want you to put your read time on your calendar first. Go in right now and block out when you’re at the gym. block out when you are not Not going to be interrupted, block out all your family time, lock out church, all of the things for this week that are non negotiable that you’re going to be doing and you’re not going to be working, block off your read time. Okay, the next thing you’re going to do is you’re going to block off your green time, if you have to be at work from nine to five, but you get a lunch break, block off from nine to 12. And from one to five, is that your work time. And that is the time to where you’re going to be focused in and dialed in for work. At lunch, you can make that yellow. Yellow is the flexible time, it means you can work through lunch, if you have to, you could always run to the grocery store, or you give yourself permission to walk outside, take a walk, walk around the block, read a book, go get a massage, your yellow time is your flexible time to where you can do either one. So block your read time off. First, it should be the majority of your calendar, that should be in the morning from six to nine. If you’re working, it should be in the evening from five to whatever time if you’re working a full time job. If you’re an entrepreneur, if you’ve got a home based business, if you are your own boss, your schedule is going to look a little bit different, you’re going to have blocks of green spread throughout the day, and you’re gonna have quite a bit of yellow, that is totally fine. So I want you to go in right now block off your red, then block off your green, everything else is yellow. And I want you to see how you do this week. Don’t let the green time creep into the red. what generally happens especially if you work from home, or you are your own boss, is you have to protect your read time because what tends to happen is your green will bleed into your red. So let’s say you have a home based business and you’re watching your son practice football, it’s very easy to pick up your phone during that red time and return a text are very easy to pick up the phone when someone calls and answer that phone call. When it’s your red tab, generally go getters and type A personalities and you know people own their own business, they are going to have to protect their red tongue more than their Korean time. So pay attention to that. On the adverse, you have to make sure that if you’ve blocked off green time that you’re actually working, and you’re doing money making activities. Now what do I mean by that surfing Facebook is not a money making activity unless you’re prospecting for some, you know sales job that you have. So make sure that you’re protecting the different colors, and you are going to feel so much more free. And what I mean by that is I want to feel free to not pick up my phone. If it’s family dinner time, I want to feel free to not take my phone into church because I may or may not have a habit of looking at it. And then responding if somebody sends me a text message. It gives you freedom of maneuver when you are in control of your calendar. I want to say that one more time. When you get in control of your time and in control of your calendar. It allows for freedom of maneuver, it allows you to zone in during work time and not waste time. It allows you to zone in during family time and not let work creep in. But it also allows you the flexibility to go walk around Hobby Lobby to go walk around home goods to go get a massage because it’s yellow time, you’re not taking time away from your business or time away from your family. That is what the yellow Tom is there for. So again, if you got to see this via YouTube, awesome, you got to see what it looks like. If you’re listening to this via the podcast. Reach out to me, it’s Ashley at Mel housing network.com. And I will totally send you a picture so that you can see what that calendar looks like. Okay, my next tip is what I call the three big rocks. of I am someone that I will lay awake at night just thinking of all the things that I forgot to do all the things that I need to do, and the things most importantly, that I don’t need to forget, I will lay in bed. Thank you Don’t forget that. Don’t forget that. Don’t forget that. So I developed what I refer to as the three big rocks. Now, I thought I made this up. But then I read it in a book after that. And I was like well, maybe maybe I had this idea. And I subliminally shared this with the author. So it isn’t a book somewhere. I don’t remember which one it is. But I want you to know that I thought I came up with this on my own. So here’s what it is. Every night before I go to sleep, I’ve got a little notebook on my bedside table that one of my best friends got me that said my brilliant ideas that they get that they get says where I write down my three big rocks that I want to move the next day. So what that means is the three big things that I need to accomplish the next day. Now the reason I do that is one so I don’t forget it, but to so that I can hold myself accountable. If the next night when I go to bed. If I have accomplished those three big rocks during my day, then I do not have permission to beat myself up about not being productive and about not getting Done. On the other hand, if I did not accomplish those three simple things, what did I do with my day, I need to be held accountable. Because if nothing else, I can accomplish three things. But here’s what I found, when I write down those three big rocks, I will accomplish those first, I generally will head right out and do those first thing in the morning. What I found is when I write down the three big rocks, and I do them first thing in the morning, I will generally accomplish more during the day. Because once you get started accomplishing things, you just kind of keep moving throughout the day, and you end up being more productive. So generally, when I write them down, I accomplish them. First thing, I’ll get 10 or 12 things done during the day. But if I don’t write them down, I think about them all throughout the day. And I may not even get three done. So understand, that is definitely not a foolproof plan. But it is something that will hold you accountable and keep you moving in the right direction. Write those things down, you can keep a separate sheet of paper of just things that you don’t want to forget. But the way that I work that is I have a whiteboard here in my office, you would not I should show it to you right now. It’s a whole bunch of gibberish. But I write everything down that I don’t need to forget or that needs to happen. And I have quadrants. So it’s got I have one for work, I’ve one for personal, my husband has one for work, and he has one for personal, we will write out everything that we need to do put a box next to it and we check it off, or we mark it through whenever we’ve accomplished it, I will tell you, we are 10 times more productive when we write it down than when it’s just circling around in our head. Because what I find is throughout the day, I’ve got these small pockets of time that I can accomplish things. But if I don’t know what I need to do, and it’s swirling all around in my head, it’s probably not going to get done. But if I can look directly up at that whiteboard and say, Oh, you know what I need to call and cancel the cable. Because we’re moving next week, I will probably take that five minutes and call and cancel the cable. So use your whiteboard to your advantage, make sure that you’ve got two different lists personal and work, use the three big rock systems so that you can be more productive. And so it can free you up from the guilt of being able to lay your head on the pillow at night, and know that you’ve done your best that day. And the guilt of I didn’t get enough accomplished. It just frees you up. I’m all about freeing up and taking ownership of my life. And then the other thing is I’m just a huge believer to do list. I’ve gotten everywhere, whether it’s in my calendar, whether it’s in a notebook, whether it is on the whiteboard, or whether it’s on sticky notes, I have lists of things to remind myself everywhere throughout the day. So do not underestimate the power of to do lists. And then our last one, get a family calendar going and put it in a place in your home to where everyone can see. Because where we fail as a family is in the communication of Oh, I’m going to be working Monday, all day, Wednesday, I’ve got, you know, meetings all the way to two o’clock. But I’m pretty free on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So that is when my kids know that they can plan playdates, if you will, they can plan places that they need to go and I can drop them off. But what generally we find is that the kids don’t know what the schedule is. So they get in their head, oh, man, I want to go and hang out with my friends at Colonial Williamsburg or I want to go ice skating with a friend. Hey, Mom, can you drop me off tomorrow at 12? And I’m like, No, I’m so sorry. I can’t, I’ve got to zoom right at that time, get a family calendar, it is the greatest investment that you are going to make to keep your entire family on track. If you’ve got young kids, you’re going to be the one writing it in. But if your kids are older like mine, and you’ve got teenagers, you get all add to the calendar. And you can make sure that really you’re not overbooking drivers in your family and I mean licensed vehicle drivers. And that is what we’re running into. My daughter is a year from having her driver’s lessons. So right now mom and dad are the ones that are driving everyone everywhere. So our family calendar is one that I found on the Facebook ad. It’s fantastic. It goes over each day so that you can write in everything. It goes over the menu for the week. It has our shopping list, but it also has our blessings. It has our prayer lists. It has, what are you going to do this weekend to refresh yourself. It is phenomenal. And I believe that it is a product of the Becky’s bth ke Jefferson and Alyssa Beth key I believe I read one of their books a while back, my husband and I do marriage retreats. And they had a really great book on marriage that we read. So I started following their family. And their calendar that they came out with has been the best thing that I’ve seen out there to keep a busy active family focused on the right things, staying in the right path, but also noticing all of our blessings around us. So I hope that this podcast has been helpful. for you today, I hope that the Red Yellow Green time will help you to get in control of your calendar help you to feel more free throughout your day to do the things that refresh you. Because, listen, if you are homeschooling your kids or half virtual learning, or you run a business from home, there are a lot of new meetings that we’re all on, right. And you get zoom neck and you get zoom back and you get zoom eyes and you get zoom headaches. And I will tell you that if you can take a five minute break and walk around outside, or a 30 minute break and walk around outside or go, walk around and Home Goods before your next call, you’re going to be more productive. But if you don’t get in control of your calendar, you’re going to feel guilty while you’re doing it. So I hope that helps people I hope that talking about the whiteboard, your to do lists your three big rocks that you’re going to write down before bed out that frees you up so that you can sleep better at night and get rid of the guilt of I didn’t accomplish enough today. Because if you have a million things on your to do list, and you only get three done, you’re going to feel like you didn’t accomplish very much. But if you got your top three things done, don’t beat yourself up. Get do do better tomorrow, write down three more things. But I can tell you, if you can consistently get three giant things done each day, you’re going to stay ahead of the game, for the most part, right. And then lastly, grab a family calendar that fits your family’s style. We as a family want to stay in control of our schedule, but we also want to focus on our blessings. And we want to focus on making certain that there are things on our calendar that surround things that we care about most, that we’re not leaving out prayer time that we’re not leaving out church, that we’re not leaving out, family dinners that we’re not leaving out, hey, this weekend, how we’re going to refresh is we’re going to go kayaking as a family. It is very easy to get so busy in today’s world that you leave out all the things that refresh you. So I hope this podcast has been great for you all. I hope that you smiled at least once today. If you did, then I have done my job. If you have not already subscribed to this podcast, make sure that you subscribe to know housing nation. You can subscribe on Apple podcasts on SoundCloud. Really anywhere that you’re listening right now. Thank you so much. And we will see you again next week for another episode. Thank you for listening to the MilHousing Nation podcast. To connect with MilHousing Network, visit us online at MilHousingNetwork.com