I don’t know if it’s because I taught for so long, but for some reason, September always feels like the start of a new year.
Which means it’s a perfect time to rework my time map.
What is a time map? It is my most FAVORITE time management tool EVER and will utterly change your life. (No joke.)
Tune in to learn ALL about time maps and how I manage my own time.
❤️ Love, Sari
H2H Fun-damentals™ masterclass is here! This is the only online trial skills training that will let you have more fun, feel less stress, and never worry about winning again - I swear. Check it out here
EPISODE 173 TRANSCRIPTION
Sari de la Motte:
Hello, hello. Welcome to another episode From Hostage to Hero. Sari de la Motte with you, and how is your summer going?
It's almost over, I know, but I don't know, forever, maybe because I was teaching for so many years, I just feel like September's the beginning of the year.
So, I thought I would do this podcast for you, because I always redo this time management tool I'm going to share with you today in the summertime and I kind of create a new one in the Fall. I don't know why, probably because I'm off my schedule for several months in the summer and I want to create a new one, but this is my most favorite time management tool ever.
Now, before I talk about this tool and share with you how to use it and what to use, we're going to remind you couple things.
One is that, well, maybe three things, one is that we've got that free training. Let the jury solve your problems. It's 16 minutes of packed info for how to do your voir dire. And it comes with the workbook and all of the things.
Two, our brand new website and branding is about to launched. Oh my God, you guys, just be on the lookout. As soon as we drop that, you're going to want to check it out. It's incredible.
And three, we're getting ready to relaunch the H2H Crew. So, if you're not on the wait list, you can also go to [sariswears.com] and get on the wait list there to know when that opens.
All right. So, what is this most awesome time management tool ever? Well, it's called a Time Map, and today, I'm going to tell you all the things, and why I use it, and how I use it, and how it just makes my life work. All right.
So, you're probably wondering what is a time map? And so, when you think about time and I talk about this in my Life By Design course, we have containers of time.
So, there are 168 containers in a week. What do I mean by containers? An hour, right, there's 168 hours. Or if you think of a typical work day, there's eight containers in that work day. Hopefully, they're only eight or less, if you're following my only 40 hours of work a week rule.
But here's the basic gist. A time map is like smaller containers within your container. So meaning, if you have 168 hours, it's like, "How am I going to contain that time?" It's deciding when you're going to do things, instead of scheduling your to-dos all over the place. So, for example, if you're like most people, you probably have a to-do list and then you just look at your schedule and your calendar and you just put the stuff wherever you have free time. And if that works for you, great. But I really believe that there's a better way to doing it.
First, the reason why I use a time map instead of just kind of putting stuff wherever, is that there's this concept of energy cycles. There's a book called When, by Daniel Pink. Here's the basic gist, he talks about it all in there. But you are more suited to do certain tasks at certain times. And that's different for everyone. He talks about the different types of people in there.
But for me, for example, I am most fresh in the morning. That's where I do my most creative, focused work. So, I have two hours every morning for exactly that. So, after I get up and I do my morning routine, the first thing that I do is sit at my desk from 9 to 11, and that is time for me and my creative projects. I turn my phone off, I log off Slack, I don't want any notifications, I just work. Right? My lowest energy times are in the afternoon. But I get energy from working with clients or teaching classes, so I schedule those things in the afternoon or in the late morning, because I know that I get energy when I do those, versus just sitting in front of a blank screen and trying to create, that'll just put me to sleep.
Now, here's the thing you have to keep in mind, working against your wiring is the worst thing that you can do when it comes to planning your time. And that doesn't just apply to daily tasks either. So, for example, let's talk about my creative process. When I'm working on a course, like the voir dire course that should be coming out or maybe has already come out, I don't know when I'm podcasting, when these things are happening. But when I'm working on a course, for example, that's all I can work on. I don't want to exercise, I eat junk food, I don't meet with clients. I just sit in my pajamas and I just write it out, create it, and plan it, or I'm in the studio and I'm videotaping. I barely take a break. I rinse and repeat until the project is done.
But until I understood that process, I made life so much harder on myself. Because I'd beat myself up every day, that I wasn't working out, or that I wasn't eating right, or I tried to do other things, get them done, and I'm trying to manage my project. I was just frustrated all of the time. So, now that I know that that's how I work, I can plan for it. Right? I clear my schedule. I get my junk food. I know that I'm not doing anything else that week except for the project. Right? So, I've stopped working against myself. And that's what you need to do too. You need to figure out when and how you work best and then create a schedule that works for you instead of you working for your schedule.
For example, if you want to work out in the morning, but you can't ever get up by 6:00 AM, then stop working against your wiring. Move your schedule around and accommodate an afternoon workout. Listen, most of you all, even if you work for other people, have control of your own schedule. So, make it work for you.
So, how do you know what times work best for you and which activities? You just experiment. Just start noticing when you have more energy and when you don't. And you just adjust your time map as necessary. And I'm going to talk about what time maps are and how to put them together in just a minute. All right. So, actually, let's... all right, yeah, let's go to time maps now.
All right. So, here's the basic gist. You're going to take an Excel sheet. Now, if you don't know how to use Excel, then you could just do this by hand, but I like to do an Excel, and on the left hand, the first column on the left hand, I'm going to create rows of time increments. So decide when you're going to get up in the morning and then decide whether you're going to do 15 minute, 30 minute or one hour increments. I do 15 minutes. So I get up at 6:30. So on my left hand side, I'm going to go 6:30, 6:45, 7:00, 7:15, 7:30. I'm going to go all the way down until I get to the time that I go to bed, which is 10. Right? So I've got those times listed on my left hand side.
Now, if you have the Life By Design, Master Your Time To Live Your Dreams, I've got an Excel sheet in there for you that you can download and use right away and adjust as needed. And if you are wanting to purchase the Life By Design course, go to fromhostagehero.com/ what is it? I think it's time management. Let me just double check that I'm typing it in and I should do this ahead of time. You know I should, but I don't. From Hostage to Hero, I'm typing it right now, maybe you are too forward slash time management. Yep, that takes you to Life By Design course. So I did know. I just wasn't trusting my knowing.
Okay. Now on the top, right? Going from left to right, so you're going from up to down on the left hand side, first column is your times, on the right is your days of the week, right? So if you're a Sunday start person, psycho, but you'd start with Sunday. For me it's Monday. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday for all the way through Sunday. Right? All right. So you've got left hand times and at the top, the days of the week. Now, the first thing you're going to do, listen and listen good, my trial attorneys. The first thing you're going to do is put in your time. That's right. The time for you.
So for example, for me, when I get up at 6:30, I give myself a half an hour to do two things. One is to change it to my workout clothes and two is to write my morning pages. So my morning pages are three pages long hand of just whatever's in my brain. I always say it's like a bowel movement for my brain. Just get all the shit out that collected the night before on the page. It's not journaling is just like babbling out loud to someone, but it's on the page. I get that done in about 20 minutes.
I've got my clothes on. I'm on my machine. We've got three machines. We've got a Peloton tread, Peloton bike, analytical. I do a different one every day. I'm on my machine at seven o'clock. I work out till 7:45. I do some stretching. I get in the shower, I get ready and I'm seated at 8:30, either in my gray shades upstairs in our bedroom, or at my desk with some coffee. And now I'm either checking my email or I'm creating my plan for the day when I'm going to eat, whatever it may be. I've got a half an hour to myself with some coffee. All right there, that's my morning routine, 6:30 to 09:00. I've got two and a half hours for me every morning. So I put that in Monday through Friday. And if you know how to use Excel, you just create a box, write that in and then just copy and paste it across. So now my mornings are time mapped.
Then I go to my evenings, because it's very important you have an evening routine. So in my evenings they start at five, well I think my new time map now, see, I'm constantly changing my time maps, are going to start at 4:30PM. So I stop work at 4:30 PM, yeah, I don't don't even work eight hours a day. I work seven and a half hours most days and I take Friday afternoons off. So at 4:30PM, I'm done and I go downstairs and I either do some soul cards collage, which is a spiritual practice that I do. I do my new singing. I haven't told you about my singing bowls yet? Oh my God, they're amazing. So I'm doing my singing bowls. I'm meditating. I'm doing yoga, whatever. I got an hour for myself. I might take a bath, it's different every day to kind of decontaminate the day and get ready for family time. So I put that hour in and oh, I just call it spiritual practice, 04:30PM to 5:30PM, that's Monday through Thursday.
And then 05:30PM to 08:00PM is family time. I'm helping get dinner on the table. Kevin does our cooking, he is a Saint. And I'm seeing if my daughter got her homework done, we eat dinner. We might need to do baths, homework, we might take the dog for a walk, whatever it might be. Get her into bed. She's in bed by 08:00PM. Then Kevin and I say goodbye to each other and he goes downstairs into his man cave and I'm upstairs in my gray shades and from 8:00PM to 10:00PM is my time to read, to practice my Finish, because I want to become more fluent, to journal, to stretch, to get ready for bed, to do all the things. And then I'm in bed by 10:00PM. So I plan all that out.
I block out the entire afternoon on Fridays from lunch on that's my time to go do appointments, chiropractic, acupuncture, just have an afternoon to myself, but I kind of try to put all my appointments in there. Physical therapy, because weird shit is going on with my arm now that I had radiation, all the things I put that on Friday afternoon, if I can.
Then I go and I plan my Saturdays and my Sundays. So my daughter's at grandparents on Friday nights. We have date nights, that's why I didn't put in that spiritual time on a Friday nights because at 5:30PM, well I guess I would put in 04:30PM to 5:30PM and then at 5:30PM on is date night with my husband. So the next morning I blocked like two hours out for coffee, because I want my coffee time. I go and do yoga and then I've got about three hour block of household. So that's where I put all my budgeting. That's where I wash my delicates, whatever it may be for the week. And then the afternoon is with my daughter. On Sunday, that afternoon time Kevin is with our daughter, she gets special time with each one of us on the weekend and I get to do whatever I want to do. Sundays is pretty much unplanned. It's the one day that I just leave unplanned on my schedule, because I don't like to be planned all the time.
All right. So notice how I put in all my stuff first, right? There's some details missing, if you want to see how I live my life, you can buy the course and go check it out, because I walk you through my whole thing. Now I look at what's left. Notice how this is different. Notice how this is different. You tend to put in your work stuff first and then whatever's left is for you. I put me in first. I put family in first. Now when I look back, I see that I have seven and a half hours, really six and a half, because I take an hour lunch every day, work for myself from home. I still take an hour lunch. Well I want to journal and take some time, stretch, whatever, go on a walk and then I have Friday mornings. That's the only time I work.
Now, what's really important about this is when I see what's left for work, I get real clear, real fast about what I'm going to say yes to. Because I know I only have 30-ish hours a week to work and you might think, oh my God, Sari, how could you get shit done? Because I get really choosy about what I am saying yes to and I get focused. When I know I only have 30 hours a week, I get shit done. If I tell myself and you tell yourself and go back to that 40-hour week podcast I did months and months ago, I just could work weekends, I could work evening, then you will. But if I say my time map says I'm with my daughter, my family at 05:30PM and not only that I'm doing my spiritual time at 04:30PM, I got to get this shit done, now. Then I get it done. Put some constraints on yourself, see how that changes your life.
So now I go in and I start putting my work time in there. So now I'm doing 9:00AM to 11:00AM every day, like I said, for my focus time, 11:00AM to 01:00PM and 02:00PM to 04:00PM are for client times, at least on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
I don't see clients on Mondays or Fridays. Why? That 11:00AM to 01:00PM time on Fridays is to meet with my coaches. That 11:00AM to 01:00PM time on Monday is if I need to do any staff meeting, we have one a month, but I might need to meet with them other times. That 02:00PM to 04:30PM time on Monday afternoons, that's miscellaneous time stuff that comes up from the week prior that I didn't schedule out. That's the other thing I schedule everything out in advance. I don't don't keep a to-do list. If there's something my to-do list every week when I do my planning, I schedule it. So there's not this list that's chasing me all the time. I know there's a time that I'm going to be doing that. I cover all of that by the way in the Life By Design course, how to do all of this, how to get away from to-do lists and all the things.
But now, once you have your time map created, here's the beauty of it, is that somebody comes up and it says, Hey, your husband says, Hey, did you pay the landscaper? Right? I don't stop what I'm doing and go, oh, I should do that now, I make a note to do that on my budget time on Saturday. If somebody says, Hey, can you meet and talk about this case? I don't go, "Yeah, let's do it now." I say, "Great, I have an opening during my client time on Tuesday afternoon." If my assistant says, "Hey, can you look at this copy and okay it for an email?" I do it during my miscellaneous time on Monday afternoons or normally the first week of every month, I have a different time map altogether, because I don't see clients at all the first week. That's what I'm doing all my marketing time, my business development time on my podcasting, right?
Oh, we need a podcast. I don't just podcast whenever. I have a podcast day every month. I do five to six podcasts that day. I know when I have time allotted for things. So I'm not just plugging them ever. I'm do it. I'm following my energy cycle. And I also know that I have limited time and I almost so schedule out all my stuff in advance. So if somebody says, can you do this thing? I can say no, because I know what I've got scheduled during that time.
Now here's the caveat. If your time maps aren't working for you, if it's making feel like you're over-scheduled, overbooked, then it's not the right time map. That's why I'm constantly creating time maps, always changing them. I had to change them when I was going through cancer treatment. I had one then. I had to change it when I had a baby, I had to change it when I was nursing. I had to change it when I... I'm constantly changing, it should be a living, breathable document that constantly changes with you.
All right. That's what I got for you on time maps. It's my most favorite time manager tool ever and it comes from oh, Julie Morgenstern. That's her name. I want to make sure that I give her credit and her, Morgenstern, her book, Time Management From the Inside Out. If you want to learn more about time maps, that is the book that I would get. All right. If you want to learn more about time management in general, go ahead and go to fromhostagetohero.com/timemanagement and you can get the Life By Design course. And I think it's awesome and it's great and I'm not sure that we're going to continue to sell it for much longer. We might use it in some different ways. So if you want it, grab it now. Talk soon, my friends.
While you wait for next week's episode, how would you like instant access to exclusive trial skills training on my funnel method for voir dire? Grab a pen and paper so you can jot down the website address for a brand new 16-minute video that will help you win more cases. The free training is called, Let the Jury Solve Your Problems in Three Easy Steps. And I'm even going to send you a workbook to go with it. Now, are you ready for the address? Visit fromhostagetohero.com/training. You'll see me there. Enjoy.
If you liked this episode topic, check out these others:
- Episode #65 – Time Management Tips
- Episode #142 – The One Thing You Need to Absolutely Transform Your Life
- Episode #145 – You Have an Upper Limit Problem
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