Blog: Simplify Your Life
Free, Focus, And Buffer Days
A number of years ago, I was introduced to a way of viewing time (developed by personal coach Dan Sullivan) that really resonated with me. It offers a very simple system for using your time in the most efficient way possible. He suggests that you break your schedule into three distinct segments.
Balance Your Free, Focus, And Buffer Days
"Focus days" are those in which you do nothing but focus on your job, on those activities that bring home the bacon (seeing clients, making sales calls, writing, painting, crunching numbers, whatever earns you a living). On "free days," you do no work at all (you take that entire day to simply rest, relax, have fun, and recharge the old batteries). And then "buffer days" are for all of those little chores that have to be done, but don't really make you any money (administrative work, personal errands, dentist appointments, trips to the library, etc.).
This philosophy makes it incredibly easy to draw clear boundaries around your time. You are simply going to focus on one type of activity all day long -- no confusion and no waffling about what to do. If someone asks you to do work on a "free day" or do some mindless chore on a "focus day" -- the answer is "no," plain and simple. It also creates an automatic sense of balance between the many activities in your life, requiring you to spend some of your time at work and some at play.
More importantly, you really do use your hours more efficiently when you settle into one mindset for the entire day. It's the mental (and physical) switching of gears that slows us down, eats up so much of our time, and distracts us from really enjoying what we are doing at that moment. But this is not a rigid system. You can label as many days in a week as "free" or "focus" or "buffer" as you need to, and you have the freedom to change a day's activities around at will. I've even broken it down further, counting my time before lunch as a "focus" period, and the time after lunch (when I'm sort of brain dead) as a "buffer" zone. Although you may not have total control over your schedule -- especially when you work a 9 to 5 job -- you can still apply these principles to your life, making weekdays "focus" days, setting aside one day a week for "buffer" activities, and saving at least one weekend day as "free."
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posted on: 3/20/2012 11:30:00 AM by Ramona Creel
category: General Organizing Tips
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by Ramona Creel
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I have been a Professional Organizer for more than 10 years, I am a NAPO Golden Circle member, and I was the original founder of OnlineOrganizing. I have worked one-on-one with scores of clients and have trained dozens of newbie organizers as they got started in the industry. I provide both hands-on and virtual coaching to help clients improve their organizing skills and simplify their lives. I invite you to visit my website at http://www.RamonaCreel.com, and I challenge you to find one new idea that you can put into practice in your life, to help you become better organized, starting TODAY! I am passionate about coaching folks toward a more balanced, productive, and enjoyable life -- and I firmly believe that if I can do it, so can you!
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