We hope you had a fantastic Easter weekend!
Returning to work after a few lazy days can be a bit of a shock to the system. Suddenly you’re back in the fray; there are deadlines looming, your to-do list is out of control, and how did you inbox manage to fill up over a long weekend?!
Next thing you know you’re frantically responding to emails and trying to tackle three tasks at once with no real plan; just knowing you need to get sh*t done and fast. But there is a much better way to use your time and energy (with no panic mode necessary!); it’s called balcony time and it can dramatically increase your productivity, motivation and performance.
What is balcony time?
Balcony time is a concept that encourages us to step away from all of the tasks vying for our attention, and instead allow ourselves the mental space to plan our time strategically, so that we can make our greatest possible contribution.
The name of this concept comes from an analogy about being at a dance; what you experience on the dance floor is very different to what you observe if you get up on to the balcony. The dance floor allows you to see a high level of detail but your vision is limited to the things in your immediate vicinity. In the commotion of the dance floor you can easily lose track of space, time, and your companions. When you get up on the balcony, you’re able to look down at all the movement below in a holistic way, allowing greater perspective and clarity.
Here’s how to get started
- Carve out time in your diary at the start of every week to get on the balcony. Block it out so you won’t schedule any meetings or appointments over it. We recommend 30 minutes to an hour
- Don’t respond to emails and avoid answering your phone during balcony time
Ask yourself the following, and make notes:
- What is the one thing I can do this week that will make the highest contribution to my workplace/business?
- What else is important?
- What do I need to do in order to go to sleep peacefully tonight?
- What deadlines do I need to be aware of?
- Is there anything time-sensitive in my calendar that I have missed?
Now go through your list and edit it by asking yourself:
- Will this activity make the highest possible contribution towards my work goals?
- What on this list will I say no to?
- What can I delegate?
- What could I do more efficiently and effectively?
- From your list, choose your top 3-4 priorities for the week
- Map the right amount of time to complete these priorities in your calendar
- Look at your top priorities and ask yourself:
- What are the obstacles standing between me and getting these priorities done?
- How can I remove them?
- Do I need help? From whom?
- Make a note to remind yourself how to remove the obstacles should they come up
By this point you should know what you need to do, when you are going to do it, and how long it will take to complete. This allows you to start the week on the right foot, and end it feeling rightfully accomplished!
Try out balcony time and let us know how it goes!
The Inkling Women team xo