Saturday, October 17, 2020

Using Jordan Page’s Block Schedule with Some Edits

It is a night at home, my list of "quiet," after-bedtime chores are finished. I have retired to reading and writing for the night. These are my two passions in between busy routines. 

And I wanted to share one method to add a bit of routine, efficiency, and quality to your day. It is Jordan Page's Block Schedule. You can read about it on her website here

In the article and the YouTube video, she outlines how a daily schedule is similar to a class schedule in high school. She then goes to separate her day into "Blocks" that make sense for her daily life centered around being an active person, a mother, a wife, a homemaker, a friend, and a relative.

What I loved most about this approach was that not one of these roles was taken for granted, put on the proverbial back burner of life. And that got me to fully pay attention. 

Her schedule of Blocks includes carved out hours either defined by external responsibilities or personal preference when she commits to specific tasks and once the "Block" is over, she moves onto a different task without dwelling. 

So, I tried it. And I loved it. 

I specifically loved it because it was a really good way to adjust to a more hectic morning routine. 

My particular Blocks are different between weekdays and weekends, with the exception of vacations and holidays.

My weekday routine is as follows:

Block 1: 1 to 2 hours

1. Wake up

2. Get ready

3. Get the kids ready (hygiene, vitamins, medicine)

4. Change diapers/take trips to the potty

5. Have breakfast

6. Prepare pumping equipment

7. Prepare bottles and daycare necessities

8. Prepare to leave by putting on shoes and outer wear

9. Drop children off at daycare

Block 2: 9 hours

1. Complete emails

2. Setup meetings

3. Work on long-term projects

4. Break for lunch and pump

5. Work on short-term projects

6. Attend meetings

7. Work on any projects that are due

8. Coordinate with clients and internal teams

Block 3: 2 hours

1. Pick up children from daycare

2. Come home

3. Have dinner

4. Do dishes

5. Play with children until bedtime

6. Change diapers, complete trips to the potty 

7. Help Baby 1 with nighttime routine

8. Settle Baby 2 to bed

Block 4: 3 hours

1. Decompress

2. Complete any necessary or not necessary chores

3. Read

4. Write

5. Play the Sims

6. Plan the day for tomorrow

7. Catch up with friends over zoom

8. Shower

9. Get ready for bed

Block 5: 8 hours

1. Sleep 

2. Wake up again and again as needed

I followed this schedule and although I vary my routine during the weekend, especially when I can have a few more minutes of sleep, I love the structure during my weekdays. 

Following this block schedule I know that I haven't forgotten something along the way like vitamins or medicine. This Block schedule is also a great way to share parenting or caregiver duties since it shows everything that the child needs to have in a day and what a parent or caregiver needs to do to facilitate activities.

As you can see, or imagine, I do not get to do my entire Block 4 in 3 hours each day. I would need more hours. And that's okay. I end up doing what suits the evening the best. Most of the time that is listening to an audio book and writing since I end up moving quite a lot at work and while playing with my children. 

I think one of the great takeaways from Jordan Page's block schedule is that I end up building healthy boundaries in my day for mental health. While I do not compartamentalize 100%, I do put limits on the ammount of chores I do during the day while the kids are awake so that I can play with them more. 

Since I have young children who always want me to play with them, I have this fear that once they are old enough, maybe well in their teenage years, that they will not want me to play with them, or talk to them as much. So I try to maximize our time with quality time. And I figured I could do chores during the day at some point later in life when my children are not interested in playing with toys or hide and seek, or peekaboo. 

Another great takeaway is the capacity to slowly build a schedule over time. It takes a while to get the whole family used to something and this way, you have a few broad strokes that you can then develop further into more granular detail. For example, I would like to have some help with chores once each child in my family has reached a necessary maturity level. Well, they cannot learn if they do not ever see the chore being done, if they do not participate in the chore, if they do not undertstand all of the actions associated with completing the chore. Therefore, some chores will start to be completed during the morning or the evening to start incorporating these chores into my family's routine instead of just my routine.

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