I could be spending my time better


Hey friends,

This week, I realised I’d been bullshitting myself a bit.

I thought I was doing a good job at prioritising and protecting my calendar, but I still felt like I was struggling to find deep work blocks for writing or filming.

When I shared this sentiment with my team in a meeting, they were shocked.

“Ali, those are the two most important things you should be working on right now. What else are you spending time on?”

I shared what my usual week ends up looking like on a whiteboard, and we started to cancel out slots that didn’t make sense. There were the usual things that came with running a business like finance meetings or 1:1’s, random calls that I’ve said yes to, or time with my team to review stuff.

All of these are objectively useful ways to spend my time, but when they’re spread out throughout the week it feels like you’re playing whack-a-mole between calendar events and trying to get your work done.

Now, the answer isn’t necessarily to start saying no to everything because there’s a balance to strike here – but I had a realisation that I’d had total calendar blindness up until this conversation.

After a bit of back and forth, here’s what we came up with (if you can decipher my scribbles):

Now I have:

  • 3 solid filming blocks a week – that should give me enough time to film 2-3 videos and a load of short-form content
  • Protected time to write – I’m currently working through edits from my book publisher and need to keep on top of this to meet the deadline
  • Protected time for calls – I love having chats with other creators and brands but they’re usually spread throughout the week and hard to keep track of. One of my team members suggested I just set up a calendly for these kind of ‘exploratory’ calls, and only allow people to book on Wednesday afternoons. That way, I’m in the mindset to chill and chat every Wednesday and I can still say yes to things.
  • All of Monday dedicated to PTYA (Part-Time YouTuber Academy) as we are running our last live cohort and I want to make sure our sessions are absolutely epic. This will only be in the calendar for the next four-five weeks, and then that time will be given back to filming and other high-level things.

It felt like a weight was lifted simply by crowd-sourcing how I could spend my time better.

It also made me think – people switch through seasons of life, but we don’t necessarily update our calendars or thinking to reflect that. Sometimes you’re in a learning or studying stage, sometimes you’re in an output stage, and sometimes you might be in a rest stage. We should have these regular check-ins to make sure we’re not being calendar-blind and working against ourselves.

This week, why not try asking a friend or colleague if they have 20 minutes to run through your calendar and priority list with you? Or, ask yourself ‘how am I complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?’

Have a great week!

Ali xx

☕️ Morning Brew – My Morning Read

I actually look forward to reading Morning Brew every day, for a number of reasons. It’s a daily newsletter that covers the most important stories in business, technology, finance and world news. Plus, it only takes five minutes to catch up on the news and get an overview of things that I’m interested in.

Also, it’s completely free and very accessible, with stories delivered to your inbox first thing in the morning. Subscribe for free using this link, if you’re interested!

Thanks to Morning Brew for sponsoring this issue of Sunday Snippets 🙏

♥️ My Favourite Things

👟 Shoes – On Running ‘Cloud’ Trainers. I’ve not really been wearing anything else recently. They’re super comfortable, easy to slip on and keep clean.

📚 Book – Mistborn: ‘The Lost Metal’. I’m on a roll with my re-read of the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. I honestly couldn’t say enough good things about this series, and would recommend ‘The Final Empire’ (first book of the series) to anyone who wants to pick up a new fantasy fiction book.

🎮 Game – Hogwarts Legacy. I often think ‘What will I wish I did more of when I’m older?’ and one of my answers is to have played more video games. I finally got around to playing the Harry Potter game this past weekend, racking up 4 hours of playtime. Had to make it #productive and get in 15,000 steps on my portable treadmill at the same time lol.

🌟 Course – Intentional Life Design. My former life coach (and current friend) Corey Wilks is running the third cohort of his live 5-week course. The point of the course is to improve your decision-making, and help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It covers the same topics Corey and I worked on when i was having 1:1 sessions with him, but in live cohort format. Sign-up closes on the 7th of April. Btw, this isn’t sponsored, not even an affiliate link, I just love Corey’s way of doing things and I reckon you will too.

🏃🏽 Walking-pad – That brings me onto my next favourite – I’ve had this portable treadmill for the past few months and it’s been a total game changer. Paired with my standing desk, I have a really solid work from home setup that also helps me to stay active.

🎬 My New Videos

🎯 My Personal & Business Goals for 2023 (Life Update) – I thought it’d be fun to check in and chat through my goals in the 3 most important areas of my life: work, health and relationships. It’s a rambly one but hopefully sparks some ideas on how you could be thinking about your own goals 🙂

🧠 How To Optimise Your Brain – An Evidence-Based Guide – We take care of our skin, try to eat healthier food, exercise often, but we don’t think about optimising for overall brain health. This video looks at the actionable ways we can look after our noggins and future-proof against health conditions, such as taking brain-care supplements or focusing on mental clarity.

✍️ Quote of the Week

“The primacy of progress among the key three influences on inner work life is what we call the progress principle: of all the positive events that influence inner work life, the single most powerful is progress in meaningful work.”

From The Progress Principle by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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