Feeling tired, anyone? Regain control over your life by using time blocking for chronic fatigue syndrome self-help. While we may not be able to utilize our ideal amount of energy each day, we can plan in advance as best we can to utilize the energy we do have in the best possible way. When do you recover your energy, you will know that you did everything you could with your time that you needed to. And, you will have an amazing habit developed for using your time wisely in the future.
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I was one of those quiet, weird kids who loved writing down my homework assignments in my planner and crossing off finished items off my to do list. By the time I finished my education, though, I was burnt out with all thing academia and unfortunately that included my sense of organization, prioritization and goal focused activities. Maybe this resonated with you, too.
A lot of overachievers can fall into this category.
Unfortunately, burn out can happen to the best of us. I don’t know a single person who has never been burnt out at one point in their life or another. The trend seems to be on the increase, given the world we live in.
An especially stressful and grueling period of my early adult life sent me seeking help, and I realized that I was on the wrong track because I had stopped being the CEO of my life. Since nature abhors a void, I had abdicated my power to [name the person] and was pretty darn miserable. I felt helpless.
This led me on a journey of learning everything I could about goal setting and achieving more with my life, but with more of a balance this time around.
This would come in handy as I battled with endometriosis, chronic stress, overwhelm, emotional upheaval and fatigue.
Overtime, life has settled into a more calm and manageable clip. But even when it’s not, I know I can handle things because of many factors. One of those being strong organizational skills and using planners and daily time blocking schedulers.
I’m not all work, work, work. Nope, that leads to burn out. But I do use time blocking schedulers to help me schedule in the balance I need to stay charged up.
Chronic Fatigue and Frequently Asked Questions
If some of you are reading this and are feeling tired, burnt out and overwhelmed, well this is for you. Don’t be too hard on yourself wherever you are at right now.
First, I want to address some common questions surrounding chronic fatigue and living life.
How do you live a productive life with chronic pain?
I’ve discussed in past posts about some of my trials and travails with endometriosis and related symptoms. It certainly is possible to live with chronic pain, but it sure does wear ya down. When my chronic pain was at it worst, I learned to plan around the worst of the flares. I would still make plans, but make different plans around my painful cycle.
The other side of chronic physical pain is the emotional pain that can often accompany it. This was be trickier to plan for and manage. For example, you may not know that you will encounter a trigger that day and encountering it can send you off into a tailspin lasting hours or days. Maybe someone was thoughtless or you were more tired than you anticipated and an extra burden landed on your full plate.
It’s helpful to know your triggers and delve deep into learning to float through them with more ease and detachment. Maybe it’s time for a life coach appointment, a therapy appointment or pastoral advisement. There are so many incredible books that were like free therapy for me when I was dealing with daily triggers, and I highly recommend reading about whatever is triggering you.
How do you get things done when you have chronic fatigue?
So, what are you to do if you’re feeling paralyzed and drained? Having a time block planner really has helped me stay on track on a daily basis. It’s like you’re still in school but you could be any age.
Maybe at first, you’re just prioritizing the basics day to day. Things like bathing, hair trims, staying hydrated, and getting a good amount of fruits and vegetables and proteins might be one place you could start. Spoonies, or those who have chronic illness and get periodic energy zaps, may really be able to related to this. Seeing just how much you are doing consistently can be incredibly motivating.
Other Ways to Stay Productive When You’re Always Exhausted
I’ve written quite a bit about productivity guides for people with chronic health issues because they served an important role in my healing journey and for helping me stay committed to my goals. While health issues can take up a big portion of your life, they don’t always have to be all-consuming. But I found that I had a hard time doing other things because I was habitually worried about my health. So, by focusing on ways to stay productive, I forced myself to doing something positive for myself even if I didn’t initially feel like it.
Basically, this was the equivalent to my parent self telling my scared child self it was time to keep moving and put on my pretty walking boots. Hey, we all need limits sometimes on our stuck behavior.
So, here’s a short list of things that I did to stay productive even when I was mentally or physically drained (or the trifecta…a combo of both):
(1) I worked on getting order in my life by doing a simple life assessment. I worked with a gifted life coach, and you can too, or you can simply fill out this circle and do some self-assessment. Are there areas you are stuck in? Are there areas you are happy in? What area do you want to focus on first?
(2) I began to focus more on the positive, including the power of positive words using a word of the month or a word of the year. In my post you can even download examples of words for every month out of the year to spark your inspiration (free printable for subscribers).
(3) I began to give my stressed-out reptilian-amygdala-brain some rest and began to practice self-care regularly, daily even. When you read this post, I’ll give you ideas for how to make a day of self-care fun and easy, as well as send your 100 easy self-care activities that you can start right now to ease up. Wanna feel like you are going on vacation? Practice these soon!
(4) Give your nervous system a break and simply design a space in your home where you feel at home and easily inspired. I used design principles to create a cozy work nook in my home where I do my work, planning, creating and ideating. You can get inspired using some of the same principles I used or find your own. Research has documented that people feel more depressed and fatigued working in an ugly, disorganized working environment as opposed to a beautiful, organized space.
(5) I absolutely created a vision board! When you’re exhausted, your attention span isn’t as reliable as you might want it to be. Plus, the world we live in seems to work only in short spurts further training us to be short-term thinkers. But you need to develop some long-term thinking skills so that when you make use of your time, you are actually killing two birds with one stone and reaching your goals at the same time. Be picky about what you love the most, and make a vision board based on what you would love to accomplish or based upon your idea lifestyle. Make room for what you’d like to be there soon.
These are the style I used for my vision boards. I have two, one is small and one is the larger size. I love how they work with my study’s aesthetic.
(6) You could also do a 30 day challenge. You could do it on whatever fits your fancy. Maybe it relates to your vision board and your ordered life inventory, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe doing it will make your life easier in the long run. Maybe you’re so fatigued that you just want to make sure you have food in the fridge each day and you do bulk meal making once a week; or, you minimalize your clothes closet so you always know what you have and what you can wear daily. The sky is the limit. What would be the most helpful for you day-to-day?
Why Time Blocking?
Time blocking is an organization skill that helps you plan out your day hour by hour. Each hour is considered a block on a planner template.
Some people say time blocking doesn’t work. Why time blocking doesn’t work sometimes has to do with your level of commitment or a lack of control of your schedule. Some of our livelihoods include a lot unpredictability in our schedules. So, it’s important to adjust as you need to for your life.
Time blocking helps you focus on doing what you can in the time you have under your control. Nearly all of us have time in the morning and evening that is to be used at our discretion, even if our 9-5 is unpredictable.
Time Blocking Example
What about if the morning is your best time for yourself? Well, you could start a new habit of getting up a half hour earlier and filling that half hour with some priorities.
If you usually get up at 6:30 a.m., you now will get up at 6:00 a.m. and you can fill that time with stretching, getting hydrated, reading something enlightening, prayer, or setting your goals for the day.
It’s just another helpful tool to use at your disposal.
Time Blocking Categories
Here are some popular time blocking categories:
- The morning routine time block
- The bedtime routine time block
- Weekend meal planning, grocery shopping and bulk cooking time blocking
- Side-hustle time blocks
- Relationship focused time-blocks
The list goes on and on, and can be used in any way that is helpful.
Time Blocking Template
Want to snag your very own time-block templates? Head over to KiteAnchorPlanners on Etsy for the current selection of printables that will make your life more manageable. The current bundles include two time-blocking templates in the Printable Ultimate Morning Routine Planner Pack.
I hope you now know how using time blocking for chronic fatigue can be a game changer in your life and in reaching your dreams.
The opposite to feeling overwhelmed is to be resourceful. You have a choice to take a baby step or to stay still. Which will you choose? Let us know in the comments below!
May you always see the choices available to you!