Time Ratios – Questions and Answers About the Model

Here are some questions posed to me by a participant in the webinar Creating Grace, Space, & Pace with Your Own “Just Whelmed” Calendar regarding the types of time ratios to consider for the Just Whelmed Professional. I am sharing these questions and my answers so that they might help you, too.

Here is the time ratio model the participant is referring to that was presesented in the webinar:

Types of Time for the Just Whelmed Professional:

  • Free time 1:7 (i.e. 1 day out of 7 needs to be totally free!)

  • Fixed time 2:7 (i.e. appointments, classes, committee meetings, etc.)

  • Focus Time 2:7 (i.e. project work, grading, writing reports, committee work, reading dissertations, deadline-driven tasks – that are important of course)

  • Flow Time 2:7 (i.e., creative work, planning, dreaming, working on things with deadlines in the future, working on projects that have no deadline, thinking, etc.)

Q. I have been trying this out (time ratios) and I have some questions and issues. It feels like this presumes a 6-day work week. Or would you consider 1-day out of the weekend to be “fixed” for the necessary household chores, etc.?

I do tend to think of the week as having 7 days – with potentially using all 7 of them for work (since I tended to do that as a teacher and a professor and struggle with that still while being on my own working “for myself.” So, with that being said, I also see “work” as something that is both personal and professional. So, for most people (I think), even if they aren’t doing any of their professional “work” 6 days of the week, there are times that they need to do their personal work (wash clothes, pay bills, make doctor’s appointments, check in with parents and drive them around, reorganize closets, do yard work, get the car washed, etc.). So, I’m trying to have people think about having one whole day a week that is really free from as much of that intensity (personal or professional) as possible where you’re really just “free.”

Q. As I’m asking this question, I suppose one weekend day could be half fixed and half flow. Anyway, my point is I think most of us probably need a “fixed” day just to account for all the things that need to be done at home. That only leaves one “fixed” day for work and given the nature of my work I probably need 2. As a development officer I need to average 4-5 face-to-face meetings with donors and prospects per week in order to make my monthly target. A donor meeting, plus the prep time and debriefing, could easily be a half-day.

Yes, it does sounds like your fixed days are going to be more – because you need to FOCUS on those folks you’re meeting with – preparing for them and then the follow up. The F2F meetings are fixed, but your focus time around that is pretty intense – and needs to be “affixed” in close proximity.

Q. So I guess my ratios should really be:

  • 1:7 Free day
  • 3:7 Fixed days (1 for home/personal and 2 for work)
  • 2 Focused days
  • 1 Flow day

I think this makes sense for you, given the nature of your work. As long as you are carefully keeping all your appointments and “this has to happen at this time” jobs and appointments on those 3 days and really leaving your other three flow/focused days without exact time commitments, I think this can make great sense for you.

To learn more about the full webinar, just go to Creating Grace, Space, & Pace with Your Own “Just Whelmed” Calendar – and you may register and receive the recording and ALL the materials right away.

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