I know I’m not the only one with an insanely crazy schedule.Trying to get everything done that I needed and wanted to was impossible. What was suffering the most was my business. I have 5 1/2 hours each school day to work my part-time job, work my business, manager my home, shopping, etc. I work from home so it’s easy to get distracted by all the other things that need to get done. I was feeling so busy, but at the end of the day when I went over what I had accomplished, it wasn’t much. I had heard about time blocking and decided to give it a try. Just for my business schedule for now. Baby steps.
So what exactly is time blocking?
Time blocking is exactly what it sounds like. You schedule a certain amount of time to work on certain tasks. For me, I decided to block off 2 1/2 hours at the start of my work day to devote to my business. I have four blocks of time, each for 30 minutes with a 10-minute break in between. The first two blocks go together and the last two blocks go together. Because there’s a lot of different parts of my business, the first two blocks might be writing and the last two blocks might be for product creation. It differs each day. I’m big into my planners and worksheets so I created a planner specifically for my business so I can plan ahead and I know what I need to work on and when.
For you, time blocking may mean setting a specific time on Saturday for cleaning, the stuff you need to do. Then you can block time for the stuff you want to do. You’ve created a plan, you wrote it down, now you just have to put it into action. Your time block may be for 15 minutes or 45 minutes. Just don’t go too long. Give yourself a short break to get a drink or a snack or a few minutes of Facebook time, whatever you need to jump back in and focus on the task.
Don’t forget to set your timer for your time block and your break to keep you on track.
What if i run out of time?
This has been a big experiment for me.Sometimes I can be hyper-focused, making great progress, and then the timer goes off. If I’m finishing up and it will take me less than five minutes, I finish. If not, I save it for the next time block reserved for what I’m working on or at another time. More on that later.
I do not push aside other tasks on my next time block to keep working on my previous task. Everything on my list for each time block is a must-do. If I really want to complete that other task, I will find time for it. It’s incredible how much less time I spend on busy work when I’m fired up about finishing a task!
Where do you find the extra time?
Glad you asked! I’ve had to get a bit creative. I said I have 5 1/2 hours and 2 1/2 hours are spent on my business. Once my work time is complete, I look at my to-do list. If there is nothing that is a priority, then I keep working. If my other job has some must-do’s and I’m on a deadline, then I have to switch my focus.
Another trick I’ve started is to take my laptop or tablet with me when I take my son to his extracurricular activities. I signed up for Office 365 so I could link it to all of my devices. Y’all, it’s $6.99 a month, the cost of a Starbucks drink. I’m not a fan of Starbucks so I didn’t have to give up drink, but seriously, look into it. I can work on my home laptop, save my work onto OneDrive, and continue to work on my travel laptop at my son’s karate practice. I’m not an affiliate of Microsoft Office, I just happen to love this product. I can even access my OneDrive on my iPad or my phone.
Right now, I’m writing this at dinner time. I sent the boys out for a sushi night so I could stay home and write. I’ve been chomping at the bit to get this finished all day!
how can i track my time blocking?
I just like you so much, I’m sharing my worksheet with you! Actually, mine is in planner form so I’ve created a worksheet for you that’s exactly like mine.
it’s not working for me!
If mine doesn’t work for you, search Pinterest. There are a lot of examples. Don’t see anything that looks like it would work for you? Create your own! Grab a notebook and sketch it out.
It may take some time to figure out what tracking method works for you. In the meantime, give yourself some grace and keep working at it. Just remember, don’t blow off those blocks for your hobbies or your self-care. You need those. They fall into the must-do category to keep you sane.
Let’s chat some more and let me know how time blocking is working for you. Head on over to my Facebook group and start a conversation.
Hey! where’s that worksheet?
If you’re already a member of my free Resource Library, you can find the Block Timing Sheet listed under the Organization Files section. Not a member? That’s okay. It takes just a minute to sign up. You’ll have access to this free file and to all that are linked to other posts. I’m always adding extras just because I appreciate you. When you sign up, you’ll receive an email with the password to my Resource Library. And as a bonus…my weekly newsletters to keep you updated on what’s new.