Organization · Routine · work

Time Blocking

I was going to write a blog and video on the how to on time blocking.  But as every blogger knows you do you research ahead of time to see what content already exists and also have references.

Well behold, I don’t need to do a video about time blocking and the benefits as my fellow coach Amy Landino who has some of the same work/life balance philosophies and I do and her video’s are edutainmentable.  This video is her showing you how to timeblock using Google Calendar (it works pretty much the same in Apple or Outlook.)

Now I promise I will do a video featuring my way of time blocking using apple as I know many of you are doing the same as I do – apple everything with my google emails/calendar/tasks in one space:

It makes it so easy for me to manage all my calendars in one space.  Now I know Google Calendar can do this same thing with forwarding and such but I have not used google mail as my main work space in over 2 decades as I’ve been an Apple or Outlook user.

Here is what you need to know – no matter if you’re Paper Planner, Outlook, Google or Apple user for your time blocking.  Create time each week to start this process (I do mine every Sunday):

  1. Write down what you need to get done for the day, week or month
  2. Allocate how much time each item will take
    If the task will take you longer than 60 minutes can you break it up into bit sized chunks?
    i.e. Create YouTube video. This can take hours to complete so break it up into chunks – write scripting, film, edit, post & blog
  3. Prioritize the tasks
  4. Determine your most productive time of the day for the highest priority and type of task
    • For instance if you are creative in the morning you will want to write or design during that time
    • if you are a zombie in the morning (like me) doing automatic things like household chores, email sorting etc. then you need to schedule those tasks during those times
  5. Create “book ends” in you calendar
    • Morning routines
    • How do you disconnect from work
    • Make time for family, friends & hobbies
  6. “Block” into calendar
    • open new appointment or write into paper planner the “task” for the appointment slot
    • drag how long you allocated (or manually change the time) for the task
    • if you are color coding make sure to use the correct color for the task (home, work, appointment, errand)
    • reminder to add prep or drive time to the allocated time

Some caveat to this system:

  • If you are interrupted and the “task” time blocked didn’t complete then make sure to schedule another time in the day, week or month to complete the task
  • Bookends are sometimes more important then the tasks themselves – if you don’t make time for family/friends your life will suffer for it
  • Make time and shift between shallow and deep task.   For instance – doing customer focused things all day can wear you out (on the phone for 8 hours all day on Monday) switch the tasks around so you give yourself “mini” breaks
  • Schedule time for returning phone messages, emails – this will ensure they don’t take over you life (similar to the “Big Rocks” by Franklin Covey)
  • Add you daily, weekly & monthly to do lists in there too – 15 min increments work well with online calendars
  • Place buffers between tasks 
  • Schedule breaks – 15 min get up from the computer break or lunches
  • When starting overestimate how long everything will take – you will thank me for this as it will help you feel less rushed (little things like phone calls and texts will interrupt your time slot until you build the boundaries)
  • Set an overflow day – this is that day where you have not filled in tasks to help you complete deadlines and such
  • Update or change as needed
  • Be forgiving with yourself if you fall behind – after all this is a new habit and it can take a while for you to “nail” this. There are days I still have to be forgiving

The biggest thing – If you choose this method STICK TO IT.  Don’t fill it in and not honor what you promised yourself you we’re going to do during that hour.  You kiddo being sick (or yourself) can mess with your entire day…that is what the overflow day is for.

If you find yourself having a hard time with this process – contact me!  I love doing time blocking and have decades of experience using this method both in corporate America and as an entrepreneur.

Thank you for join me in my life living in organized chaos. Make sure to book your FREE 30 minute consult today!

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