Time blocking has become my new productivity best friend! Today I’m sharing Time Blocking 101 plus offering a Free Printable Worksheet to help you stay focused and get more done!
When we moved back to the US I struggled for quite a while to find my groove. The kids are now in school so I have HOURS each day to get things done. So why was I feeling so unaccomplished and overwhelmed at the end of each week?
A common scenario:
I sit down to work, then suddenly remember that I needed to get something important at the store. I close the laptop, stop everything and run to the store. On my way home, I pass the post office, which reminds me about the package I needed to ship. Back at home I’d look for the illusive package and realize just how dirty my floors are. I stop everything and grab the vacuum and out of the corner of my eye, I see my laptop and notebook, still waiting for me.
I had no boundaries on the different areas of my life. Family, home and work were getting all mixed up. Something had to give! I needed to set some boundaries.
Time Blocking 101 plus Free Printable Worksheet
What is Time Blocking?
Time Blocking is creating structure in your days for the different types of tasks. Time blocking is a method that encourages focus by eliminating distractions, helping you to get more done.
I time created FAMILY/HOME, WORK, BLOGGING, and blocks.
FAMILY/HOME blocks help me to protect time with my husband and our children. I also include things likehelping with homework, date nights,bath time, chores, cooking, etc.
WORK blocks were created for focused client work, graphic design, newsletter editing and website management, etc.
BLOGGING blocks give me time to write blogposts, schedule social media, network and research.
You’ll be amazed at how time blocking can increase your productivity! When I sit down to work on my blog I don’t feel pulled away to finish some work or do laundry. I know that I have time scheduled for those things later. It’s so freeing! Time Blocking is simply a guideline for your days and weeks. These guides create structure and a routine that eventually turn into new habits. It’s not a ball-and-chain and can easily be changed or ignored if needed.
What does Time Blocking Look Like?
I don’t block off every day or every minute of every day. I time block what I think are priorities each week. Here’s a peek at my Time Blocking sheet:
Each color represents one of my areas of focus, Family/Home, Work, Blogging and Errands. You’ll notice I don’t block off every moment of each day. Sometimes it’s helpful to block off morning to do a certain task. You’ll see that on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings I block off morning to work.
Create DAILY Time Blocking
Next, I broke down my days even further. I took each day and blocked off an amount of time for some tasks. Breaking down my days has been helping me to close the laptop more and be more present at home. Dinner and bath times are less stressful because I’m not trying to sneak in work, chores or other things during that time.
Here’s an example of what my Mondays look like:
- 6:20am – 8am – Getting kids ready for school
- 8am-12pm – Working, usually at a coffee shop, on client work.
- 1-3pm – Lunch and blogging.
- 4-6pm -Kids are home. Homework with kids, chores and preparing dinner.
- 6-8 – Dinner and bedtime for the kids.
- 8-11 – “Me time” or “us time” – Kevin and I relax, watch some Netflix or discuss the latest funny videos we saw on Facebook. (real life people, real life!)
How Time Blocking Can Increase Your Productivity
Once you have a good basic outline for your week/day you can give yourself permission to stop trying to multitask and start focusing on just one thing at a time. Multitasking just does NOT work for me. Yes, I can do it, but when I do balls drop and I feel overwhelmed. Time Blocking increases my productivity leaps and bounds!
Time Blocking – Free Printable Worksheet
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Download our free worksheet today!