With so many things going on, it’s easy to get distracted. I love planning but I tend to be a little scatterbrained. I could be working on one task and easily move onto the other
Blocking scheduling isn’t new, it’s been around for ages. It did take me a long time to convince myself that time scheduling would be useful for me though. While planning keeps me organised, I still like to remain flexible. That’s why rather than being too specific, I prefer to block my time in categories:
- Work (my full-time job)
- Housework (cleaning, laundry, mopping, etc.)
- Blog (plan blog posts, social media, affiliate marketing, etc.)
- Etsy Shop (create listings, orders, plan social media)
- Errands (walking the dog, food shopping)
- Studying (I’m completing a distance learning course)
- Social (spend time with partner, family, friends)
MAKE TIME BLOCKING WORK FOR YOU
Time blocking can seem a little overwhelming at first. Scheduling every hour of the day!? It sounds a little extreme, but it isn’t as bad as it first appears. If you schedule every little detail such as shower, breakfast, brush teeth, etc. then you’re going to get overwhelmed. No-one can stick to a schedule that rigid! Unless you’re superwoman of course.
Start off by splitting everything important into categories like I have above. If you plan to colour code your schedule then you give a colour for each category. This help to give you an overview of your schedule and see what tasks you are spending the majority of your time doing.
CREATE A TO-DO LIST
Write down your tasks for the day/week in the relevant categories. For example, research and write blog post would go in ‘Blog’ and pick up parcel from post office will go under ‘Errands’.
As you write your list estimate how long it may take you to complete one task. Once you have your list together you can see how you will need to use your time throughout the week to get your tasks done. Write down everything in your head and allow room for flexibility. Anything can pop up at a minutes notice!
BLOCK OUT YOUR TIME
Now that you have categorized all of your tasks you can begin to add them to your schedule. Start by adding your fixed appointments – dentist, hairdresser visit, gym class, etc.
Next look at your to-do list and decide which tasks need doing the following day. Combine and tally up the total time.
Note: you don’t need to include complete all of the tasks on your to-do list each day.
For example, I might have a ton of things I need to complete under my ‘Blog’ category but tomorrow I want to start to draft next week’s blog post so I’ve dedicated 1 hour for this. I also want to take photographs for social media and blog posts. I’ve also dedicated 1 hour for this too. I have 2 hours tomorrow to work on my blog so I’ll block this out in my schedule. Make sense?
You see there is no prize for ticking off everything on your to-do list. Be realistic with what you can achieve per day or else you’ll only overwhelm yourself!
DON’T FORGET THE SMALL DETAILS
Spending time with family and friends isn’t necessarily a task to complete off your to-do list but it’s a very important element in your life. You may think it’s ridiculous to ‘schedule’ in time with your loved ones but it’s a lot easier than you think to get carried away. There are many times that I’ve worked on my shop or blog as soon as I finish work that it’ll get to 10pm and I’ll realize that I’ve barely spoken to my partner. Although I do think he is secretly glad of the silence!
The point is, while we have so many things to accomplish each day, tasks can still be left until tomorrow. Block out your schedule to spend time with family/friends. Even if it’s something as simple as watching TV together. At least you’re dedicating time to the truly important things.
You’ll see from my time block schedule that I don’t schedule every hour of the day. That’s because I like to remain flexible. At the weekend, unless I have plans set in stone I’ll rarely block off my time at all. You might prefer to schedule in each and every hour of your day. That’s fine! But it is important to allow some flexibility in your schedule.
Anything can crop up at last minute so if you leave time blank to allow for interruptions then you’ll feel less guilty for being able to complete tasks you had planned.
FREE TIME BLOCKING PRINTABLE
You can download this time blocking schedule for free! Available in A5 and A4/Letter.
Plans change quite often? Put your schedule in a photoframe and use wet erase markers so that you can alter your schedule as needed!