I’m sure you can relate to this. You wake up, look at your phone and see that the day ahead is crammed with meetings, tasks, calls, and errands.
The list goes on, and it’s hard to know where to start first. It feels like there’s no time for any of the other things in life that matter – like family time or exercise!
When we feel overwhelmed by our schedules, it can be easy to fall into a cycle of feeling stuck – like running on a hamster wheel. But there are ways out – one of which is using a technique known as time blocking.
If you are struggling with how to plan your schedule, then this blog post is for you. I’ll be covering time blocking and how it can help you take control of your schedule. And I even have a free time block schedule template that you can download!
So, if you’re ready, let’s get started!
What is time blocking?
Time blocking is a technique that helps you organize, prioritize, and schedule all your tasks into specific periods of time. It’s a great way to stay productive throughout the day. I like to think of it as putting your to-do list on steroids.
You can allocate specific blocks of time to completing tasks or working on projects. In other words, you schedule tasks to be completed at a particular time. For example, you can assign a time block for social media engagement rather than doing it intermittently throughout the day.
You can plan for the whole day or week with this method! Time blocks are flexible. You can decide if you want to work in 30-minute blocks, 1-hour blocks, 2-hour blocks, etc. You can even mix and match throughout the day or week.
Time blocking helps you become more intentional about the way you spend your days. It’s also one of my favorite ways to stay organized.
What are the benefits of time blocking?
Time blocking helps you stay focused, prevents multitasking, and gives you more control over your day. You’ll manage your time better because you have structure to your day.
Let’s break that down.
You’ll be able to stay focused
Time blocking prevents you from jumping from one task to another and getting distracted. Instead, you can finish a time block and move on to the next one without distractions or interruptions.
When you time block, every task gets your full, undivided attention.
It will help you avoid multitasking
As busy entrepreneurs, we have a lot of balls in the air. It’s tempting to try to multitask, but seriously, multitasking is a bad idea. Attempting to multitask results in lower productivity and increased chances of making mistakes.
Why? You’re not really multitasking; you are “task switching.”
With time blocking, you can train yourself to work on one task at a time.
You’ll feel more in control of your day
You’ll feel more in control of your day by blocking out time for all your tasks instead of racing from one thing to the next.
Busy workdays can be stressful and leave us feeling overwhelmed and frazzled.
Once you get used to time blocking, you’ll find that you don’t overschedule yourself because you know how much work can actually get done in a day.
And that feeling of control is empowering. You know exactly what task each hour or block involves. You don’t have to wonder if you are doing the right thing.
The advantages of using a time block schedule template
So we’ve talked about the benefits of time blocking. What about the advantages of using a time block template?
First and foremost, templates are awesome! When you use a template, you don’t have to re-create the wheel every single day.
And you’ll find that you often perform the same tasks at the same time every day or every week. So you can add that to your template. That way, you aren’t always starting from scratch.
As promised, here’s the free Time Block Schedule Template so you can make your own weekly schedule. It’s a Google sheet, so you can use it onscreen or print out a hard copy. Whichever works better for you.
How does the time block schedule system work?
Here are some simple steps to follow to create your own time blocking system. It will help you keep your day on track and make it more productive.
Step 1: Make a list of your tasks for the week
The first step is to list all the tasks you need to complete for the next week.
- Review your calendar.
- Consult your master task list or to-do list app.
- Do a brain dump.
Get it all out of your head.
Step 2: Estimate how long each task will take
Next, estimate how long each task will take.
You don’t want to underestimate how long tasks will take–or overestimate either! You don’t want to schedule two hours for an hour-long task. And you certainly don’t want to squeeze ten hour-long tasks into half a day!
If this seems daunting, don’t worry. It gets easier with practice.
Step 3: Prioritize your tasks
At this point, if you are anything like me, you have more that you want to do than hours in the day. That means it’s time to prioritize.
Identify the tasks that are most important or that have a looming deadline. You’ll want to make sure you have room for them in your schedule.
Then figure out what you can eliminate or postpone. Think about it this way: What would be the worst thing that could happen if you didn’t get to a certain task this week or on a particular day?
Step 4: Assign tasks to specific times
Next, you want to put your tasks into time blocks. That’s the real key to time blocking: each task gets its own block. So how do you go about assigning a task to a particular time slot?
First, consider what time of day you are most alert and productive. For many people, that’s the morning. If that’s true for you, then block off your early morning hours for high-focus tasks. It’s a good idea to have dedicated time set aside for high-focus or creative work. Otherwise, it never seems to happen, right?
Personally, I need a couple of cups of coffee before I tackle that kind of work. So if you’re like me and you’re not an early bird, then schedule your high-focus work for later in the day. But do go ahead and block time for your regular morning routine.
Then consider what’s realistic for your day. For example, if you have to drop the kids at school or if you have meetings every morning at 9:00, block that into your daily schedule. Then you can make sure to schedule tasks around your appointments.
Also, build in time for breaks throughout the day. It’s important to take a break to keep yourself refreshed and focused. And don’t forget to block out leisure time. You want to make sure that you have balance between your work and your life.
Step 5: Put it into action
After you’ve planned out your time block schedule, it’s time to put it into action.
Start with the first block of the day and go to work. When you finish the first block, move on to the next.
Set timers on your phone to help you keep up with the blocks. That way, you can get into focus mode without having to pay attention to the clock.
If you find that you didn’t finish a task in the allotted time, don’t panic. This is your schedule. You can either decide that what you have done is “good enough” and move on. Or you can adjust your blocks to keep working on that task.
Next steps: Review and revise
Once a day, review your schedule and revise as needed.
You’ll never be completely accurate with your time estimates, and that’s okay. This is a plan. It’s not written in stone.
Did something take longer to complete than you anticipated? Was there an unexpected interruption in your day? Or, on the positive side, did you finish something faster than you thought you would?
Take a moment to revise your time blocks for the new day to reflect your current reality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Set up Your Time Block Scheduling Template
In this post, I’ve discussed the benefits of time blocking and how to use a time block scheduling template. I hope you find these ideas helpful in planning your schedule for your business.
And don’t forget that you can grab my easy-to-use time block scheduling template below.