7 Steps To Time Blocking
The first time I was introduced to creating blocks of time in my schedule, I was so excited!
My life was CRAZY busy, still working my 9-5, trying to build my business, all the mom duties, and my poor husband - definitely didn't have time to squeeze him in. ;) Plus, I’m a Planner (do you know your style? Click here to take the quiz) and I love systems, organization, productivity and learning all the things!
So incorporating this new calendar system was right up my alley! However, if that’s not you and you’re a Hustler and like to fly by the seat of your pants, I’m telling you sister - this is still for you too. It’s similar to budgeting. You have control and you get to tell your time what to do. You still have freedom, because you can switch things around. You can schedule in your fun or free time.
Time blocking does a couple of things for me:
1. It gives me distinct “work hours”. When we’re working from home it’s easy to get distracted with all the things happening around you. Or if you’re like me, it’s easy to work all the time and forget to cook dinner. By giving yourself work hours, you’re telling yourself when your business is Open & Closed. And you have the control. Isn’t that why you want to work for yourself anyway? You can decide when those hours are and they don’t even have to be consecutive. Maybe your hours are 7-9 AM, 1-2 PM & 7-9 PM. Maybe they’re different times each day. You decide.
2. Time blocking also allows me to be sure to schedule in all the tasks that need to be done. It’s really easy for me to sign up for a new online course and then spend the next week soaking it all in but not do anything else to grow my business. By scheduling blocks of time with different tasks, I’m able to be sure that I’m also networking, mentoring, taking care of my customers, etc. You know, the things that actually bring in the moolah.
Here's How To Time Block:
Step 1 - Get a Calendar.
If you love paper calendars snag your favorite or you can use THIS download, which also has instructions on using your paper calendar. Otherwise use the one on your phone. I love using my Google Calendar! I always have it with me and it makes it really easy to adjust.
Step 2 - Create Categories.
In my google calendar, I do this by creating multiple calendars. I have my main one for all my family & personal appointments and tasks. Then my other categories are as follows: Admin/Planning, Business, Customers, Network/Prospect. Choose categories that work for you.
Step 3 - Non-Negotiables.
Fill in your calendar with all the "must do" items. This would include taking/picking up kids from school, appointments, family time, date night, etc. These are the items in your calendar that can’t be missed or changed. For me, these go in my main calendar category.
Step 4 - Create blocks in your weekly schedule for the various categories.
I like to try to add a theme to each day. For Mondays, I do a lot of admin & business blocks. I do more Networking on Tuesdays & Thursdays. I do a lot of customer care on Wednesdays. But you can mix it up to fit whatever works for you. When I fill in my schedule, I like to visually see where I’m spending my time, and then adjust as needed. So if I’m spending way too many hours on admin tasks, I shorten that and increase my networking tasks. I want to be sure I’m spending enough hours doing the things that matter the most.
Step 5 - Fill in the details.
This part is really important. It’s not enough to just say you’re going to work on customer retention from 3-4 PM, you also need to jot down what EXACTLY you’re going to do. Are you making phone calls? Are you sending texts or email? Are you creating a new campaign and sending it out? Get specific, or else you’ll be wasting time figuring out what you need to do.
Step 6 - Set Reminders.
One of the reasons I love a digital calendar is that I can set reminders for each block. That way I know it’s time to stop working on planning my next event and when it’s time to switch gears to something else. This is really the only way time blocking works for me. If you’re using your paper calendar, you can still set alarms so you know when your blocked times are ending/beginning.
Step 7 - Adjust. Sundays are my days to rest, rejuvenate and get ready for the week. This is when I look at my calendar. Again, this is another plug for a digital calendar. Since you can set each of your blocks as recurring events, it’s easy to just move them around for the following week as needed. This saves so much time!
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