Alright, it’s morning and you’ve just poured yourself a hot cup of coffee. You sit at your desk and inhale the aroma of the fresh brew, thankful everything to start your day off on the right foot was written down and planned out the night before. Your nifty to-do list is filled with tasks, special reminders, and events to attend. You get started, then finally glance at the clock, and whelp! Where did all the time go?!
You’re still stuck completing task number one four dreadful hours later. Thanks to a laundry list of distractions, your cell phone, and that nasty enemy we all hate – procrastination.
We all experience the lack of productivity bug; many of us on a daily basis, unfortunately. Yes, issues spring up that are beyond our control but self-discipline also plays a vital role whether we like to admit it or not.
Sometimes, getting more done in less time may seem virtually impossible. I thought this way too until I ditched my to-do lists and started dividing my schedule into blocks of time instead.
What is time blocking?
This time management strategy has been around for quite some time.
It’s a technique often used to boost productivity but can also be great for keeping your daily schedule organized. Instead of putting my mind into overdrive trying to figure out what to do next, time blocking allows me to schedule a specific time to focus on certain tasks.
For example, you may decide to start your official workday in the early afternoon and reserve your mornings to meal prep or complete chores around the house. Leisure, family time, or a much needed self-care routine can be reserved for the evenings.
What I love even more about time blocking is batching along with it. On busy weekdays, I use both.
What is time batching?
Have you ever wondered why it’s so difficult to switch in between two completely different tasks?
Ever question why it takes so long?
Believe it or not, multi-tasking impedes on productivity when you switch from one complex task to another.
We weren’t designed to be robots; our brain mentally processes task switching much slower than we think. I no longer multi-task for this reason.
Try designing a website, talking on the phone, and filing taxes all at once — you’ll never be done. Our productivity is hindered doing this – it does not increase.
Batching similar tasks together is an alternative strategy you can use instead.
Get out of the habit of jumping back and forth from one difficult task to another just to check off boxes on your to-do list. Doing so, will only result in incomplete tasks after you run out of ample amounts of time.
Try the blocking and batching strategy below instead!
Create a schedule
- Identify categories for everything on your current to-do list:
- Household: Cleaning, organizing, painting, meal prepping
- Personal: Pay bills, manage a budget, balance checkbooks, submit school tuition
- Business: Outline, write blog content, create a business plan, film a video
- Self Care: journal, meditate, read a book, manicure/pedicure
- Select a specific time of day you will focus on each task:
- Morning ( 7-12pm) Focus primarily on household and personal tasks. Schedule an allotted time to spend on each and put similar tasks together.
- Afternoon (1-5pm) Move onto personal and business tasks. Don’t mix and match tasks in between categories. Schedule a reasonable block of time for each.
- Evening (6-9pm) Finish off the day by selecting a few tasks for self care. Make sure you select a specific time to end your day. Our bodies and brains need an ample amount of rest so that we can be refreshed and recharged to start anew the following day.
Throughout the week, I follow a specific morning routine, which has tons of benefits on its own. Check out the five morning habits that changed my life and find out why you need to a create a rockstar morning routine!
Below you’ll find an example of a daily planner page with a time-blocking schedule embedded.The different color shades can be used as a guide for blocking time and batching similar tasks together.
If you’re interested in a goal setting digital planner of your own, find out how you can download one instantly here.
How to manage your time more effectively?
Time batching and time blocking are only a few techniques commonly used to skyrocket productivity.
Simply creating a schedule without making a commitment to actually do the work can be counter-productive.
This strategy may not work for you if you’re easily distracted, struggle with creating routines, and lack discipline.
Still not ready to fully dive in? A good way to get started is by tracking how you spend your time right now.
- What are you spending your time on the most?
- What are you spending time on the least?
- In what areas can you improve?
- How would you like to spend your time differently?
The weekly time tracker is now available for download in our FREE Resource Library. Simply sign up below to gain exclusive access and start downloading today.