Last year my days consisted of a ridiculously long to-do list, not enough hours in the day to get it done, and I was getting stressed and burnt out.
Something had to change with my productivity. And it wasn’t that I was really trying to do too much.. I’m pretty careful about my commitments. The problem was in my approach.
You see, I tried to do a little bit of everything each day. Especially around my business – work on a blog post, then work on a newsletter for a few minutes, then answer some emails, then create a graphic… the list went on and on.
I had heard about time blocking and applied it to my days, but it was time to take it a step further.
I needed to set up blocks for my work and batch what I could.
The first week went great. I was hooked. I felt less stressed and more productive.
So here are some of the best tips on how to use time blocking to reduce stress and skyrocket your productivity.
Time Blocking for Beginners
So what is time blocking? It’s simply planning out your day into chunks of time where you focus on a specific task or categories of tasks.
If you’re a beginner at this, I’d suggest you start by doing more “big picture” time blocks and break it down further as you get used to it.
Time Blocking Categories
Categories can include anything you need them to, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Focused work time
- Home management
- Family time
Time Blocking Example
Here is an example from my own life as a work at home mom. Keep in mind, though, that this changes frequently. I evaluate it pretty often to see if it’s still working well for us and if we need to make any adjustments.
Time Blocking Planner
I have put together a template that I use to create my time-blocked schedule. You can download it for yourself below!
Time Blocking for Moms
Time blocking works just as well for a busy mom as it does at a corporate job (or both, of course!)
As a mom, I time block learning and play time with my son. This allows me to be fully focused on him during those times because I know that time is set aside just for that purpose.
Now onto some of my favorite benefits of time blocking and how it helps me be more productive.
Smaller focus each day
Less to worry about = less stress.
Instead of trying to do lots of things throughout the day (work-wise, anyway) I just plan 1 to 3 items and the batch as much as I can.
For example: On Wednesdays, my work blocks include video, graphics, and emails.
Increase in productivity
It’s well known that multi-tasking is actually terrible for productivity.
But I didn’t realize until I applied it how much batching tasks increases productivity.
Another example coming from my business would be social media. Now, I don’t want to totally automate this – I want to be present for interaction throughout the week. But what I can automate, I do.
In my groups and on my page some of my posts are scheduled ahead of time for a week in advance. I do this all on Mondays and it saves me SO much time throughout the rest of the week.
I’m free to respond to comments and questions without worrying about what I will post next.
Ability to be more present
Another great benefit to time blocking has been the ability to be more present in whatever I’m working on.
It was mental overload for me to have so much going on each day – with the smaller focus it has been freeing mentally. And with that freedom, I have an easier time being fully present in whatever I’m doing – whether that be working on my business or spending time with my family.
Though my time blocking system isn’t perfect. (It won’t ever be.) It will need tweaking depending on what is going on each week or day, not to mention what season of life I’m in at the moment.
But I’m SO glad I jumped into time blocking. It has already proven to be one of the best time management decisions I’ve ever made.
So, tell me: Do you time block your days? Have you seen a benefit in your life?