If you work for yourself and feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, then time blocking might be the productivity hack you’ve been looking for.
What is Time Blocking?
The easiest way to describe time blocking is this:
A to-do list tells you WHAT you need to do.
Time blocking tells you WHEN you need to do it.
Basically, you set aside time to complete certain tasks or activities.
Why is time blocking so great?
Because it forces you to FOCUS on the task at hand and ONLY the task at hand.
It helps to protect you from distractions because you’ve scheduled the time to get everything done.
We tend to get distracted so easily these days, but if we set time aside for CLEAR and SPECIFIC tasks, research has shown that we are more likely to get those tasks done.
It means putting your phone on airplane mode, closing the million and one tabs you have open, and for the allocated time you’ve set aside, working on one single task. Talk about laser focus!
How to use time blocking to make the most of your day
The first thing you want to do, take some time to plan out WHAT you are going to do.
Write a list of everything that needs to be done.
Think of things like emails, project work, admin, everything! Don’t feel overwhelmed because the next step is where it get’s good.
Now that you know what you need to do, it’s time to plan out exactly WHEN you are going to do the tasks that you’ve just listed out.
So if you plan to check your emails at 10am you’ll be less tempted to check them when you’re working on the project you set time aside for from 9am-10am.
An example Time Blocking day for me looks like:
7am-8am: breakfast, get kids dressed
8:30-9am: daycare drop off
9am-10am: film Reels for Instagram
10am-11am: create graphics for Instagram
11am – 11:45: Write captions for reels and Instagram posts
11:45-12:30: lunch break
12:30-1:30: write blog posts for the week
1:30-2:00: plan next batch create day (for more tips on batch creating, check out this blog post)
2:00-3:00: Respond to emails
3:00-3:30: have a break
3:30-4:30: schedule client calls for upcoming shoots
4:30: daycare pick up
TIME BLOCK TIPS
Plan ahead of time: set time aside to time block your week – that way you’ll come in fresh and ready to go.
Plan your breaks (in between tasks and longer breaks for lunch and exercise)
Overestimate how long things will take (if you don’t allocate enough time, you’ll feel more stressed out)
Plan an overflow day – to complete the tasks that you were unable to get to during the week
Put in time for self-care, relaxation and learning.
Practice and revise – like all good things in life, these things take practice. Don’t give up.
You’ll quickly learn how long things take you to get done and you’ll find yourself ticking off that to-do list like the superhero that you are!
There are some great free resources on Pinterest that can help you if you need templates or more info about time blocking!