How to Get the Most Out of Your Daily Schedule
Are you a busy entrepreneur struggling to get all your “to-do’s” done? Meetings, emails, phone calls, content development, managing social media, oh my…
Do you get to the end of your workday with only half of your list complete?
Do you need an effective method to manage every part of your day? A way to balance and organize your list of projects and work activities in a day, week, or month?
Well, it’s time to take charge of your schedule and take back control with Time Blocking.
What is Time Blocking anyway?
Time Blocking is a simple and effective way to break down and separate the tasks in your day into blocks or chunks of time. Each block is designed to cover one particular task. This way you stay more focused and can actually get more accomplished. For example, create a block of time for answering emails. Or making phone calls. Or working on your social media accounts. Rather than reading a few emails. Making a phone call or two and working on your business budget. Because the next thing you know you will be outside watering your plants or distracted by something on your phone.
The key to creating your time blocking schedule is to plan out your day or week in advance. So you know exactly what you are supposed to work on and when.
Here are 7 Steps to Create Your Time Blocking Schedule
Of course, it would be awesome if you could just whip up a Time Blocking schedule with the snap of your fingers. But since you can’t, it’s important to take the time to create a plan to organize your schedule.
1. Get Organized Before You Begin
What do you want in your schedule? Do you have daily or weekly meetings? Do you spend a large part of your day on the phone? Where are you actually spending your time now, and what needs to be part of the plan?
Get really specific here and determine what should be included in your routine, and what shouldn’t.
Have you created a morning mindset routine? A way to get yourself prepared for the day? Some people recite mantras, do a Bible devotional, or listen to relaxing music while sipping on a piping hot cup of Joe.
Do you go to the gym?
What about taking the time to sit down and have a relaxing lunch?
Don’t forget dinner prep.
Once you have these needs written down, start to create a roadmap of your day. When do you want to get up? How long is your morning routine? Do you go to the gym before or after work?
Some people like to meal prep for dinner in the morning. Especially if they rely on a trusty ol’ crockpot. That’s part of your roadmap.
Do you need to read emails before you make calls to your clients? Get organized in your thought process and determine what needs to come first, or even last.
What about at the end of the day? Don’t forget to save time for your hubby, your family, or spending time with friends. Trust me… if you don’t plan it… it ain’t gonna happen. What about time for yourself? Do you need some time for yourself to wind down before heading off to bed? Remember, your health and wellbeing matter.
2. Prioritize YOUR Top Monetizing Activities
It’s time to create your POWER 5 list. That’s right… the list of 5 things that keep you on track and going in the direction you need
What’s on the list? Plain and simple — 3 income-producing tasks and 2 personal tasks. This is a super way to create a healthy mindset. Do three things to move your business in the right direction. Do two things to take care of yourself.
The goal of the Time Block schedule is NOT to work yourself to death. It’s to become more productive and efficient WHILE you take care of YOU. Don’t make the mistake of leaving self-care out of the plan. That will lead to burnout and inefficiency.
3. What Can You Cut From Your Daily Schedule
Here’s the deal folks, you can’t do everything. It’s just that simple. So, it’s time to look at your list and see what you can cut out or spend less time doing.
This is also a great time to think about your goals. Are you trying to pivot from a 9-5 to a full-time side hustle? Well, if that’s your goal, it also needs to be your priority. So maybe you go to the gym for just an hour instead of two. Or you use the crockpot every day during the week instead of creating an elaborate meal.
We all have a love-hate relationship with our digital devices and screen time. It’s all about balance, right? You want to increase your productivity and something gotta give. Well, can you cut an hour of Netflix? How about reducing or stopping your mindless social media scrolling? Incorporating healthy habits for yourself as you cut from your daily schedule ends up as a win-win.
There is no right or wrong answer here. It’s just a matter of determining what you can and can’t accomplish.
You can always alter your schedule after you try it out for a few weeks and see some things didn’t take as long as you anticipated.
4. How Much Time Do You Need?
Once you figure out what needs to be in your schedule and what you can remove, you need to figure out how long each activity takes. Or, you’d like to spend on a particular block. Phone calls for example… Should you dedicate an hour, half-hour, or two.
This is a key component if you are beginning a side hustle or transitioning out of a 9-5. How much time do you actually have to work on a side hustle? How much time do you have to work on the transition? Be honest with yourself. Because in the end not allowing enough time only hurts you.
Be realistic and clear.
It is good to overestimate how long things will take. Usually, tasks can take 2 to 3 times as long as we initially hoped or planned.
Plan for downtime and breaks in your schedule. No one can or should work no-stop without a break or rest. Remember, you need to take care of yourself.
5. Formulate Blocks of Time
Now that you know what to leave in your schedule, what to remove, AND how much time you need for your tasks, start creating your blocks of time.
Set up the blocks according to their level of importance. You are the most important, so your morning routine should come first. Follow through the rest of the day using importance level and demand. Don’t choose a high-demand task to work on at 5 pm at night when you are about to wind down for the day. Unless you tend to get a burst of energy at the end of the day.
6. Map it Out in Color
This is the fun part. Color code your routine. Assigning a color to each of your general categories. For example, “You” time could include your morning routine, gym time, lunch, breaks, and wind-down time at night. Give that all one color. The colors not only give your schedule visual appeal but help you recognize the different categories at a glance.
- You Decide When to Revise
You are the one in control of your time. Your plan. Your routine. Truly the #1 way to be a successful entrepreneur is to organize your time. Don’t let business and tasks weigh you down or run you into the ground. Take charge of your life.
If the routine doesn’t work — revise it.
If you don’t like it — change it.
If it isn’t working for you — by all means ADJUST it.
Honestly folks, either you are going to control your calendar, or it’s going to control you. You decide!
Forms of Time Blocking
There are a few different ways to create your time blocking formula. You can select one way or mix and match.
Standard Time Blocking – Set aside blocks of time, with each one dedicated to a project that you will work on that day.
Day Blocking – Here you section off entire days to work on a project, leaving other days in the week free to deal with other tasks.
Task Grouping – Group similar tasks together and work through them all as one block.
Task Time Limits – Simply limit the amount of time you will dedicate to everything on your to-do list each day to ensure you get to the bottom of the list.
You can take a few weeks to try different patterns and see what works best for you.
Do you need help creating the perfect schedule to fit your needs?
No need to reinvent the wheel. Use Apps and tools to support your Time Blocking. Here are a few with high ratings and reviews.
“Time blocking is a calendar-based technique, and so requires a good calendar – and Google Calendar is one of the best. Not only can you block out time, but you can also invite colleagues working on the project with you to block out the same chunks of time, while other colleagues will be able to see that you’re busy and should not be disturbed.”
“With its simple task-driven interface, Trello is the perfect tool to boost your time blocking efforts. You can see your progress at a glance, and integrations with timer tools allow you to track the time you’ve spent on each project to the minute.”
“Want to take the admin out of time blocking? Skedpal integrates with a bunch of different apps to create your to-do list for you.”
There it is in a nutshell. Here’s to creating the best routine just for you.
Join Kimberly, a Pivot Strategist, with tools in her toolbox to help you design the perfect routine to meet your entrepreneurial needs. Join Her on Facebook and shift your thinking with Pivot Strategy to awaken your full potential. Growing and learning together with like-minded women.
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