For a very long time, I was really, really bad at being productive. I mean, horrible. The most terrible.
I could never be consistent. No matter how much I wanted to get stuff done and improve my life, no matter how many planners I used or how many goals I set for myself, I continued to fail at it. For a long time, I could never figure this out. People around me were doing kick ass things, crushing goals, creating businesses, working their dream jobs. I felt no matter how hard I tried, I could never get out of the hole I was digging for myself. I couldn’t even manage to make it until lunch time on day one without going off track.
That was until I discovered time blocking. This is hands down the most important method for keeping me ahead of the game. Life doesn’t tell me what to do anymore. I go to bed at night knowing that I made progress towards the person I want to be. I don’t go to bed anymore beating myself up because I let myself down. Again.
How do you time block, you ask?
You literally block off your time. Complicated, I know.
Multi-tasking has been my demise. We’ve all been there. You sit down to do something productive, and then you notice that your desk needs to be cleared off. In the process of clearing your desk, you bring things to the kitchen and realize the dishwasher needs to be loaded. Repeat, repeat, repeat until you are using the time that you should be getting shit done, to finish other things that weren’t on your to-do list for that day. What did you get accomplished? A little bit of everything, but a whole lot of nothing. Your house is probably still half messy and you didn’t get the work done that you set out to do. Awesome.
Time blocking eliminates this. There is a time allotted for everything so that you can focus on one task at a time and fully complete the task.
In order to time block efficiently, I get a weekly calendar.
First, I write in things that absolutely have to be done, and I block time for them. So for example, I know that in order to be productive, I need to keep my space at a manageable level so I don’t lose my mind. So the first thing I do is write in cleaning. I do this when my kids are eating breakfast. Throw in a load of laundry, clean the kitchen, do any meal prep that needs to be done (hello slow cooker!) and generally start our day off strong.
Second, I absolutely know that there is no time during the day that I am going to be able to work on this blog. At all. It will not happen. So I put that first thing in the morning before the kids get up. I put my most thinking intensive tasks first thing in the morning (like writing posts) so that I’m not trying to do it when I’m exhausted at the end of the night.
Next, I know I want to dedicate my day to actually spending time with my kids. They have been known to go a little wild if I’m trying to do one hundred things at once. Life is better when I can focus all of my energy directly on them. This is why I put cleaning first. I know if I don’t get it done in the morning, I’m going to be trying to do bits and pieces of it and our whole day is going to be chaos.
Finally, I put in work again in the evening. Everyone is gone to bed, hopefully we’ve had a good day, and I can get a few more hours work in before bed. Normally I do things like schedule social media and edit images at this time.
I have also blocked off a night time routine because I feel this is my self care time and is absolutely necessary for good mental health. I schedule this because I don’t want to skip it.
All in all, this seems like a very simple concept. Maybe this is nothing new to you. I just know that time blocking eliminates the multitasking and I actually get things done start to finish. I can check things off my to-do list left, right and center. Nothing feels better than going to bed knowing you kept a promise to yourself!
I actually go further than this.
I actually time block my days and solid weeks for different tasks. I will share that with you in a future post!
Do you time block? Have you noticed a difference in your productivity?