By Precilia Freetage
How many times have you looked at what you have accomplished, or not, and asked yourself ‘where did the time go?!’ Many of us are not only navigating through the daily workload, but are also managing our personal lives, and sometimes our tasks get lost between the two. The solution: time blocking.
What is time blocking? It’s a time management method in which you divide your day into blocks of time. Each block is dedicated to accomplishing a specific task, or group of tasks. Instead of keeping an open-ended to-to list of things to accomplish when you have the time, this allows you to approach your day with a more prioritized schedule that lays out what you’ll work on and when.
I have found that time blocking helps me take back control of my schedule. This does not mean each day runs perfectly and according to plan, but it does mean I choose what gets done during each part of my day. Here are 5 tips for time blocking to help you regain control of your time and calendar.
1 – Write down all your personal and work commitments by day, start and end time, and frequency.
- E.g. Child pick up Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
- E.g. Staff meeting every Wednesday from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
2 – Create color categories for each type of appointment.
- Blue for personal
- Green for work
- Orange for business development
- Yellow for travel, etc.
3 – Insert your recurring appointments into your calendar and color code each one.
- Set a reminder for 15-minutes prior, at a minimum, to make sure you’re prepared to finish your current block of work and start your new one. I also recommend creating a calendar item for drive time, if needed.
4 – Review your open blocks of time and decide what time of day you perform at your best.
You might be familiar with the notion of “eating the frog first”, a famous quote by Mark Twain who said,
“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it First Thing in the Morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the BIGGEST one first.” — Mark Twain
In other words, if you are most productive in the morning, this means prioritizing the biggest, most important work of your day first to get it out of the way while your brain is energized. Once that task is done, the rest of the day’s work will feel easier and you can enjoy the feeling of momentum and accomplishment at the beginning of your day.
How does this look with time blocking?
- Create blocks of time during your peak performance hours and add any tasks here that require more time and heightened creativity. By already scheduling your high-level work at the beginning of your day, you’ve set yourself up for success.
- If you have any tasks or projects that are deadline-driven, you can also add these tasks directly to your calendar.
5 – Review your calendar at different points throughout the day to ensure that you are prepared, on track, and that nothing has slipped through the cracks.
- Every Monday morning to see what you have coming up for the week.
- At the start of every day to see what you might need to prepare for.
- At the end of the day to assess whether there are any unfinished items that need to be moved to the next day, delegated to someone else, or whether you need to prep anything for tomorrow.
If you find you’re needing more time in your day to “get stuff done,” try implementing time blocking into your routine. It has been a successful method for me personally, within our team, and for our clients as well!
Looking for more even ways to get time back in your day so you can focus on growing your business? Learn more about our services and contact Remote COO at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how our experienced team of managers and executive administrators can help you maximize your time and reach your highest potential!