So, I starting using a new time management tool recently and it has helped me SO much. So of course I wanted to share it with you all in hopes that maybe it will also benefit you.
Since having Mia almost 8 months ago (holy!), I have struggled with having enough time for myself, my blog, everyday tasks, time for my relationship, etc. While she is an angel baby 90% of the time, she is also a very clingy baby and loves to be on mom or very close to mom most of the time. So I really started playing around with different time management strategies, as things I have done in the past just weren’t working anymore. I was always a planner, I scheduled out my week to the best of my ability, and I always had time for myself and my blog. Now, I have maybe a total of 2-4 hours to myself with no baby, and that is if she naps well. So I really have to choose wisely how I want to spend that time. I was trying to tackle it all, a little cleaning, a little blogging, a little down time, a shower, whatever, and trying to do so much multi-tasking was getting me no where. I realized I needed to focus on one task to actually be productive. So when the baby goes down for an hour nap, I have to commit to one thing I will get done. Sometimes it is getting a workout in, sometimes it is blogging, sometimes its picking a room and cleaning. But, what I realized is blocking out my time for specific tasks allows me to be SO much more productive and less scatter brained.
So, while I can only loosely predict my days because it really depends on baby, I can decide how I want to spend my blocks of time when I get them. Time blocking has been a game changer for me, and if you are baby free and can actually predict your day, I bet time blocking will be even more amazing and beneficial!
So, what is time blocking you may be wondering. Well, let me share!
What is Time Blocking?
Time Blocking is basically a time management system that involves blocking off chunks of time for very specific tasks, and staying completely focused on those tasks for the full duration of that time block. Time Blocking is most effective when you block your time into categories. You can group together similar tasks into one time block. Creating categories prevents multi-tasking or switching back and forth between tasks.
An easy way to get started is to lump together all of your low priority everyday routine tasks into either one large block or several 30-minute blocks throughout the week.These may be things like answering emails, running your errands, filing, paying bills, returning calls, booking appointments, etc. If you start with only this one time block for the first week, you may be surprised how much time you free up for yourself.
When you’ve blocked off specific times for everything on your list, you can stop jumping from task to task, and fully focus on one thing. And believe it or not, experts claim this technique can increase your productivity by over 50%!
Potential Time Blocking Categories
To get started, here are some categories I use:
- Housework – includes laundry, cleaning, organizing, mopping, vacuuming, etc.
- Blogging – content creation, newsletter creation, course creation, research, posting on social media, promotion
- Admin – filing the mail, paying bills, paperwork, etc
- Correspondence – texts, phone calls, emails, etc.
- Planning – Planning out your week in your planner, planning meals, etc.
- Errands – grocery shopping, car maintenance, etc.
- Relationships – Date nights, Dinner together, evenings at home.
- Me time – As an Introvert, I desperately need my downtime. Protecting this time and saying no to other activities keeps me sane.
You do not need to fill every hour of your day, and in my experience it does not have to be set in stone. I may block out 10 am – 11 am for a workout, but then have the baby go down for her nap late. I still fully focus on my time blocked out for my workout, it may just be from 10:30 am – 11:30 am instead. I think the most important to just decide what you want to focus on that day, and for how long, rather than the times it actually has to happen.
So, How Does this Help?
Setting aside a chunk of time to work on one category and ONLY one category at a time, allows you to be free from constantly worrying about when you may tackle everything on your list. I personally find this helps my mind from jumping all over the place, and reduces the stress of the daunting to-do list. When you know you have a certain time blocked out during your week to tackle certain tasks, you let go of that constant feeling of “omg I have so much to do”. When you get used to blocking your time, you discover that very few “emergencies” are actually emergencies. When you’ve got a time block around the corner, so-called ‘emergencies’ are easier to schedule time for then you would think. I also find time blocking helps me truly relax when I have time blocked to relax. Knowing I have a time block later in the week to tackle cleaning the bathroom, and I am not sitting there thinking “I should be cleaning the bathroom instead of relaxing”.
So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, time blocking may really help you out. I know it has helped me stay sane and still get things done, while also enjoying time for myself.
To help you get started, I created a FREE time blocking template for you! Grab it below: