We all have the same amount of time in each day, but do you ever feel like there is not enough time, or wonder how all that time passed and you didn’t accomplish what you wanted to that day?
The thing is, time management is a bit misleading. There are 24 hours in a day. Every. Single. Day. We can’t change that, no matter how many times we say there isn’t enough time in the day. The truth is, there are enough hours in the day if you have a plan for each day and effectively control what we choose to do in those 24 hours. Therefore it becomes more about self management than time management.
I believe that the best way for self management is time blocking. Time blocking is a visual way to organize each day to keep you on track and set you up for success to complete all the necessary tasks you have. It can help keep you accountable and laser focused on each task.
Time blocking does take some upfront planning, but will become easier over time and is worth the amount of time it will save you throughout the week. Planning is a gift you give yourself!
I recommend using a digital calendar that you can access on your computer and phone, so it is always at hand. I love google calendars, like super love it! I love the ease of use, ability to color code and ability to rearrange tasks. I have discussed google calendar set up in a previous blog you can view here.
The first step to time blocking is to make a list of all of the recurring things you do every weekday. Do a brain dump of All. Of. The. Things, no matter how small. Shower, morning coffee, kid activities, lunch, workout, nothing is too insignificant. If it is an activity that occurs on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, set it up as a recurring event in google calendars so that you don’t have to input it each time. Next, pick one day of the week, possibly Sunday, to plan out the rest of your week. Add in the time you will be working, deadlines, errands for that week, and other things from your to-do list. The key to time blocking is to block time for everything in your day. Block off time to read, check email, take a walk or other recreation. Block off buffer time between appointments and travel time. Once you have input the recurring tasks, each week you will need to just add the work task, deadlines, and one time events. Time blocking rocked my world. It helps to keep me focused and accountable to my work. It’s not to say I always get everything done in the time allotted, life happens and sometimes the best-laid plans need to change. The great thing about a digital calendar is that I can easily move a task from one day to the next, bump things around and be flexible.
This photo shows you one of my dayss. The first few times you plan out your week, it may take a little time, but as you make time blocking a habit it will become more natural and quicker. It is worth the time to increase your work more effectively and increase your productivity. Can you really afford not to?