Nailing Time Blocking As A Busy Mum and Business Consultant

Nailing Time Blocking As A Busy Mum and Business Consultant

Nailing Time Blocking As A Busy Mum and Business Consultant

I’m going to let you in on a secret today…aka the simple practice that allows me to manage my life as a crazy-busy mum of three and the CEO of a 7 figure business consulting company.

I’ve been a fan of time-blocking to stay on track for years. Without it, it’s very likely that my to-do list would spiral out of control along with my sanity. Jokes aside, time-blocking is a time management practice that I truly believe everybody can benefit from — including busy mums, business owners, students, or really any individual with an overflowing to-do list.

What is time-blocking?

For the uninformed, time blocking is a time management method that consists of scheduling your entire day ahead of time so that you can make the most out of every minute.

If it sounds intimidating, unrealistic, or downright impossible, I want to reassure you that in actuality, shifting from your current time management methods to time-blocking will be much simpler than you think. The tricky part is sticking to the time-blocked schedule you create for yourself.

But before I get ahead of myself and start walking you through how to time block (we’ll get to the step-by-step breakdown in a minute, promise!), let’s go over a few of the reasons why it’s the #1 time management practice I recommend.

Why do I recommend time-blocking to busy mums and CEOs?

First and foremost, time blocking forces you to plan ahead by looking at your week in advance and prioritising the tasks that need to get done each day. This equips you with a daily game plan that you can refer back to, eliminating time spent wondering what to focus on or how to get started. This way, you don’t find yourself checking your inbox when you really need to be working on content creation or your upcoming marketing campaign.

Another reason I love time blocking is because it is built on the premise of single-tasking as opposed to multi-tasking. When we multitask, our attention is divided…and so is our ability to focus. Conversely, single-tasking allows us to get in our “deep work zone” and focus on the task at hand.

If this whole time-blocking thing sounds enticing but you still aren’t sure if you can get behind it, let me ask you this — can you relate to any of the following criteria?

  • Your work life is so busy that you don’t have time to focus on big-picture things like long-term strategy and vision. Instead, you’re bogged down with mundane day-to-day tasks that seemingly never end.

  • You feel like you’re constantly forgetting a crucial task that needs to be completed, leading to a cycle of late-night anxiety and stress.

  • Your role requires you to juggle a LOT of different types of tasks and responsibilities. (CEOs, I’m talking to you — especially during start-up!)

  • Your work-life balance is non-existent. You have no time to relax or have fun.

If any of the above resonates, you are the perfect candidate to give time-blocking a try! It is literally designed to alleviate these issues.

So, if you’re sold, you’re probably wondering what to do to get started. Let’s break it down into simple steps.

How to time block efficiently

  • Establish your priorities
    At the beginning of every week (I suggest Sunday night or early Monday morning), decide on what your main priorities are and outline a rough to-do list based on which tasks are high urgency, medium urgency, and low urgency for the week. Don’t forget to think about personal commitments and “non-negotiables.” For example, if working out first thing in the morning is a must for you, it will be a “high urgency” task every day.

  • Create a daily template
  • Using your new to-do list, assign tasks to different days of the week based on urgency. Block out high-urgency tasks and the tasks that will take you the longest first, followed by all meetings and/or appointments you have to attend and any personal commitments you have. You’ll be able to find room to slot in your medium and low urgency tasks once you’ve scheduled the big stuff. Remember, each task should have a dedicated block of time — you don’t want to be switching back and forth or you’ll lose all the great benefits of ‘single-tasking.’

  • Add blocks for breaks and simple tasks
    In the space that is left over, you can add in room for breaks, simple tasks (like folding laundry or tidying up), errands, or whatever fills the space in a way that feels good to you!

  • And there you have it! With a little focus and commitment, you can approach every single day with a clear-cut roadmap that lays out exactly what you need to do and when you need to be doing it.

    But before you jump in and get started, let me leave you with some of my best pro tips and tricks for time-blocking like a boss.

  • Give yourself more time for tasks, not less
    Don’t underestimate how much time you will need to complete each task. Doing so will interrupt the entire flow of your time blocked day and can lead to tasks being left incomplete. It’s always better to give yourself more time than you think you’ll need to complete a task, if only to alleviate some stress and pressure from your day.

  • Adapt the method to fit your needs
  • You can also be flexible with the process and adapt it to better fit your working style. If scheduling things down to the minute or half-hour is too much for you, that’s totally okay! You can make adjustments and experiment with different amounts of structure and rigidity to see what works best for you.

  • Incorporate the different types of time blocking into your process
    Did you know that there are actually multiple variations of time blocking? If the overall concept isn’t totally meshing with your ideal time management method, you may prefer one of the below options:

  • Task-batching
    Task batching refers to grouping similar and smaller tasks together so that you can complete them all in the same timeframe. Not only is this going to save valuable time but it’s also going to make you more productive. For example, instead of checking your email every 10 minutes (and pulling your attention away from a bigger or more urgent task at hand), you can block off a few 20-minute blocks throughout the day to check and respond to emails.

  • Day theming
    Day theming is like time blocking on a larger scale. Instead of setting aside time blocks for each area of responsibility that you need to focus on, you choose a “theme” for each day and spend the day completing tasks related to that theme. For example, you may choose a day to focus on your marketing, another day to focus on business planning, and another day to look at strategy or operations-related tasks. 

  • Timeboxing
    Timeboxing is a time blocking method in which you allocate time periods in order to put a strict limit to activities you fear would otherwise take away too much of your time. This is great for anybody who struggles with perfectionism or procrastination and works well under pressure.

  • Incorporating time blocking into your routine is a surefire way to increase productivity, efficiency, and work/life balance. It does take some getting used to, but if you stick with it, you’ll be sure to reap the benefits like myself and so many of my clients have!

    For more help understanding how time blocking can work for your unique needs, book a strategy call with me! We’ll work together to figure out a time blocking schedule and method that allows you to knock all your most pressing tasks off your to-do list while still having time to enjoy life outside of business.

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