When you do it right, you can do the same amount of work in considerably less time. Reducing a 60+ workweek to 40 hours.
One of the questions I get most is, “How do I create more time?”. The one thing you shouldn’t do is “Simply start and get it over with.” Can you feel the sigh and see the frown that comes with it? Saps all the joy and doesn’t help. I’m not against action-taking but prefer a different method – time blocking.
What is time blocking?
The words time blocking in itself already tell you what it is. There are various ways of time blocking that you can use on their own or combined.
|Variety of Time Blocking
|What is it?
|How does it work?
|Dividing your day into blocks of time, with each block dedicated to accomplishing a specific task or activity. And only that particular task or activity
|Client calls 9:00 -12:00
Social media 12:00-13:00
Preparation training 14:00-15:00
Client calls 15:00- 18:00
|Clustering tasks or activities of a repetitive nature within a specific time during the day
|“Every day from 15:00-16:00, I check and respond to all my emails”
|Having dedicated days for dedicated activities
|Monday – content creation
Tuesday – coaching clients
Wednesday – networking and off
Thursday – coaching clients
Friday – various and networking
|Giving yourself a set period to start and finish a specific task or activity.
Also known as ‘Parkinson’s Law,’ which states that performing a task takes you as long as the time you’re given.
|“I will write, design branded pictures, and plan all my weekly social media posts between 13:00-15:00 on Monday”
The best way to describe time blocking for me is ‘to take back control over your calendar’. Too often, we’re led by other people’s calendars without even contemplating or thinking about when it would suit us.
It may not be easy in the beginning to start with time blocking, as you’re so used to following everyone else’s lead in managing your agenda.
Did that hurt a bit, David? As it sure was intended to make a statement. Think about it; have you blocked specific days or, better yet, hours in your calendar where people can network with you? Have you set specific mornings or afternoons where you work with clients? Have you blocked off lunches, dinners, date nights, or time with your kids? Or is it just whoever wants to speak with me gets that right, as my calendar is wide open? That’s not a great thought now. That’s why I love time blocking.
Why is time blocking so effective?
To me, reserving dedicated time to work on specific tasks or activities helps me with the following:
– Being in control of my time and my calendar; so I decide when I work on what
– Clustering certain tasks so I benefit from working in flow
– Setting myself in a particular mode or bringing on a vibe, creative when content creating, reflective in a Mastermind call, and in full power mode during my coaching calls with clients
– Blocking off time for me, being able to go to the pool with my little one, and having hot date nights with my love
– Using my energy more effectively. Deep work when I’m fresh and shallow later in the day
Time blocking does require planning from your side. Weekly to see whether your priorities are indeed on your schedule. Then, at each end of the day, see how the day went and what you’re prioritizing for tomorrow. Review your days ahead.
Ensure that your weekly planning prioritizes your task list in advance.
You know what your goals are and what you are working to achieve. Does your calendar reflect this? Do scheduled activities yield the highest ROI (Return On Investment) of your time and energy and bring you money? If not, time to make a change!
Some common time-blocking missteps and how to avoid them
Optimistic planning, aka underestimating the time needed
All of my clients are optimistic planners, they tell me they need 2 hours, and in reality, it takes them 5. Add to that spending extra time on tasks that aren’t that important, and you have located the time and energy gap that makes you drained at the end of the day.
Being too rigid and sapping all joy out of your day
I have been against time blocking for a long time. Once I started my own business, I wanted to be free in every sense. So yes, a free agenda too. No preparation, no time blocked off; go with the flow.
That somehow resulted in everyone always booking time when I wanted to prepare a presentation or spend time with my daughter. So, I started to block off my free time.
And then, I decided on coaching days (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays) and my CEO day (numbers, reflection, and writing on Mondays), followed by the specific time available for networking. I still have a lot of free time on my calendar, as I don’t do well-having everything planned to the minute. But I love that I get to see whether my week reflects my priorities.
Color coding the appointments in your calendar helps you to see in one glance whether you are focusing on the right priorities.
Once I started doing that, it became clearer where I needed to “up my game” and change some things. This had mainly to do with my availability to others.
And the main thing, I stay in control and allow myself to deviate from my planning if I want to or feel the need to!
Over scheduling your leisure time instead of keeping it loose
Free time should be an essential part of your calendar. One could even go so far by saying that the first thing you should always plan is your time off because you are the main character in your own movie. Your health and well-being are the most crucial thing in your life and business.
This weekend I was chatting with a client who was so tired, not from work but from all the meetings and activities she had planned in her free time. On Saturday, she was looking forward to going to bed early on Monday evening. That’s planning too much in your leisure time. Do what feels good to you, but ensure you have some flexibility where needed.
PS: Want to learn how to be more effective with your time, and smash your goals? Something amazing is coming up soon! I can’t wait to tell you – stay tuned.
Be the CEO of your life, work less, get more,
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