Importance of Productivity
I am a huge advocate for time management and efficiency as it is one of the most important things a business owner can learn. I am not perfect by any means, but I would consider myself good at managing my time both inside and outside of my business.
If you find yourself constantly missing deadlines, being late for meetings (business or personal) or just always feeling overwhelmed I’m sorry to say that it could be because you are poor at managing your time.
During this three-part series, I am going to introduce time management techniques that I have used, or currently use to help you take back your time and get more accomplished!
What is time blocking?
Time blocking is something new that I have been trying out for the last few weeks and have found it has a positive impact on my business. For someone who enjoys a routine, it is the perfect way to create a bit of a routine when all the different tasks are coming at you left and right.
There are a few different ways that you can begin time blocking. You can start by scheduling things into your calendar (Google, Outlook, Internal Phone Calendar etc.) and block off the time it will take you to do each task in a day. If you’re not sure of the time, give an estimate and be sure to add a bit of a cushion onto the end.
By the end, your calendar should look a bit like the above. The one thing I would caution is to leave in at least 1-2 hours during the day as emergency time for urgent things that come up unexpectedly. Also be sure to leave time for bathroom breaks, snacks and lunch!
Time Blocking Software
If a calendar approach doesn’t suit your style you can also try a time blocking software. There are a few out there that are popular amongst users for different reasons, but I have a few that I personally think are great.
Plan is a great software and combines two of my favorite things; to-do lists and time blocking. You can start by creating your to-do list and then drag these items into your calendar. You’re able to link it to your calendar, pop your items in and get to work! It allows you to view by day, week or month so that you’re able to see both today’s tasks and the bigger picture. The best part, it’s free!
If you are ready to go all in with time blocking, then Week Plan is for you! It doesn’t just allow you to plan out your time but also your family’s time as well. You can schedule in things for your partner and children. If they have chores, homework, sports or activities – it all goes in Week Plan. If you would like to stick with just work, it’s flexible enough that you can use it for all your needs, or just some of them.
Prioritizing Your Time Blocks
It is my recommendation that you block all the hardest tasks in the morning when you’re freshest. If you begin working on the tasks that you dread most of all it will give you a boost to your day and make the rest of the tasks that you must do that much easier, and more rewarding.
When time blocking, it is important to finish the tasks that you’ve started, even if you exceed the allotted time. In the first few weeks time blocking is a lot of trial and error. For some tasks you’ve never done before you might not know exactly how long it will take you. If this happens, note it and keep it in consideration for the next time this task arises. It is also helpful to plan 1-2 hours into your day for things that can (and will) go wrong.
Time blocking is not for everyone, but it is a very effective way to keep organized and manage your time better. Try it out for a few weeks and see if your time management and efficiency are improving. If so, keep it going.
I want to hear from you, have you tried time blocking? Did it work for you? Why or why not?