Are you looking for new ways to increase your productivity, without increasing your work hours?
There are only 24 hours in a day and as a busy mom, most of them have already been claimed by your kids, your partner, and your job.
Finding time to get everything on your to-do list done is like trying to find two matching socks in your kids dresser-nearly impossible.
Some moms have turned to time blocking to increase their productivity but does it work? Can you really manage 24 hours in 20 minutes with a simple morning task?
Maybe! Keep reading to learn more about time blocking skills and techniques.
What is time blocking?
Time blocking is a task-based method of managing your time. Instead of just having a to-do list, this method of organizing your time requires that a set block of time be devoted to a specific task.
How does time blocking differ from to-do lists?
It’s easy to write a to-do list, but how often have you been stuck with an unfinished list?
According to this source, “41% of items on a to-do [list] are never completed”. This is not a coincidence; to-do lists only outline what needs to be completed in a day, or what you plan to complete in a day. Time blocking goes the extra step and assigns those tasks definite chunks of time, for completion. This process allows you to schedule and finish task after task, thereby increasing your focus and productivity.
To-do lists lack the same focus and structure; they are lists of goals without a plan to finish; whereas, time blocking is goal-setting with a plan.
How does time block method work?
You decide how to spend a set block of time, each day to complete whatever it is you are working on, ideally without distraction or interruption. You plan your time so that the only task(s) that gets your attention has been scheduled. As a result, you focus on working to complete tasks, instead of just working your shift of X number of hours.
How can you implement the time blocking method?
- Wake up each morning with goals.
- Take 20 minutes or less to assign those goals to specific hour blocks.
- Write down specific tasks like ‘enter values in the spreadsheet’ or ‘prepare pasta’ instead of broad statements like ‘finish project’ or ‘cook dinner’.
- Intentionally, work to minimize distractions.
For example, if a stay-at-home-mom needs to make lunches for the next day, she could wait until the children have gone to school to minimize distractions, and give herself a 3-hour block of time to make dinner of spaghetti and meatballs and lunch sandwiches for the next day.
Is time blocking easy?
Time blocking is easy and doesn’t cost a thing. All you need is a pinch of effort and a spoonful of discipline.
Setting goals, prioritizing tasks and scheduling those tasks to a daily calendar takes some effort, but the effort is minimal if the tradeoff is increased productivity and satisfaction.
Time blocking offers a plan for task completion, but you will need the discipline to minimize distractions and stick to a plan. Professionals recommend sticking to scheduled tasks. Trying to combine tasks, or multi-task defeats the purpose of time blocking. Give all your energy to each task, in the order you prioritized them.
Time blocking best practices:
Are you ready to try it:
- Prioritize time blocks, time-sensitive and important tasks get done first.
- Use workplace awareness. Some days and times at your workplace are busier than others, use this knowledge, when scheduling tasks in certain blocks of times, on these days.
- Give yourself enough time but not too much time. Scheduling large tasks or projects for small blocks of time is not beneficial. Likewise, scheduling small tasks for large blocks of time is not helpful either.
- Schedule time blocks according to your strengths– Of course, high priority tasks get completed first, however, if you work best in the morning get your coffee and attack those tasks first. If you work best in the afternoons, tackle those high priority tasks, when you are at your best.
- Batch together smaller and similar tasks for efficiency.
- Time block for large goals and vacations, in advance- planning ahead helps reduce stress and give co-workers and colleagues notice of time blocks, when you will be unavailable.
- Be flexible. Your schedule doesn’t need to be rigid. Don’t be afraid to adjust your time blocks, for unpredictable changes in your schedule.
- If you finish a task early, there is no need to rush into the next task; reward yourself with breaks. Breaks are great for productivity.
Check out this article for some detailed assistance with choosing a useful time blocking app.
- Time blocking is a task-based method of managing your time.
- Time blocking can work in combination with your to-do list, to increase your productivity.
- Time blocking takes some effort and discipline, but achieving your daily goals is super rewarding.
More Resources + Related Posts:
Do you use the time blocking method, to schedule your day? If not, now is an exciting time to give it a try! 2018 can be your most productive year ever!
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