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Block Schedule Your Time
How I went from an always late procrastinator to an on-time organized planner!
How do you schedule out your days? Do you wing it and go off of memory or do you have a calendar or planner? I have a planner that I use to keep track of my life. I used to be in the wing it category but since switching and organizing my time it has really helped me! Especially using the block schedule method. I went from always being late and behind to always being ahead of schedule and prepared!
There are a hundred different planners and different ways to manage your time but I think most everyone can agree that blocking out your schedule is one of the best ways.
When I first went back to work after having my daughter I was a young wife and mother trying to fit everything in. I worked as an independent insurance agent so I was able to manage my own time. My boss was very organized and he walked me through how to organize my days by blocking time frames for certain tasks.
As I have gotten older and wiser, I have learned how to really plan things out and leave room for travel, traffic, breaks, etc. For example, I know that if I block off time for me the clean the house I need to follow that with time for me to get cleaned up before our dinner date and allow time to travel through rush hour traffic.
I am originally from Kansas and we didn’t have traffic to worry about so those are things I had to adjust to when we moved to Georgia. So you will always be adapting and learning new tricks as you go.
Always Late Procrastinator
Block scheduling is for you if you find that you are always running out of time or always putting things off. If you feel like you are behind, running late, rushing out the door forgetting things, and stressed with your time management, then I truly think block scheduling is perfect for you.
I used to be that way. I think it is a hard habit to break being a procrastinator because sometimes you can pull some awesome things off last minute. But I can tell you that it isn’t worth the stress and the anger you have at yourself of waiting until the last minute.
Because truth be told, I believe you (like myself) procrastinate, to begin with, because you aren’t sure what the next step is to do. So you end up stalling until you can’t anymore and you are forced to figure it out.
If you were to stop and map everything out then it all comes so much easier! No more procrastinating or stressing!
What is Block Scheduling?
Block scheduling is when you map out your day or week into time frames (blocks). Or as I read once it is combining your to-do list with your calendar. Which I really like that description because it is exactly like that.
How to Get Started with Block Scheduling?
If you want you can have your calendar go horizontal or vertical. I prefer vertical. I like to see Monday through Sunday from 6am to 10pm. Then I can map out my week. I have seen other layouts that are horizontal and it has each day laid out horizontally for you to add your tasks to each block. See the examples below.
Write down all your unavoidable tasks
Start with a blank calendar of the week or day and write down all the unavoidable tasks first like getting the kids to and from school.
Write out a list of things that have to get done no matter what and the time frames
Next, on a separate piece of paper write out a list of things that have to get done no matter what and the time frames it takes to do those things. Let’s say you have to write a blog post and it takes you 2 hours to do it and you need to do the laundry and it takes two 15 minute blocks to do that. 15 minutes to load and 15 to unload.
Once you have a list of all of the tasks that need to be done and time frames now you can start entering them into your calendar. Of course, if you have appointments then block of not just the appointment time but include the time it takes to travel there and back.
I work from home and we live outside of town so if I have an appointment and I will be away from the house I block out that whole time that appointment is going to cost me.
I can’t work or do anything while driving so I need to include that time as used up for that appointment. Of course, you can use that driving time to catch up on phones calls but let’s be real you should be focusing on driving and not messing with your phone. It can wait.
Fill empty spots
Now that you have the must-dos in your planner or calendar you can see where the wholes are that you can fill with other blocks(tasks). I like to color coordinate mine so I know which tasks are unavoidables that I can not miss or move, which ones are for me, which are for the family, which are for my daughter’s school, etc.
This helps me have a bird’s eye view of my week and see where I have open time to do certain tasks.
Just start filling in your empty spots based off of the time frames you set for each task and fill up your calendar!
Stick to the time frame
Make sure you stick to that time frame you set for that task so you don’t get behind on all the other tasks you have planned out. Now you will obviously use your own judgment on which is more important to get done but my point is don’t let yourself get too caught up in one task that you don’t get anything else done.
I will sometimes set a timer for my tasks to keep me motivated to get done. It is even better when you get done ahead of time and you get to move on to the next task sooner!
Once you finish all your tasks for the day it takes the pressure off because you have already allotted time for the other tasks tomorrow so you can relax guilt-free!
Batch Work vs Daily Tasks
Some people will batch their work and do everything all at once so they don’t have to worry about it the rest of the month. Others, like myself, prefer to do daily tasks. To learn more about which one is right for you, check out this post on batch work vs daily tasks!
Pro of Block Scheduling
- Blocks help keep you on task for that time frame and to push you to finish that task within that time frame.
- You can even set a time to tell you when to move on to the next task.
- Mapping out your day helps you find the time…instead of always thinking “where did the time go?”
- It is flexible and easy to move tasks around or to the next day.
- It helps you find more time in your day.
- Gives you peace of mind when you see a plan of action.
- It helps you stay on task and moving productively forward.
- It helps break up the day so it doesn’t get boring or overwhelming.
- You will be less stressed by seeing your day laid out with realistic goals.
- It gives you a bird’s eye view of your day and week.
- By seeing your day mapped out it is motivating because you know you need to finish each task in that time frame.
- You can organize each task with color coordination.
- Your block schedule can be horizontal or vertical depending on your preference.
There are so many benefits to block scheduling and it has truly helped me make my days and goals attainable in ensuring I get all of my tasks done throughout the week!
Ready to get started?
If you are ready to try the block schedule method then here is a template to get you started! You can choose which one works best for you! Bonus! You can even use these as digital planners!
Created by Consistently Procrastinating.