Hey there, friends!
You know what we all struggle with as entrepreneurs?
We have way too much to do and not enough time to do it. It gets even harder if you’re juggling a full-time job, school, a family, and other *life* things on top of running your online business.
So today, I’m sharing five quick time blocking tips to help with time management. This post is a follow-up to my original post on time blocking, where I explained:
What time blocking is
How to use a time blocking calendar
A simple process to break down high-level goals into smaller ones
If you’re curious, time blocking is a process where you create a visual calendar of your to-do list. Here’s an example:
The Time Blocking Template
Now, since my original time blocking post still seems to be popular, I know you’re like me and wrestling with a growing to-do list (probably tired of feeling defeated by it too, amirite?).
So in this post, I’m sharing simple time management tips to help you use the time blocking calendar effectively.
I made mistakes at first and had a hard time sticking to my schedule. A few of those mistakes are:
Underestimating how long things would take
Planning too many tasks back to back (aka task-shifting)
Trying to get everything done in a week
My hope is that these tips will help you follow through and feel excited about everything you’re getting done!
These tips will be super quick…you can probably do them in less than 10 minutes each.
1. Plan your week ahead of time so you can hit the ground running.
You know what will make you feel great on Monday morning?
Having an action plan and a clear focus on what you need to get done.
So every Sunday, set aside some time to plan your week.
It won’t be set in stone, don’t worry. Think of it as more of a high-level view to make sure you can get everything done. And that you’re focusing on the stuff that matters.
You’ll be updating things as you move through the week…
2. Focus on 1-2 work-related tasks a day.
If you’re using the time blocking calendar the way I recommend, you’ve got EVERYTHING on there…biz time, family time, school, work, meals, errands…all of it.
And that’s great! They need to be in there.
But sometimes we think we can do things faster than we can.
(Write a post in an hour, anyone?)
And you may be tempted to schedule more than you can do – partly because it looks good on paper, partly because you’re not sure how long it will take, and partly because you just want to get it done.
But there’s only so much time in the day! We can’t get to everything…
You may even have a full-time job or family to take care of outside of running your online business! And there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re falling behind on things. Bleck.
So don’t try to be a superhero when you plan your week. Schedule just one or two “work” things a day and then immerse yourself in getting them done.
Oh, and make sure the things you plan will grow your business, not just eat up your time.
Which leads me to…
3. Cross off things that eat up your time each day.
When you think about it, there are only a handful of things that will really impact your business. Those are things like:
Creating content (free and paid)
Client projects and meeting
Planning workshops and events
Sounds pretty straightforward, right?
Ahh, if it weren’t for those sneaky time-crushers…
The Facebook ping you have to check…
A message you forgot to send…
An email that just popped in…
But let me ask you a question:
When is the last time you read an email that positively impacted your business? (except for mine, *wink)
The thing with emails is, most come with their own agenda.
So if we’re being totally honest, you only need to check it 1x a day, and that’s just for sanity’s sake.
Which means you can block out time for email + admin stuff, say, on Fridays. Or first thing in the morning. Or whatever.
Then after that…
Shut it all down and get to work. Don’t let distractions stop you from growing your business.
4. Take 15 minutes to plan your day tomorrow.
Make sure you block out 15 minutes a day to review your progress.
(should be the last thing you do each day)
That’s when you cross off things you got done, reschedule things you didn’t, and update tomorrow’s schedule so you can crush it again without wondering where the heck you left off.
And here’s the REAL magic of reviewing your day…
Once you see what you achieved (vs what you planned), you start to become a ninja planner. The best part is, you get real about how you’re spending every minute of your day.
Sometimes I’ll *pretend* to start working at 8:30am but not really do much until 11.
That’s two and a half hours, friend…
We can’t waste time like that!
5) Quick Recap
Plan your week on Sundays. Then, at the end of every day, review and update tomorrow’s schedule.
Cross off things that are time-suckers. And don’t worry if you don’t get to something. Or if something needs to drop off your list completely
Because the goal of time blocking is to help you get better at:
Estimating how long things will (really) take
Planning enough time for complex projects
Working in your passion zone
Getting more of the right stuff done
One last tip before I sign off, make sure you block out 15 minutes between tasks. Every time you switch gears, your brand needs time to catch up, and that will help. 🙂