How Productive Moms Use Time Blocking
If you are here today, I am sure you want to get more done EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
You want to be productive and be able to efficiently use every minute you spend on your online business.
Of course, working from home is difficult, especially if you are a work at home mom and you have to manage kids of different age.
Do you ever wonder where the time flew away?
Do you every think that you are struggling with time management?
Do you often find yourself reading time management tips for online business owners?
Well, if you do, time blocking might be the solution for you.
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As a work at home mom, you are often ambushed with new “things”. May be your kid is sick today or your babysitter cancelled. May be your client wants to get on a call with you or there is a deadline approaching.
You feel the hodge podge in your life and you are TIRED of not feeling productive enough.
But, today, it is time to take the bull by its horns and start getting organised everyday.
And, one of the super effective ways of taking control of your time and productivity is to use time blocking.
It is one of my most favourite (and, easiest) time management strategy. Last year, I had major troubles with time management.
If you own a business and work from home, you already know what it takes to balance amount of work at home, business tasks, learning etc.
My to-do lists used to miles long and I would put everything I need to EVER do on it – including – things that were not on my immediate business plan.
But, come on, I had to learn it someday so I put it in.
When I started with Time Blocking, I would still so much on it that I started getting anxiety over not able to accomplish everything
And then I’d give up and really get nothing done for awhile. Rinse and repeat.
What Is Time Blocking?
Just as the name suggests, time block is all about setting aside a certain amount of hours to focus on a particular task.
For example, you can set aside 6 AM – 8 AM (a time block) to write a blog post or an article for your client or you could reserve the time your kids sleep to take a call or onboard your new client.
These blocks can anywhere be from 1 – 4 hours in length, which provides flexibility you need.
The best part about time blocking is you can use it to organise your daily routines and business needs. So, you can mark 1 hour to pick up your kids from the school and spending time having a snack with them.
You are basically taking your to-do list and assigning each to a specific time frame you have available in the day.
Also, time block strategy is NOT a way to cram more into your day. It is a time management strategy to find more time in a day, limit distractions and get more things done.
How is Time Blocking Better Than a To Do List?
Well, time blocking is more specific and real
When you create a to-do list, you only have the list of tasks you need to finish. More often than not, we create a task list that is so ambitious that we quit sticking to the list.
That is just plain sad.
With time blocking, you will ascertain a specific hour where you will take up a particular task. You will need to include EVERYTHING that is a part of your routine including a nap time, lunch time, gym and a few extra hours – because – who are we kidding?
Mom life is crazy!
With time, you will find time blocking easier to do. It will take up a few minutes of your time and it will reduce a lot of your stress.
You have a plan now!
Is Time Blocking Really Realistic for Moms?
Yes, but you need to evaluate your time and tasks truthfully. Remember not to go overboard and create an ambitious list.
You need to allow a lot of flexibility in your plan. Leave out a few hours only to cover the time that was wasted or spent doing a task that was not on the list.
If you are truthful to yourself, you will make this work.
The aim is to not get a HELL LOT of things done. The point is to take the most important tasks for your business and allocate specific time each day to make it happen.
BUT I HATE PLANNING. IT’S TOO MUCH WORK…
Haha.. no. It is not! (thankfully!)
You can start by deciding one block of time in a day where you will focus on 2-3 tasks. Stick to this for a week or so.
See how you feel and how productive you were during the week. You can slowly keep adding more blocks
How To Do Time Blocking
First, when you are creating for your first time blocking schedule, I want you to add in lots of extra time. Have a reasonable amount of tasks on your plate.
If you have extra time, you can finish off another task and add it to the list. In a week or month’s time, you will know what is “reasonable” for you.
Second, you need to first block out all the time that you already have scheduled activities for. For example, pick up, drop off, commuting, cooking, feeding babies, trip to grocery store etc.
Third, make a list of 3-5 most important business tasks you need to get done today. For example, if you want to send cold emails, finish a few modules of a blogging course or writing a few posts and scheduling them on Tailwind etc.
Remember to distinguish between what you HAVE to do and what you WANT to do.
When I started out blogging, creating a perfect looking website was secondary to writing more quality content on the website. In this case, writing new posts and marketing is HAVE TO DO task and working on a perfecting the looks is WANT TO DO task.
We will touch on it in the upcoming posts.
Fourth, schedule the tasks in your time blocking sheet. It could be blocks of time ora full hour or more. You can schedule as little as 15 minutes or as much as 2 hours. The important thing is to find a time slot when you can work on your business tasks without distraction.
And if something didn’t get done in that block, oh well! Nothing could be done about it now, so it was time to move on.
Fifth, schedule 10-15 minutes at the end of the day to analyse how you did. You need to understand what worked, what did not and what you can do better with your time blocking strategy.
What To Do When Your Time Blocking Schedule is Ruined
It happens. Move on.
As I said somewhere early on in this post, kids get sick, clients get fussy, cars break down, internet stops working and the list is endless.
Do not beat yourself up.. if you have a few hours left, you can resign yourself to relax and have me time.
Start over next morning.
Just update the date to the next day… yes.
When Is The Best Time To Plan Your Time Blocking Schedule?
End of your day… in your bed.
You will be realistic about what you can do and what you can’t.
If you do it in the morning or at a time when you are super pumped to work on your business, you WILL get ambitious and then, you will disappointed.