In the last few weeks I’ve started time blocking with a block schedule. It’s been a game changer for productivity and helping me stay focused and feel less “busy.” Here’s how it works.
Have you heard of time blocking or the block schedule?
I recently started implementing a BLOCK SCHEDULE, which I learned from Jordan of Fun, Cheap or Free. And without being too dramatic, it has been life changing. Let me tell you about it.
Since quarantine started, and everyone in the family has been home all day every day, my productivity had plummeted. I was feeling behind and overwhelmed constantly, and trying to be a good mom and wife PLUS run two businesses was keeping me constantly overwhelmed.
Most days I felt like my days were so busy but I wasn’t actually getting anything done.
I saw immediate results after switching to a block schedule
A few weeks ago, when I was feeling particularly stressed and frustrated, I was watching Jordan Page on instagram and she mentioned her block schedule. I’d heard her talk about it before, and how it helped her be super productive and sane (with 8 children!) so I decided to give it a try.
After one day of trying it, I saw a huge difference. I stayed focused, I felt less scatterbrained and harried, and I accomplished so much more during my day.
I love lists, but here’s why a to-do list didn’t work well for me day after day
I’ve always been a list person, and I love checking things off my list, so my typical day would be to make a big list of things I had to do and then work through it during the day.
The struggle with that was that I would stress about this big list and try to figure out which ones would take the shortest and longest amount of time, and then prioritize those.
I also struggled with managing immediate, pressing requests or emails.
You can learn all about the block schedule here
The purpose of a block schedule is time block your day into chunks. You dedicate tasks to each block, so when it’s that time of day, you know exactly what to do.
This has helped me with decision fatigue SO MUCH.
Jordan has an entire YouTube video and blog post RIGHT HERE that explains all about it, so I won’t share all that here — just go watch it — but I want to share a few ways I’m adjusting it for my needs and the changes I’ve seen.
Stephen Covey’s 4 quadrants also helped me manage my time
I also just recently listened to Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People on audiobook, and highly recommend that. It was so helpful for setting goals and learning the benefits of planning and working toward long term goals.
You can see his 4 quadrant system here, and it his advice has helped me prioritize my goals and day to day activities. It was actually really beneficial in setting up my block schedule.
Here’s how I block schedule my day
Between these two things, I discovered that I wasn’t prioritizing my days well, and that blocking out my time in chunks throughout the day was super beneficial in helping me prioritize specific work.
Things Jordan recommends that I want to implement
1. SET ALARMS. Jordan recommends setting alarms throughout the day at the end of each block. She also has a 15 minute warning bell that helps her finish up whatever she needs to do before the block ends. If she hasn’t finished everything she hoped to accomplish, it gets moved to tomorrow.
I’ve been building in some extra work time in the afternoons when the kids do quiet time/free time. This works for me, but may not work for every family.
2. DEDICATE TIME TO BE UNPLUGGED. She also recommends setting aside time for being UNPLUGGED. Unplug during the day when your kids are home, unplug at night when you’re with your husband. She even marks hers on her schedule with a little P* or U*.
Make this block schedule system work for YOU!
Everyone has different schedules and commitments and ages of children, so no one’s block schedule is going to look the same.
The whole point is to make it work for YOU! It doesn’t have to look anything like Jordan’s or mine — make it your own.
But I promise, blocking your life and your tasks helps you be so much more efficient, eliminates decision fatigue, helps you be focused, and feel like you have so much more time.
Now go try it!
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