How To Time Block Your Way To A More Balanced Life
It’s 10pm, the kids are in bed fast asleep, your husband is snoring on the couch, even the dog is curled up snoozing – yet you’re still busy … there’s still laundry to do, lunchboxes to prep, and work attire to be ironed. How does any mom ever catch a break?
Does this sound familiar? If you’re not feeling accomplished and you think you could do with a whole lot more hours in the day, then time blocking could be the solution you’ve been looking for.
Your day doesn’t have to be a chaotic whirlwind of work, errands and stumbling through raising your kids. You don’t have to feel the overwhelming guilt that you’re not getting everything done. Do you know why? Because you’re trying to do too much all at once!
If you want to get stuff done, be more productive and be the best mom you can be, you need to take ownership and control of your time. I know you’re probably thinking that it’s just not possible… I already write a to-do list – how much more organized can I be? Believe me there is a better way to manage your time, and I’m going to show you how. After all, you have the same number of hours in a day as Oprah or Michelle Obama (and those ladies are amazing)!
What exactly is time blocking?
Time blocking is one of the easiest, and most effective ways of organizing your precious minutes. It entails setting aside a certain amount of time to complete a specific task. It really is as simple as it sounds… blocking time = time blocking!
So, for example you might want to block out 10:00am until 11:00am to complete an important report for your boss, or 4:00pm until 5:00pm to help with homework. You get the gist.
But you have to actually write this down – either on a calendar, in a planner or in Outlook … but block out the time (I like using different colours for different tasks – it makes me happy J )
So, why can’t I just write a to-do list?
Time blocking differs from a to-do list because it is much more achievable. Generally, when we create a to-do list we completely overestimate what we think we can achieve. We think of all the tasks that need to be done and write them all down, and then we freak out and end up burning ourselves out.
With time blocking you focus on the tasks that absolutely have to happen that day, and then you schedule in when that task is going to happen. It forces you to even think about the routine things that we tend to forget about when creating our incompletable to-do lists, such as; cooking dinner, taking a lunch break at work and doing the housework.
How do I start time blocking?
The important thing to remember when you start time blocking is to allow yourself ample time to get stuff done, the whole point of this is to relieve stress, not leave you running around trying to cram your tasks into the window that you’ve allocated for them.
Start off by thinking about everything that needs to get done that week, you can write them as a list if it’s easier. Think about everything in your work and personal life, including taking time out for yourself (yes, schedule in that gym class!).
Next, think about what time you want to wake up, and what time you want to stop for the day. Then add in anything that has a set schedule, for example your work hours, school hours, etc. You know that these do not change, and therefore you need to work everything else around these. After this add in everything that’s part of your daily routine. For example, having breakfast, walking the dog and dropping the kids off at school.
Once you’ve done all of that you’re left with the tasks that need to be fit in around your fixed schedule. Think about realistically how much time you need for each task, and schedule them in. You might find that you have too much to be done in a week and that you need to make some decisions about choosing your priorities which can seem tough, but organizing your time and knowing what tasks you are doing and when will make your life so much more productive and calmer. Ultimately, that’s what we all want to achieve!
What about when something unexpected comes up?
Life isn’t all cupcakes and unicorns my friend, especially when you’ve got a career and kids on the go! There are going to be times when your pre-planned schedule is going to go down the drain, and that’s okay.
When life throws a curveball at you that mucks up what you’ve got planned, just breathe and remember it’s resolvable. Dig into your problem-solving skills and look at your week to see if you can reschedule, maybe bump something off the calendar. If not see if it can be moved to the next week.
Hopefully, this will help you create a bit more clarity in your life, and enable you to get more done! Life as a working mom can be crazy enough as it is, so why not take back some control with your schedule.
What’s one thing you’re going to time-block in this week? Comment below and let us know.
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