Today I’m talking about how to use time blocking to help you save more time and be ultra-productive when working from home.
Working from home isn’t always easy. You’d think there’d be less distractions since.
However, I have found that being at home can be distraction enough! After all, there are so many things that need to get taken care of at home. Like cooking, cleaning that laundry that’s been sitting there for a week…
To make the most out of your time, you need to learn how to manage it. One way that is powerful and easy is called time blocking.
You can use it to block off the hours of your day and get more things finished in less time.
It enables you to take back control of your time and the minutes of each day.
And for the “creative and artistic” types out there, myself included, this can sound restricting.
But I promise you, if you try it out, you’ll love the freedom it actually gives you!
What is Time Blocking?
Time blocking is a planning method and time management technique used to schedule each hour of your day to increase productivity.
It’s a great way to save time when your working from home or in an office.
It helps you plan your day and motivates you to accomplish your planned tasks, leaving you feeling productive and accomplished.
How to Start Time Blocking
Here I’ll show you how to get started using time blocking with these steps.
The first step of time blocking is planning! Create a list of all the important tasks you need to get done for the week.
Keep your task list simple: choose the 3 or 4 tasks that must be accomplished the most for you to work effectively.
Be Realistic in Your Planning
Now that you have your most essential tasks lined out. Make sure you are being realistic about your time frame.
Again, you are just planning for this week. What can you actually get done this week?
Don’t set yourself up for failure by thinking you can do 100 tasks in a day. It’s just not feasible and will lead to major frustration and dissapointment.
Start Blocking Your Hours
Now that you have your shortlist of important tasks, it’s time to start time blocking!
Use each hour of the day to write what task you plan on working on in that hour.
It’s a good idea to think of which tasks you can batch together to save time opening and closing programs, and to avoid the constant mind shifts.
Scheduling Your Breaks and Other Items
Be sure to schedule downtime and things like lunch breaks into your schedule too.
Time for making lunch, taking a quick walk and spending some one on one time with the kids if they’re home too.
Taking time to rest is crucial for your mental and physical health. Taking short breaks will help you get more work done, which can lead to increased productivity.
I swear, it’s magic.
A benefit to hourly time-blocking means that you have to stay on task to get them done in their scheduled time.
So be sure to eliminate any distractions (no, you don’t need to check your email outside of its allotted time and Facebook will still be there when you’re done.)
Find any way you can to stop getting distracted and stay focused!
It’s also a good idea to think about what is your biggest time wasters and distractions. Do any of these sound like you?
- Do you spend time scrolling on instagram or facebook?
- Do you constantly feel the need to check your phone?
- Spend too much time in your inbox responding to each message urgently?
Reflect on your behaviors and schedule specific time slots for the time-wasting tasks.
Also, when you are working, make sure to let others know that you are working and busy so they too can limit interruptions.
Keep Your Time Blocks Flexible
If you know exactly how much time a task with take to complete, make sure to keep your blocks flexible.
This will help you take care of other important things without stressing out.
It’ll also help you avoid having to adjust your schedule constantly.
Assess Your Time Blocks
Make sure to make any adjustments when needed to your block schedule.
If you find that your tasks are taking more or less time than you anticipated, make adjustments accordingly
It’ll help you maximize your time and productivity.
And remember, if something is simply not working for you, change it!
Take a Look at Where You’re Most Productive
After reviewing your time blocks, you’ll also get a chance to see when your most productive.
If you do your best work in the afternoon, schedule the most important tasks during the afternoon hours.
Reviewing your schedule on a regular basis will help you see how productive you really are and identify what areas need more attention.
Reviewing your schedule regularly also gives you the opportunity to examine if your reminders are working or need changing.
There are amazing apps that can help keep you on track. Setting alerts and reminders on your phone helps keep you moving through you tasks. Of course you can use sticky notes or even a kitchen timer to remind you that it’s time to move to the next task.
The key to block scheduling and task setting is to help you find what works best for you.