Welcome to week two of the Simplify Your Summer Challenge!
Today, I am going to show you how to time block your day. This will help you manage your time well and tackle your to-do list with ease.
Last week, we uncovered our priorities and began to simplify our schedules by eliminating the things that do not align with what matters most.
This week, we will build on that momentum by tackling our to-do lists. It is important to lay a good foundation to fall back on when life gets hectic.
A solid system for completing your tasks will help you quickly steer things back on track when things don’t go as planned.
How many times do you start your week with good intentions only to end up living life as it happens to you rather than living life with purpose?
The dreams you have in your heart and the goals you set for yourself get put on the backburner to make room for those seemingly urgent tasks that pop up out of the blue.
You spend your whole day reacting instead of purposefully planning how you will spend your time.
We all have things that we have to get done, but we do not have to be ruled by our to-do lists.
Manage your time well
My favorite method for managing my tasks and my time effectively is time-blocking. The first time I implemented this technique, I did not realize it was a thing.
It was something that came naturally to me as I was trying to figure out how to accomplish everything that needed to get done in a week’s time without allowing basic necessities to fall through the cracks.
Before I had kids, you could always count on me to get things done on time. Throughout the years, my family grew and so did my responsibilities.
Each new kid required tweaks and adjustments to our schedule, but I still managed to stay on top of it all.
When our third child was born, it became increasingly more difficult to manage even the most basic of household tasks. I quickly stumbled into reactionary mode.
How many of you mamas can relate?
A budget for your time
I like to think of time-blocking as a budget for your time.
Zero-based budgeting is a method that requires you to account for every single dollar you plan to spend before it is spent.
Like zero-based budgeting, time-blocking your day requires that you account for how you will spend your time before it is spent.
It allows you to go from multitasking to single-tasking, focusing all of your attention on the task at hand and ultimately promoting an increase in productivity.
My husband and I use a zero-based budget to keep our finances in order and our spending under control.
We often find we have more money left over at the end of the month because we are super intentional about each and every purchase we make.
The same occurs for me with time-blocking.
When I choose to be intentional with my time, I am often able to accomplish all of my tasks without feeling overwhelmed.
Time-blocking opened up more time in my day than I originally thought possible.
How to time block your day
For week two of the Simplify Your Summer Challenge, we are going to take an in-depth look at time-blocking.
You will learn how to implement this powerhouse productivity technique to make the most of your time.
The following steps will teach you to time block your day and make room for the things that matter most.
1 // Write it all down
List everything you need to accomplish to keep your life and your household running efficiently.
Get it out of your head and on paper, so you can truly visualize the things that are taking up your time.
I usually start with a list of things that must be done no matter what, and then I make a list of things that I would like to fit into my schedule if time allows.
2 // Sort your tasks
Take your list of non-negotiable tasks and split them into three different categories.
List what must be done daily, weekly, and monthly.
You can continue to split them even further by categorizing your daily tasks into what must be done in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
3 // Create a schedule
I like to start by adding the things that happen at the same time each and every day, such as meal times, nap time, etc.
This will help to set up a basic framework for your day.
Continue taking items from your list of daily tasks and place them on your schedule where they belong.
Once you fill in your constants, you should begin to see open blocks of time emerge.
4 // Fit in the variables
Now is the time to add your weekly tasks, such as reviewing your budget or shopping for groceries.
Give each item a day and a time, so you can see how your week should flow to keep things running smoothly.
This will help you create routines and rhythms to maximize your productivity. [We cover this in Week 3.]
5 // Assign your time
After you have accounted for everything that must be done, you can begin to decide how you will spend your remaining time.
This is where you can really start to get intentional with your time.
Fill free blocks of time with the things that matter most to you, such as pursuing your goals, reading a good book, playing with your kids, etc.
Now, it’s your turn
You don’t need anything fancy to start time blocking your day. Grab a notebook and begin with the following steps:
- Write down everything that falls under your scope of responsibility
- Sort your tasks into categories – daily, weekly, monthly
- Create a schedule that includes all of your daily tasks
- Add the tasks that only happen weekly or monthly
- Fill in free blocks of time with the things that bring you joy
Time-blocking gives you a framework to help you manage your time well. Once you have a basic schedule, revise it weekly to account for any changes.
Want to start this challenge from the beginning? Click here for full access to the Simplify Your Summer Challenge.