Have you ever let an entire business day slip away? You start the day with a strong latte and a long to-do list, and somehow end it wondering what happened. Maybe you got stuck answering emails or putting out fires, but somehow you did not accomplish one task from your list.
These kinds of days can happen to anyone, but they are much more likely to take hold if you didn’t go in with a set plan and schedule. I used to have these kinds of days all of the time, and then I had my second child. I suddenly had very little time for business, so I knew I needed to use it wisely. That is when I discovered block scheduling.
Block scheduling is simply blocking off chunks (or blocks, get it?) of time and assigning them specific tasks. Instead of saying that I am going to work Friday morning, I plan to write two article outlines from 8-9 AM, then join a group coaching call from 9-10 AM, and finally write an article from 10AM to noon. You can feel the difference, and just imagine how much more productive I am. Here are five more life-changing benefits I’ve noticed since implementing block scheduling.
It helped me gain clarity
Once I decided to initiate block scheduling, I remember sitting down to write out my schedule and feeling paralyzed. I had no idea where to start and how to block off projects. This was a wakeup call. No wonder I always felt overwhelmed and unproductive. I clearly never went into my days with a plan.
Once I started writing out my schedule, it helped me realize what projects were most important and how to prioritize them. I focused on the most enjoyable and highest-paying work to maximize my time. Without block scheduling, I would have continued to waste my own time.
It forced me to make realistic goals
Once I became clear on my work projects and schedule, I was able to set realistic goals. I realized I was never able to accomplish all of my to-do list tasks, because I was severely over-scheduling myself.
My weekly to-do list often included at least 10 articles, but once I started plugging in writing time to my week, I saw that ten was simply not possible, at least with the hours I had devoted. I learned to set ambitious, but kind goals for myself. This also helped me feel a sense of accomplishment each week, because I was able to finish what I had planned or myself.
It made me appreciate my schedule
This was a benefit that I did not anticipate. I have the gift of staying home with my kids as a freelance writer. However, I often thought about how hard it was to get any work done. I only had one to two hours each day during nap times and would fantasize about what it would be like to have a full eight hours to work.
However, having one to two hour blocks of time is perfect for me. I now know exactly what I can accomplish in that precious time. It also makes me much more productive, because my time is so limited. I no longer waste it with Facebook scrolling and constant email-checking. Block scheduling helped me embrace my season of life.
It removed the constant stress and comparison
Ever felt absolutely paralyzed by comparison? There is no worse feeling that getting a great idea for your business, only to sign onto Facebook and see someone with a larger following already doing it. Feeling behind and not good enough can take you down, so stack your schedule so that you don’t have time for it.
Because my time is now so specifically scheduled, I want to accomplish my hourly task and no longer get sucked into looking at what everyone else is doing. There are still those times when I do, but it’s no longer the norm.
It simply allowed me to move forward
The best part about block scheduling is that it moves the needle forward. There are so many moving parts in any business, especially when you are the only employee, so it is crucial to use your time wisely. It’s amazing how much time we waste jumping from one task to another. By making a plan ahead of time, you’re giving yourself the gift of productive days and successful projects.
Have you ever tried block scheduling? Tell us what you love (or hate) about it in the comments below!