Get the Most Out of Your Time with Calendar Blocking
In all honesty, how productive are you? Are there times when you’ve got reams and reams of lists of things to do but you don’t know where to start? If so my friend, read on and find out about the awesomeness that is calendar blocking.
If you haven’t heard of this super-duper productive way of working, I really don’t know where you have been! Calendar, or time blocking is exactly as it sounds. It is looking at your daily schedule and creating chunks of time in which you concentrate on one, and only one task at a time. It is easy to do and helps you focus and practice self-discipline. Obviously, this means distractions such as phone notifications and such are not allowed, unless you schedule them in of course.
The best thing about this method is that it works for everyone! Whether you are at work, working at home, planning your wedding or working on a personal project! You could be a wedding planner, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a travel blogger, even a work at home mum, calendar blocking will work for you.
Wedding planners, how often do you feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do for your clients, PLUS your own work?
In this article, I am going to show you how I utilise calendar blocking. You may find alternative ways which is great, but this is how I manage it. Firstly, I use Google calendar. Google calendar is a miracle application in itself, I would not be without it in a million years. It keeps me organised, reminds me when and where I’m supposed to be, and even gives me directions.
Enough about that though.
The first thing you need to do is take out the mega to-do list that you’ve been eyeing with disdain and go through it. Prioritise the things that you need to do in the very near future, for example the upcoming week. Don’t go overboard, you need to be able to fit these in your calendar before adding new things.
Have your priority list? Let’s go.
Did you know that you can create calendars within your main Google calendar? This is what I will be showing you how to do. By clicking the three dots beside “Add Calendar”, you can see in the diagram that you can add a new calendar.
By clicking that, you can go in and create as many calendars as you want, and the cool thing is you can colour code them all! I have numerous different calendars, but you don’t need to go quite as far as me.
We will start by scheduling a regular time every day in which you wake up, get out of bed and get ready for the day. Create a calendar called everyday needs. Choose a nice bright colour for this and I love the idea of putting an emoji in instead of ‘get up’, it seems less offensive!
Schedule on your calendar the block of time it generally takes you to do this, set it to repeat at the same time every day and set it as your everyday needs calendar. You can also set your mealtimes under everyday needs and your bedtime. So that is your normal basic routine that you do every single day blocked out on your calendar.
Next, you will want to block in your work. Create a work calendar with the colour of your choice and block in however many hours per day you work. You can have multiple blocks within a day in order to give yourself some breaks or change the task that you happen to be doing. For instance, I may be writing a blog for a client for an hour and then doing some social media for a different client for another hour straight after that. I keep them in the same colour calendar but obviously label them differently. So, different blocks but the same colour, so you know they are still in that category.
Make sense so far? Now for me, I have two different work calendars, my own admin calendar and my client work calendar. Depending on what you do, you may have this too, separating them just makes it easier to plan out.
There are other things that also need to be blocked into your calendar, for example, your leisure time, time that you spend with family and friends, medical appointments, other appointments etc. You can literally put in however many things you want for that week. Schedule a calendar for each and colour code them accordingly. Your calendar should start looking similar to this.
Just a Reminder...
Now obviously with these blocks of time, you can move them around in order to suit things that may get in the way. However, you shouldn’t let this be an excuse not to get on with things that you’ve already scheduled. If you have consciously scheduled in the time and date to do that particular task, you should try and stick to it. That is the purpose of this productivity method.
Another thing to remember is distractions. Your mobile phone needs to go. If you need to make calls in your day, schedule a time block for that and stick to it. The same for emails and your social media notifications. When I am working on a project, I switch my phone to do not disturb or I will leave it in another room. You will be amazed at how much more work you can get done by not having a ping of a notification go off every so often.
I love this method because it allows me to plan out my week and see what I still need to do. In fact, I find this method better than a diary. It also makes me think about how much time certain tasks will take me to complete and give me appropriate deadlines in which to complete them.
Have you tried this method? What do you think about it? Has it improved your productivity? Do you know of other methods? I’d love to read your comments.
For a more in-depth explanation of calendar blocking, check out productivity expert, Amy Landino’s video here.
For assistance and tips on getting the most out of your time, please visit my site here.