What is the missing link for all these moms? Why do I keep getting these comments inside of the Facebook group and questions in my inbox? They are all asking about this time blocking system and what I use. They want to know why it does so well compared to all of the other time blocking ways. There are so many what-if’s. I get the questions all the time. I am going to break down this 5 block system. Why it is literally a game changer in your life.
Stop messing around with any other time based management system you have. Get a pen and paper out. Lets dive into this and completely transform the way you manage your to-dos, home, business, and motherhood.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
We are going to break this down into two very straight forward chunks. Basically what we are going to be talking about is the actually 5 block system. You are going to want to take a lot of notes. Then we are going to talk about how this applies to you and your season of life.
This system was born out of complete and utter necessity for me. I was in an event based business that I owned with my mom and I was in it for about 7 years. I was kind of reaching my end of the rope with it-I was working 2 outside of the home jobs, doing florals, design, coordinating, set up, tear down-it was a lot. In addition to that, I was a sign language interpreter, I had just had a new baby, I was newly married, then we had our oldest daughter. It was just too much and I couldn’t handle it. Plus this burning desire to really succeed as a mom and a wife on top of all of that.
I let the event based business go and I sat down to figure out what I was doing. How am I going to make this work? I figured out by grouping things together, life got a lot easier. My brain had peace. I was really able to focus and concentrate on my kids when I was with my kids. Then I thought, how good would it feel if I could actually focus on what I thought at the time was just going to be my blog. Those hours were different every day because my husband is a firefighter- I needed some consistency.
Ending up with the 5 block system
I decided to try making sure that all the things I needed to do for me were done before my kids wake up. I really wanted to make sure I was ready, that I had read a little bit, I had done some stretching, and my Bible study in the morning. Different things like that. I wanted to make sure that was done. On the random times that had happened I could tell the difference. If you know me at all, you know I am always collecting data. When something happens that I like, I would take mental note of it and put it in a list of things.
I realized it was working and that I started squeezing out massive amounts of efficiency. From there it just snowballed. I figured out inside of each block what routines were making me be able to get the most inside of that time. That’s basically how this all unfolded and I ended up with the 5 block system.
- Morning Routine
- AM block
- Work Block
- PM Block
- Night Time Routine Block
They seem pretty straight forward. They are intended to be straight forward, but I do want to clarify because I get lots of questions about this. I want you to know you can use this however you see fit but I will tell you what had been working for me and every other woman I have taught this to.
This happens before your kids get up. if you don’t have kids it should happen in the time frame before you have to get going. Before your day starts. Before you really have to be on demand. This can be 15 minutes if you are not an early riser and don’t have a lot of morning things you like to do. Or it can be an hour or two. I get up at 4:30 most mornings that I go to the gym, other mornings I sleep in a little bit longer to make up for that and have a shorter morning routine. I have two different morning routines I do. One for when I wanted to get up early, one for when I wanted to sleep in a little. I go to bed early. I love that and my sleep likes to follow the sun.
The days I go to the gym, I get up at 4:30, change into my gym clothes, have a couple bites of my bar and drink some water then brush my teeth and drive to the gym. I tell myself my wake up time is 5:00 because I don’t have to actually be really awake until then when I get to the gym. The days I don’t go to the gym my morning routine block has a bible study in it and some time to sit and be alone. My husband’s starts with coffee no matter what. He does not chose to go to the gym first, he likes to start his mornings slow. When I get ready every morning, it is so simple because I have a capsule wardrobe so I’m not fussing with a ton of clothes. I love everything in my closet. I do my hair, sometimes some make up, depending on how I’m feeling. That is basically my morning routine. It is my time to be alone and be by myself.
Then my kids get up and I greet them. That is when my AM block starts. It’s when you have to be out and about. If your kids are going to school and then you go to work after you drop them off, your AM block is going to be super short. For those of you that are homeschool moms, your AM block is going to be super long. Your AM block is going to be from the time the kids wake up all the way until lunch time. Sometimes you can put lunch between. I would do that when I was homeschooling. I would have my AM block all the way up until 11:30 then we would have a lunch break. The rule of thumb for my time blocking is that your time blocks butt up with one another, they don’t have a gap. So, right after my AM block, my work block starts. I never felt right about having lunch in my AM block. I never will have lunch in my work block, so I always just put lunch between the two. Then I start my work block, but you can situate that however you fancy.
Your AM block if you are working outside of the house may just mean that you load the dishwasher. Your bed should already be made-your bed should be made as soon as you get out of bed. That’s just a huge tip if you want to be productive. Make your bed every day. That should be done in your morning routine block. In my AM block I like to put things that need to get done for the home. I’ll put a to-do in there, and a cleaning need in there. There are two hours a week for cleaning and two hours a week for my to-dos. Sometimes things have to get moved around and that is ok. The time blocks are the same, the routines I have inside them sometimes will shift. They will ebb, they will flow. That is the beauty of having this framework in place.
Freedom in your day
This doesn’t tie you down to a specific structure. It gives you freedom! That’s why this is going to change your life. You’re now going to have freedom to know exactly what you’re doing with your time every single day. The structure is there. Now you have the ability, the know how, the expertise on your own life to be able to do the things you want to do.
Your AM block should be filled with whatever you need to get done with your kids. When I had little babies and I wasn’t homeschooling, this is when I would play with them. When I played with them I was folding clothes and they helped me fold. We were doing a little bit of dishes together. When you have little kiddos, sometimes that’s what it’s going to look like. That is what it was for me.
Monday through Friday as a stay as home mom, in my AM block we were doing something educational, tummy time, then we were moving into the times when they were toddlers. That is when I would wear them on my back and we would go and do something together. We would get our grocery shopping done at that time-this is when I was really active and engaged in my home and my kiddos. We would make a lot of eye contact, I would talk to them, we would work on language. All of this is still very true today, it just looks different.
That is the beauty of this that I want you to wrap your brain around and start learning how to do. It just takes practice. It is such a beautiful thing that happens when you start to navigate your day in this 5 block system without having to even think about it.
Your work block is your work block. Some of you might start your work block right away, some might start at 7 am before your kids are up and going and someone else takes the AM block for you. That is OK. You can still write your AM block in there if you like. Or if you go straight from morning routine into your work block that is fine too. You start and end the block at the time you start work and the time you end work. If you are working outside of the home that is probably dictated for you. If you run your own business, that is not dictated for you and that is where the can of worms is. Inside of the Facebook group there is a free series on how to systemize your business. You will need to know how many hours in a week you need to run your business. That is what will dictate what your work hours are.
“This doesn’t tie you down to a specific structure. It gives you freedom! That’s why this is going to change your life. You’re now going to have freedom to know exactly what you’re doing with your time every single day.”
As soon as your work block ends, that is when your PM block starts. For me that is when my kiddos get out of school. When I was homeschooling, the PM block would always start whenever I started to cook dinner, usually around 4:30. Here’s the deal, everyone’s PM block is going to start when they finish working, and only you know when that is for you.
There are some good indicators for you that might be able to help. Whenever I was homeschooling with my kiddos, I would let them go and have their own independent time and independent play. That would happen until about 4:30, then we would all come back together and start cooking dinner. They would help prep lunches for the next day. I would call them back and they would come and help me through things. 4:30 is the best time to start cooking dinner if you have younger children at home. If everyone wants to be in bed by 9pm, you should start cooking dinner at 4:30. That is typically when your PM block will start.
PM Block & The Family
I like to start my PM block when my kids are in school when they are out of school. Because I am not homeschooling them anymore, because they are in someone else’s care 5 days a week, I want to be completely available for them the second they open the car door. I don’t want to be hustling off text messages, emails, social, none of it. Instead, I want to come home, put my phone in the phone basket, I want to pour into them over their homework. I want to have their snack ready for them and talk to them about their day. I want to be with my kids. That is when my PM block will start. For those of you that work outside the home and get home 5 or 6 pm, your PM block will start then.
Your PM block just consists of all the routines that happen in the evening. All the things I talked through. Then you will go through your dinner routine, then we go into family time once a week. For those of you with older kids, you might want to do this every night of the week. Or you go into after school activities and extra curriculars. Bath, books, bed. My kids get a little independent time to be alone in their rooms before lights out. They get one on one time with me and my husband. Then that’s it. You go into your night time routine block.
NIGHT TIME ROUTINE
In your night time routine block, it should be tech free. Your phone should be plugged in on the other side of your bedroom. This is when I read and my husband and I do our daily download. We talk about how we parented together that day. It is a big goal for us to be great co-parents. To parent together and give each other constructive feedback every night on how things went. That is it.
No matter what season of life you are in, I want you to know, these time blocks will stay the same. What you do inside the time blocks will be what changes throughout the seasons. The time blocks will get longer or shorter. That is what this is going to look like for you, for everyone.
Join in the Facebook group to see what other women are doing for their time blocking and tips, tricks, and support. I would love to see you post a screenshot of your time blocking so I can see what you came up with! You can also come check out The Systemize Your Life Academy to get your time blocks in place and continue to grow in your home and business.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I ease into this method?
It’ll be super helpful to start out with my free time blocking workbook for you to begin creating the right schedule for your lifestyle as well as my free fundamental needs workbook to help you sort out your core priorities to focus on in your life! After getting the gist of it down, you can move on to include all the little details that make up the big picture and get your blocks down. I’m so excited for your journey and wish you all the success in your home and business! You got this mama!!