The time block system isn’t hard to understand, but it can be tricky to learn how to actually apply it in your life. But you are doing it! You are consistently setting aside time to work on your business. But when you sit down for your work block, you wonder how to get in the zone and make the most out of this pocket of time that you have carved out for yourself. You are getting work done, but feel like it could be more efficient.
Well, momma, I have you covered! This post is all about how to take your work block to the next level. These are my top five work time block hacks and they will supercharge your work time. So grab that notebook and let’s go!
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
Make Sure You Are Ready
I mean it when I say this post is next level stuff. These time block hacks come after you have established your time blocking and have your motherhood under control. If you have a work block, but you haven’t figured out how to manage your home yet, you don’t have systems in place, and are feeling pulled in that direction, today’s post isn’t for you right now. This post is phase two. Get the other stuff taken care of first. If you want help with that, get in the Facebook group and ask questions. If you need a plan, then get in the Academy and work that program. This post and podcast episode will be here for you when you have a better handle on things. We are here to support your full journey, don’t overwhelm yourself with too much work too soon.
Top 5 Hacks for Getting the Most Out of Your Work Time Block
If you are in a good place with all your time blocks, then grab your notebook and take notes. These tips will make a huge difference in how much time you need every single week to run your business. You won’t sit down to your work block and waste time with meaningless tasks or endless social media scrolling. It’s fun, but doesn’t get your business anywhere.
1. You Need to Have a Workflow
I know I say it a lot, but if you are showing up to your work block flying by the seat of your pants,it’s not going to work. A prioritized brain dump list will work temporarily while you get your work flow in place, but it isn’t a permanent solution.
To create my workflow, I use and recommend MeisterTask. In the Academy, I teach that, but you can use whatever software works for you. No matter what you use, you need a workflow You need to know what you are doing inside every work block on your schedule for the entire week. As you implement things, you can build to the entire month. The time frame depends on your business and how your time and business are structured. To keep it simple, start with one week.
Do You Really Need a Workflow?
If you only do one of these hacks, let it be this one. It’s that important. You need to know when you have a two hour time block on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday that you also have six hours of work lined up. What tasks are you going to do?
Let’s be real honest here, we are talking about being work from home moms. We don’t have time to play around. We have a lot of really important things to do. There is no room for wasting time sitting around scrolling on social media. This is serious. You need to take your work seriously.
2. Create a Sensory Routine
This is a really fun one. It is the way I trigger my brain when I sit down to my work block to start getting into my creative space quicker. They say it takes 30 minutes to get into a creative zone. When you only have one hour, that is really frustrating. When I started, that is what I was working with so I created a sensory routine to get into that mental space more efficiently.
This isn’t new, it’s been around for a long time. Marie Kondo teaches a lot about the nighttime routine, having something so repetitive that it triggers what you want to have happen. The nighttime routine is to cue sleep. You can use this theory in other ways, too.
Setting up sensory triggers throughout your day as you come into each time block is super helpful. We call these routines and it’s how a successful day is built strategically.
How to Create Your Own Sensory Routine
So for me, I trigger all five of my senses in the same way, give or take, every day. Here is how I do it:
- Feel and See: I work in the same spot almost every single day, at my desk in the nook in my bedroom. This means that I make sure every single day that my room is extremely well kept because if I don’t, then I can’t work in a mess. Make sure your space looks and feels the way you need it to so you aren’t distracted by other things you “should” be doing.
- Smell: I love to diffuse a focus blend of oils.
- Taste: I always have my water, a kombucha, and a bar. I could probably even tell you how many ice cubes I put in my water because I know exactly how cold I like it.
- Sound: Find a playlist or two that motivate you. I use two. The first is Caffeine Country, which is upbeat country that I love. The second is Inspired Chill, which is Christian music in a coffee house style. Depending on my mood, I choose one of those or I work in complete science.
Make this your own and pick things that motivate you. Don’t feel like you are locked in forever, just pick one and give it time. If something doesn’t work, change it.
“Let’s be real honest here, we are talking about being work from home moms. We don’t have time to play around. We have a lot of really important things to do. There is no room for wasting time sitting around scrolling on social media. This is serious. You need to take your work seriously.”
3. Where You Position Your Time Block Matters
I can’t tell you exactly where your work block should be, but I want you to really look at where it sits. Some of us don’t have control over it, but look at what options you have and get creative. Pay attention to when you feel your best and when your kids can be occupied by someone other than you.
I want you to remember this though, as a general rule, you should not be working after your kids go to bed. You need to be going to bed early and getting the appropriate amount of sleep. I don’t say this to be mean, there have been times and seasons when I had to work after the kids were in bed. You will have these variables in your life too. But remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup (read point number two from this post for more encouragement).
What to Consider for Placing Your Time Blocks
It is absolutely so important that you create your heaviest work block around when you have settled everything and everyone else. Or when you feel the most peace in your days. If you don’t have any time where you feel peace, then I want you to press pause here and go fix that. I need you to find areas in your life where you can carve out time. So you can serve this calling you feel placed on your life.
4. Use Airplane Mode & Do Not Disturb Regularly
When you sit down to work, you have to put your phone on airplane mode and your laptop on do not disturb. Make sure you are utilizing these features. This lessens the distractions you will face.
If you feel conflicted, look for settings on your phone that allow your favorites through and put who has your kids on that list so they can reach you. Another option is to use email. I use this because email doesn’t distract me. Leave your inbox open in another tab and have them shoot you an email to call if there is an emergency.
The point of this is to not be distracted by phone calls, texts, and alerts for social media. Let people know you won’t be available. Communicate with your people and hold your work block at the level of importance that it deserves.
5. Outwardly Commit
Set a goal and make it public. When I have something I really want to accomplish, I will make a commitment and announce it. I will tell my husband, friends, or share it in my Facebook group. There is nothing like the motivation of saving face.
Start telling people what you’re going to be doing and light a fire under your bum. No one else is doing this for you. You work from home, you make your own rules. If you have nowhere to post this, then come over to the Facebook group and share there. There are over 3,000 women there to help hold you accountable. We are all rooting for you to succeed.
These 5 Time Block Hacks Work
I use these tips and have coached many more women to use them. They work. So to quickly review, here they are again:
- Create your workflow. Know what work tasks you need to do each work block.
- Create a sensory routine. Hack your brain to get in the work zone more quickly.
- Position your time block strategically.
- Use airplane mode and do not disturb regularly.
- Commit publicly.
You can do this, momma! Remember to check in with us in the Facebook group for even more support. I’m rooting for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I learn how to time block?
Time blocking is my jam. I talk about it on the podcast a lot. You can listen to episode 135 (read the blog post: Use This 5 Block System to Manage Your Day for Busy Moms). After you listen to that episode and read the post, download my free Time Blocking Workbook. It may feel overwhelming to wrap your mind around a whole new system for managing your time, but I promise that it will get easier and eventually you will wonder why you waited so long to do it this way.