Sometimes the solution that we are looking for seems like it should be unbelievably simple, but is kind of hard to find. We know that time blocking seems to be the solution so many people are looking for, but actually getting started with something that seems so foreign and that not a lot of people around you are doing can be stressful, a little scary, and a bit overwhelming.
That’s why I’m giving you some new things to think about when it comes to implementing and how to start time blocks with five simple tips to help you get started, even if you’ve never tried it before.
My hope is that it will click for you just a little bit better and you’ll begin to have the same type of joy, relief, and momentum in your day just like I do.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
How I Started Time Blocking
It has been about six years since I started using my own method of time blocking. The reason why I started it was that I was juggling SO much and trying to do so many things at the same time. I had a brand new baby and a brand new husband. We also had a five-year-old daughter with shared parenting time, my fifteen-year career as a sign language interpreter, and an event-based floral company.
I was just trying to stay sane with a lot going on, and I wanted to be able to do all the things and do them well. I have learned a lot over the last six years. There were a lot of years even before then that taught me about how I could start time blocking. Being a single mom also gave me the experience through trial and error to figure out how to manage.
Thinking About Your Time Systematically
When I landed in my new life with my husband and new baby, I had a springboard for how I wanted to show up every day. I was trying, but my approach was failing. Doing all those things in the name of being a good wife and mom, while trying to pour into my career was not working. Because I was trying to do all of them, I wasn’t doing any one of them well. I knew that I was going to have to get focused and organized.
My instinct was to create systems. I created a systematic way to organize all of the things I had to do in a day. From that my time-blocking method was born. I know that this has reached you in your life because you’re also facing the same struggles I had, and you’re looking for a solution.
These are tips to figure out how to start time blocking just a little better. This was the thing that started everything and changed everything for me. I am almost obsessed with time efficiency. I do not want to waste time. That is where this love of what I teach and my passion for systemizing time come from.
“I created a systematic way to organize all of the things I had to do in a day. From that my time-blocking method was born. I know that this has reached you in your life because you’re also facing the same struggles I had, and you’re looking for a solution.“
#1 Be Okay With the Fact That Not Everything is Going to Live in the Right Block For a While
If you’ve never tried time blocking or seems super foreign when you start time blocking if you open your mind and heart to this, it can work for you. This tip boils down to the fact that you need to throw your perfectionism out the window. When you’re starting anything new, it’s not going to be exactly how it will be in the future. I am a testimony to that.
I lived most of my life as a perfectionist, and have forced myself into situations where I felt ill-equipped. Maybe I felt like it wasn’t right or it wasn’t good enough because it wasn’t perfect. You may also be struggling with a spectrum of perfectionism. Make sure that when you start time blocking, if something happens and things don’t go to plan, don’t give up! You can take that information, use it as data, learn from it, and move on. Allow yourself to live through some messy time blocks in the begining. That’s the only way you’re going to get better at it!
#2 Try Starting With One Block of the Day and Then Slowly Adding on Another Block
No one ever said you have to build this entire thing all at once. You don’t have to start time blocking with everything perfect and complete all at once. I get it. It’s OK if you’re morning routine block is amazing, but every other block is the chaos that ensues. Maybe it’s your nighttime routine block that works well or your PM block. Whatever it is, it’s OK to just have one block at a time.
#3 Use My 5 Block Method
You may be coming to this season of life and this blog with a lot of exposure to time blocking in general. I am aware that Pinterest, Google, podcasts, and blogs are littered with time blocking. There are thousands of examples on the internet. However, my five-block method is tried and true. I am incredibly confident in its ability to work for American (and similar cultures) communities. In this highly busy, productive, fast-paced work, you’ve been conditioned by that. My five-block method is the solution.
You Can Start for Free!
I strategically designed it to be the key to all the problems that we face when we are inundated with those things. I am daily being conditioned by what I see all around me. The message is always that I need to do more and accomplish more. I am sure you are experiencing the same thing. You can get full access to my free Time-Blocking Workbook here.
The fact that it is so simple is what I think is lacking with other time management approaches and methods. We are not just scheduling things back to back to back. That is not effective time blocking. Time blocking is where you focus on a specific thing. We need these five blocks. That is where most of our life will fall into. Focus on those five blocks, and start conditioning your thoughts, habits, tasks, schedules, and routines around these five blocks.
#4 Write Your Time Blocks Each Day Instead of Weekly Until You Get the Hang of It
I don’t usually recommend this, and it’s actually not even in the time-blocking workbook. However, we’re just talking about getting started. The end goal is to plan your life, one week at a time, but if that’s overwhelming to you right now, just sit down every night and block your next day.
Put all those things that I just mentioned in the last tip (the routines, tasks, to-dos, appointments) inside of my five blocks one day at a time. Eventually, you’ll be able to do two days, then three, then the whole week. It’s ok to start with one time block at a time.
#5 Don’t Mix Methods
One of the biggest tips I have for anything you start is to not mix methods. What I mean is that if you’ve found a proven method for something, don’t add another proven method, and another proven method, and another until what you have is no longer proven.
What we want is super clean and digestible. You want to start with something that someone has already gone through, and said “yes, this works.” You can always adapt things for yourself, but you want proof behind it and other people like you who are using it!
When you keep adding other methods you’re not actually doing the method you originally wanted to start with. You aren’t going to get the results that are proven for that one method. It will keep you from being successful, and give you an excuse to stop trying.
Trying Something New to Live Differently
We are experiencing a push in our world to never be uncomfortable. Being put outside of our comfort zone is for growth! Exposing yourself to new things will help you grow. When you hide from new things, you regress, and you look around and your life is in shambles. Allow yourself to be uncomfortable with a new method like time blocking or anything else. As long as you are still safe and your values are being upheld, being uncomfortable with a new solution is necessary for growth. Don’t get rid of the pieces that seem hard.
My question to you is, where you do go from here? What tip do you try? How committed are you to my method? What feels right to you, and what is the next best step?
You can do this, momma! I would love to know how you’re doing! Remember to check in with us in the Facebook group for even more support. I’m rooting for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I start with time blocking?
Great question! The first thing you need to know is what your priorities are. You want to know what tasks you need to get into your week. Use my priorities workbook to really flesh this out. Once you understand what you are trying to accomplish each week, then you need to learn how to put it all in your schedule. Download my time blocking workbook and I can walk you through figuring that out, too!
If you want a more detailed structure or help with knowing how much time you need for your business, join the Academy. I will walk you through all of the things to take you from overwhelm to confidence.