I know I am not alone when you have a whirlwind of a day, where you feel like you are going all day, and then when you sit back at the end of the day you aren’t even sure what you did all day.
I was recently chatting with a client about this exact thing, they find their days could be so hectic from the moment they get up to the moment they crawl back into bed. They found their days would go by without them being about to don’t always make time for the things when they want to get in the day. Our conversation revolved around what tools we could use to ensure she was being as intentional as possible with their time and energy and the answer was time blocking their entire day, from start to finish. The idea behind time blocking is breaking up your entire day, into blocks of time that are dedicated to a specific task or group of tasks. Many of us might use this during our work day to keep us focused and organized, but we often do not use it for our day.
The more we chatted about this idea, the more we realized all the potential benefits of using this type of time management tool. It can help you create an intentional day, prioritize what is important to you and manage your stress. Here are the benefits of time blocking your entire day.
You are intentional with your time and energy. When you are super clear about what you want to do and when, you are a lot less likely to find yourself aimlessly doing things that you didn’t want to, hint hint scrolling on your phone or netflix binging. Not saying we can’t do these things, as long as you are mindfully choosing to do them. By not wasting your time as much you can help you to spend our time and energy in ways that are aligned with our goals.
You are more realistic with your to do list. I am notorious for trying to squeeze too much in the day. It is natural for us to think things are going to take less time than it actually does or that things are going to go smoother than they do. Despite our best intentions, we end up setting these expectations for ourselves that are not feasible given our own time constraints. It can be so frustrating when we have had an extremely productive day where we feel we are on fire and crossing tons off our list, yet we don’t get to everything we planned on doing simply we set unrealistic goals from the start. When you are blocking off specific times in your schedule for specific tasks you are much more realistic about what is feasible to get in your schedule, so won’t set unrealistic standards for yourself.
It helps to manage your overwhelm. There is something about transferring your to-do list onto your calendar that sets you at ease. Even if the to-do list hasn’t changed at all, seeing it laid out in a schedule makes it seem more manageable. It proves to you that you have the time to handle all of the tasks and gives you peace of mind that you will get it all done.
Be intentional with your self care. Whether it is a journal session, a hike in nature or a bubble bath, If you don’t specifically plan it in, it is less likely to happen. Remember, if it can happen at any time it will happen at no time and let’s be honest our self care is often the first thing to go when things get busy.
Be intentional with your healthy habits. Similar to self care, your healthy habits are often sacrificed when our days get too full. If we schedule in our time for meditation, meal prep, or gym time, we are more likely to make it happen, especially if we do it in the morning before our day gets away from us and other people start making demands of us.
Since time-blocking might be new to you, here are some tips to deal with common challenges people have when starting time blocking:
Make sure how you are spending your time is aligned with your overall goals and priorities.
Be realistic with your time frames.
Schedule breaks and buffers between activities.
Prioritize your self care and healthy habits.
Schedule some downtime.
Give time blocking a try and see how it transforms your day and see how it changes how you manage everything you have going on. If you need help with scheduling your days, download these free daily schedules to help you time block your day.
Want to Learn More?
Check out this blog on using weekly reflections to be more intentional with your time and energy.
Check out this blog on dealing with busy times.
Check out this blog on protecting out time, energy and priorities.