Blocking out time in your day for productivity
Organization is one of my favorite things to do, I enjoy the process of sitting down and blocking out time in my day for all the tasks I have to complete. I'm an entrepreneur, but first and foremost I'm a mother and each hour of every day has necessary tasks that have to be completed in order to maintain my children's needs, my business' needs and my own needs.
Blocking out time for specific must do tasks is the only way I can stay on top of everything that is needed to get done.
I have a strict schedule for every morning, which starts at around 6 am. My morning schedule is what keeps me grounded in my spiritual growth and manifesting my abundance. I generally do not go to bed till around 1-3 am.
Yes, that is a lot of hours, but, as I tell my kids, I get more done before 10 am than most people get done all day. I love blocking my schedule. It helps me be accountable for all the tasks I have to complete for my business, my children, my household and my self.
How I schedule my day.
As an entrepreneur, I need at least 3 hours per day blocked out on my schedule fo active business workflow. This is the time that doesn't include checking social media, or emails. With this blocked time I would be actively working on new creative material, writing new material, scheduling social media messages for all my channels, and of course working on my opt-in offers and email campaigns. But that doesn't mean that I need all three of those hours in one sitting.
I can effectively block out an hour and a half twice a day. This breaks up the monotony of doing similar tasks for long periods of time. Beyond these tasks I also have to block out time in my schedule for social media interaction, social media scheduling, email checking and responding, twitter chats, e-course I'm taking and of course my obsession with Pinterest and Instagram.
My schedule generally goes like this:
- 5-6:30 am Wake up, meditate, manifestation, journaling, mantras, emails, social media check up (Time to reflect on my day and the gratitude I have)
- 6:30-10 am clean the kitchen, sweep the floors, wash some clothes, feed the dogs, feed the lizards, pay some bills, get my schedule out and review it for the day
- 10-12:30 pm get my youngest up and feed and start his homeschooling (while doing household chores)
- 12:30-2:30 get my two teens up, feed and start their homeschooling (continue household chores) (DR appts are scheduled for this time as well)
- 2:30-4:30 work on business tasks, course work, interactions with potential clients, and creative work (more Dr appts if necessary)
- 4:30-6:00 start dinner while listening to podcasts or ecourse videos, read to my son while cooking, and eat dinner with a movie (Netflix Binge)
- 8:00-12 am work on my next day schedule, send out client work, work on writing copy, interact with potential clients, and my coaches, do research for homeschooling and for the business, binge on Netflix, and work on anything that hasn't gotten taken care of during my day. (This is my time to myself) (reading time as well)
- 12-3 am I spend this time manifesting, thank the Universe for my abundance, gratitude journaling, and regular journaling. (My time to myself)
Know when you work the best and utilize it
Night time is my peak hours. I'm an insomniac so from 7 pm to around 3 am I get the majority of my work done. This is mainly due to the fact that by this time in the day the energy in my kids is wearing off and my energy is going strong.
Even though this schedule seems like it is pretty easy to follow, in between most of those times I am also traveling to DR. appts. for my disabled son, seeing DR for my rheumatoid issues, and handling the shit ton of crisis' that happen throughout my day.
Most every second of my day is accounted for, I spend times when I am doing chores and food prep, listening to podcasts or business videos, such as Nora Conrad's Live stream on Wednesdays. I enjoy utilizing my meditation audios during times of high stress, and I utilize Chakra cleansing videos while I am traveling to appts. and such.
I am never doing just one thing, that is why it's so important to block out time in my day for those super important tasks that will most likely get forgotten, like eating and baths, lol. During my day, I will do anywhere from 10-20 different things, and not all of them can get done if I don't block my time and follow my schedule.That is why it's important to block times and stick to them.
Scheduling helps your productivity
Without a specific schedule in place, my productivity would be shot. I have to know what is going on at all times, if it isn't in my schedule I can not guarantee it will get done. In order to get in the habit of blocking out your day, you need to make a conscious decision to stop what you are doing at the exact moment your schedule something.
Especially if it is something as important as the Dentist or haircut. This will help you get in the habit of keeping track of your time and eliminate the "oh, I forgot" syndrome that so many of us busy women fall into. With so much going on in one day it is perfectly understandable that we can forget some of the most mundane tasks that are necessary for our sanity.
I maintain my schedule in several different ways. I carry my phone everywhere I go, since I'm always working. I utilize a calendar app on your phone such as Sunrise. There are several others out there but I prefer Sunrise since it can migrate with several other programs that I utilize for scheduling and tasks for my business.
Sunrise migrates naturally with Asana and your Evernote without having to use a separate program such as Zapier, who I have a disdain for, lol. This is great for me since those are two of my favorite productivity apps. These apps help me to stay on task and also know when my team is working on a task assigned them, and I can also communicate with my team in real time, instead of emailing and waiting for them to answer the email the next day.
Another way I stay on task is to make to-do lists that I can check off when I complete a task. Most the time I carry magnetic note pads that I purchase at Targets one dollar section, love their office supplies. I also write my weekly schedule into my favorite paper scheduler from Orange Circle Studio.
I found this fabulous daily scheduler at the local Marshal's store right before the new year and it has proven to me that you don't necessarily need an expensive paper scheduler to keep your day on track. Each day is broken down into six blocks and I utilize each block as a different time of day.
The biggest block is the top block and I put in all my morning activities in this block. The rest of the blocks are broke up into lunch time stuff, mid day stuff, evening stuff, and of course dinner and night time. This allows me to break each day down by the hour. I love that it has 8 columns, one for every day of the week plus a notes section for filling in my to-do list.
The days are labeled and have the calendar has the holidays for the US and Canada, along with the moon phases which helps me keep track of the new/full moon work that I do. I love also that each week is a different color that coordinates with the books print on the cover. But the best part about this paper scheduler is the quality of paper, the fact that it has an elastic band to hold it together and the price of $5.99 plus tax at Marshal's when I bought it.
Without this scheduler I would be totally lost. I don't always have my phone on hand since I do have a 7-year-old, but I do always have my paper scheduler in my purse. If it's not in the book then it is most likely in my Sunrise calendar on my phone. This gives me the extra advantage of having more than one way to check my schedule.
Scheduling your day is not the only thing you need to do to stay productive with your day. You have to maintain the schedule and also follow it. Sometimes this can get hard. Especially when you or your child gets sick.
Those are the times that your schedule will get missed and things will need to be rescheduled. But no worries as long as you have maintained your schedule properly in the first place you will be able to see what you have missed and follow up on it when you/your little one is better. Don't stress about missing things, especially if it couldn't be helped. Just add it back in and get back to work.
One thing I have learned since utilizing my new system, if you miss any appt. because it wasn't scheduled in your calendar or your book, then this is your intuition telling you that you didn't need to do it anyways. Sometimes, subconsciously we will not insert something into our schedule because we really don't want to participate in it.
As long as it was something that isn't harming you, your business, our your children then forget about it and move on. Stress is not healthy and stressing over something you can not fix it even worse.
If you are interested in learning more about blocking your schedule so you can be more productive in your day, then I suggest reading Hal Elrod's book Miracle Mornings. He has some super ways to block your day and complete more things in your day before 8 am.
I try to make sure I stick strictly to my scheduled blocks that way I am not losing site of how much time I'm spending on every activity I'm doing for my business.
With such a busy lifestyle blocking out my day is so much better than trying to schedule everything as a to do list. I have so many things to do on a daily that if I don't block out my schedule then something would be completely forgotten and that is not a good thing.
As a women who loves to organize, prioritize, and get 'ish done I thought that I'd include a helpful productivity blocking diagram for y'all to download and use as you want. Each block is assigned a different task and time frame, not all time frames are set in stone.
My time frames needed for each block could be totally different than your needed time frames, just consider that with being a business bad-ass you will need to do at least three hours per day of productive business-work to get 'ish done and more forward.
How productive have you been over the past few months? Would you say that you are lacking in the productivity department?
Jessica Lynn is the creative genius behind JessLynn Creative. She has been in the online business community since 2008 when she started as a lifestyle blogger at Punk Rock Momma. Since then she has moved on to website design, copy-writing, she has authored two books, one self-help and one children's story and is now starting her very own Creative Brand Strategy business with a focus on accountability, organization, and productivity throughout the year. With her crazy ZOO of four kids, three dogs, recently added 6 puppies, two kittens, and two bearded dragons, she finds time to put her thoughts down on paper, and help others build their brand in a creative and often out of the box way. Her designs are fresh and clean with a touch of whimsy sprinkled on top. Join her Slack Community or her Facebook group for Branded and Badass Creatives.