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  • Coach Alicia Byers

The {surprising} Key to Time Blocking

Updated: Apr 16

If you don't have this one skill, time blocking will never work for you. Truly. I mean it. It's something we all wrestle with and I get nervous to stand on a soap box about time blocking without addressing it. You know what it is?

Self Control

Without self control, the most genius and efficient time blocking schedule is utterly wasted. I'm trying not to cringe here, but I totally am. This is a very common hurdle I work through with almost all of my clients. In fact, I spend about 25% of my time with each client working through this very thing. It's never about not having enough time.



It's always about setting your schedule and commitments ... and keeping them. It's having an epic idea and fighting the urge to spring into action and throw off the rest of your day (which you have blocked for book-keeping). It's about turning off the computer when the clock reads 5:00 pm - even when you're in the zone. It's more about practicing the ability to harness your creativity, productivity and actions in their right time and place.


So here's the deal. There are always exceptions. Most days there will be an available reason for you to use to justify working more, spending too much time on a project or simply avoiding one task for another. Occasionally they'll be valid reasons, but most of the time they'll be justifications. It's going to be 100% up to you to discern the difference.


Commit to 2 weeks of trying your new time blocks and schedule before you make drastic changes or claim it doesn't work for you (new to time blocking? click here). We have to practice keeping our schedule, habits and routines in order to get better at them. You may be shocked to know this (likely you won't be), but I really do enjoy my job and working. I'm a natural busy body. Most days I wake up and I am motivated to get to work. This took a weird, dark turn in my life 2 years ago when I couldn't tell you the last thing I did for a break. I didn't know what I thought was restful or how to relax. My mind would race at night. Not with anxiety or fear, but rather work related thoughts. I'd write emails in my dreams, practice meetings and draft projects. It took me a good sit down with Chad (my loving husband) and some voices of family and friends for me to really understand that I was burning out. This lifestyle was not sustainable and everyone around me was paying the price.


OUCH.


Enter self control. I made time blocks and practiced keeping them. This last year has been one of my most emotionally and mentally healthy years. Why? I made space for rest (which started with me learning how to do that...face palm). I made space for non-work related items. When we are on vacation I don't work. When it's 4:30 pm, I shut my computer off. I spend a balanced amount of time between prospecting, marketing, blogging, social media and personal development. Each week I get to practice more. I get to see what things need to shift. Personally, I'm finding that certain time blocks need to lessen in specific seasons. When I have a day (or a few days) that really went sideways and I'm back to hyperdrive mode it's not really a big deal. I notice it almost immediately and get back within my boundaries.

Using self control, I'd encourage you to spend 5x the amount of time you spent making your time blocks on practicing them. Resist the urge to fly back to the way you were allocating your time. After all, that's exactly what prompted you to get a handle on your calendar.


If you want to see the benefits of time blocking, employ self control. She's on your side.


I am, too.



Cheering for you,



Coach Alicia


PS. (if you're wrestling with your habits and strengths...be sure you know how to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses - click here)



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