- Coach Alicia Byers
Time Blocking 101
Updated: Sep 7, 2020
While I'm no time blocking expert, I am an expert in opinion giving. If you don't structure your days, I fear you'll look up and wonder where the time went. What did you do with the 24 hours in your day? What did you do with the 7 days in your week? Where did the 52 weeks go? And so on....
Time blocking is exactly what it sounds like - blocking your time. There are a ton of resources out there and hundreds of ways to move forward in time blocking, but I tend to keep it simple. My coach taught me this method and it has worked wonderfully for me. Basic time blocking is a great introduction to the process. You may find you'd like something more in-depth, color coordinated and hyper focused. If that's you, go for it. Find what works best for you! As always, start small. Start simple. Try it out. Give it time. Make adjustments and be open.
I structure my week into 3 categories: Work Day, Buffer Day or Free Day. Work days consist of 8-5 pm being work focused. I schedule as many calls and appointments as I can back-to-back on these days. I've found that for myself and my clients, leaving 15-30 minutes between calls is nothing more than time out the window. With a buffer between calls or appointments you're more likely to run over (because you know you have time!) and less likely to start and finish a task like you may have planned during that time. I have small children, so I take it one step further and plan for client calls in the afternoon (when my kids are napping) and internal, company calls in the morning. Alas, work days are days I work IN the business, delivering services.
Buffer days are my days that I strategically work ON the business. They are when I catch up on emails, create content, check-in with clients, market, network, strategize and plan. They are also reserved for client calls if there was a rescheduling need or an appointment that couldn't be made during my work days. Buffer days help me know that the needle will move forward on my business. These are the biggest growth days in my business and they are vital.
Lastly, let's look at free days. My free days are....free! Imagine that. I protect these days. I didn't always. Sometimes I still don't. I can assure you, free days are truly a new thing for me. Even as a write this, I still struggle with putting to 'rest' business and embracing them full force. As a work from home mom, my free days are special to me and that's why I fight for them. They mean I can focus on my kids without the pretense of having to switch gears at nap time and go into work mode. They allow me to care for my home, embrace mental rest and explore any creative outlet that I'd like! Things like painting the chicken coop, playing in the yard and taking walks are all things that allow me to recharge and come back to my work days full of excitement. Free days prevent burnout. That lesson is one for another time, though.
Mondays are buffer days, Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays are work days and Fridays are free days. If you have a role that you work Monday-Friday, you can still structure your days like this! IN the business days (work days), ON the business days (buffer days) and special project days (free days). Try your very best to not let time blocking become something that you dread trying to do. Be optimistic, follow your time blocking schedule, know that you've made space for the important roles you play and keep me posted on how it goes! I'm happy to have a look with you at your schedule and help give a new perspective on how time-blocking could impact your hours, days, months and years.
May your day be full of all things wonderful,
(self-awareness is a great place to start. find your biggest strengths in 10 minutes, click here)