Have you ever started a task, and then another, and then another without even completing the first one?
Many entrepreneurs can feel like they’re running on a hamster wheel when trying to get through their to-do lists. So what if I told you there’s a better way? If you’re ready to get off the to-do list hamster wheel and jump on the productivity train then you need to start time blocking.
If you’re not familiar with time blocking, it is a time management strategy that divides up your tasks into blocks of time. Managing your tasks into time blocks allows you to keep your focus on one task at a time, instead of breaking up your thought patterns which can lead to decreased productivity and that hamster wheel feeling of getting nowhere.
There are a few ways to make time blocking work for you.
1. Time Block by the Week
Depending on what your goals are you can focus on large tasks by the week. For example, week one marketing, week two sales, week three follow up, week four accounting. Scheduling major tasks in this way increases your productivity by eliminating distractions that come from shifting gears mentally. Use each week to focus on the key parts of your business, instead of jumping on tasks as they come. Instead of shifting gears every time you get a new notification, save tasks for the times scheduled so you can stay focused on finishing the task at hand.
2. Time Block by the Day
Many people prefer to block large projects into a single day. If you’re working from the weekly time blocks, you can then divide your tasks into days. Schedule each day of the week devoted to one part of your marketing strategy. You can use one day to create all of your social media content for the month, instead of trying to come up with it on the fly daily. With scheduling tools like OnlyPult and Hootsuite, you can easily schedule your social posts ahead of time. In fact Facebook and Pinterest have even added a scheduling feature for businesses and creators. Then use another day to do all of your email marketing, another day for all of your graphics (if you do them yourself), and so on.
3. Time Block by the Hour
If we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that the larger blocks of time can’t only be filled with one thing, so it’s important to schedule some smaller time blocks for daily tasks and even miscellaneous tasks that may come up unexpectedly. Start your day with a scheduled hour for managing your inbox and schedule the next hour for immediate tasks that happened to pop in during that time-frame. Then you have the rest of your day to focus on the major time block, free of interruptions and full of productivity.
So if you’ve been feeling scattered when looking at your to-do list, and not sure where to start then time blocking may be the answer you’ve been looking for. Start slow by scheduling out your work day into time blocks and then see if you are feeling more productive. When you get into the habit of time blocking daily, then you can do some more big picture adjustments like scheduling out your business operations into weekly and daily blocks of time.