During my college years of working with special needs kids I learned how important it was for kids to have a routine. So naturally once I became a mom I tried to implement that same concept for my kiddos.
Cue the never-ending journey (or at least that’s what it felt like) of making a schedule and never being able to stick to it.
A strict schedule that planned out every minute of my day down to half hour increments was too much for me to handle but on the other hand a daily checklist didn’t have quite enough structure to make me feel productive and organize. I quickly realized I, as well as my kids, needed something with a little structure but would also allow room for flexibility because, Hello toddlers.
Don’t get me wrong, a daily routine checklist is still a great way to see your week as an overview. For me it helps to see what areas I need to work on and what areas I’m doing great in, but I needed something more to help manage my time and get a little more organized.
After searching for different schedules I stumbled upon the idea of Time Blocking.
What is Time Blocking?
Time Blocking is a way of scheduling your day into time blocked off sections. Each section has specific tasks assigned to it and they are only done in that time block. This kind of time management was orgionally created by Francesco Cirillo while he was in college and he used a kitchen tomatoe timer.
So the whole idea behind Time Blocking is to break your day up into sections and have specific tasks to do in each section. We’ll touch more on that below.
How does Time Blocking make you more productive?
Have you ever had a day like this? You wake up and decided today is the day you are going to start working out but then remember you have to take a package to the post office, so you pack up the kiddos and head out. On your way home, you pass the grocery store only to remember you are running low on eggs so you decided to stop and just grab a few things. You head home with 10 bags full of groceries. Remember you were only going for eggs. By now the kiddos are screaming for food so you decided to just go out for lunch. It’s so much easier and means no dishes for you to clean up. You finally get home and get the kids put down for nap and now start putting away all the groceries. This ends with you getting distracted by all the old leftovers in your fridge so you spend the next two hours throwing away old food and cleaning the entire fridge. Next thing you know the kids are awake from nap, you are clueless as to what’s for dinner, you spent all your alone time cleaning instead of working out like you planned, and you are left wondering how in the world your day has gone so array.
This was me regularly. I would get to the end of the week and realize so much of what I really wanted to accomplish was left untouched and most of the time I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off.
Time blocking completely eliminates distractions by making you put all your focus on only the tasks listed for that time block. No more getting distracted by every little thing or wasting time on frivolous tasks.
I have seen people time block every hour of the day but for me that’s just too much. Remember I have toddler and there has to be some room for grace to move or it will just make me a stressed-out mess. After looking around I found a video by Jordan Page of Fun Cheap or Free about her version of time blocking and it was the God send of all schedules for me. I decided to make our schedule and try it for a couple weeks to see how it went and alas it worked!
How It Works
Start by dividing your day into 2-3-hour sections. Each section will be named something different. For my block schedule I have a Morning, Outing, Lunch, Evening, Night, and Sleep section. Everyone and every family are different, so your day may look similar to mine while some of you, maybe the moms who work outside the home, will have vastly different schedules. Adapt it to fit you and your family.
Under each section list off the tasks or activities that you will do during that time frame. Think of your week as a whole. If you have a regular meeting at a specific time one day a week list it in that section. It’s not about doing all the tasks and activities under each section every day, it’s about giving your day and week structure. If something doesn’t get done during its designated time block, then it waits till tomorrow.
For example, my section titled ‘Outing’ is when we go to the Library once a week for story time, when I go to mom groups, when I plan play dates, and even when I schedule my doctors’ appointments. It allows me to have a time frame to schedule all my miscellaneous stuff so that it doesn’t interfere with my work or consume my day.
Here is an example of my block schedule a couple years ago. You can use this as a reference and guide to help you design your own for you are your family.
An important thing to remember is that this type of schedule is designed to be used for the whole week, or at least Monday through Friday. Weekends are always very different so its ok to not follow your block schedule during that time, you just don’t want a different block schedule for every day of the week if you can help it. All that will do is be overwhelming and will make it hard to keep track of.
For more information or a more detailed ‘How To’ on this specific kind of block scheduling system, you can check out Jordan Page’s video tutorial!
So, if you’re anything like me and have tried implementing schedule after schedule only to be defeated by every single one, then I highly suggest trying the Block Schedule system. It’s the only way I’m able to stay on track and feel highly productive each day. I promise you that this system is the answer for you taking control of your day instead of letting it control you.
To access the editable Block Schedule Template, fill out the form below. This template is designed in Canva. In order to download and edit you have to have a FREE Canva account. So go to Canva.com and create an account before clicking the template link in your email. Once you are signed into your account and click the link in the email, it will automatically make a copy of the template to your account. Next you can start editing to fit your schedule.
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Please note that you will get an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Once you hit confirm in that 1st email give it about 5 -10 minutes and then you will get the follow up email with the download link for the editable template! Sorry for the delay in time but for some reason it does it on this email more than all the others. Thanks for understanding.
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