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Time Blocking Cheat Sheet

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Imagine if you could unlock extra hours during the day you never realised existed. It can be done! Use my Time Blocking Cheat Sheet to get more done in your day, focus on what you want to accomplish over the week. And have time to do more of what you enjoy.

Time Blocking is a simple system of streamlining the 24 hours you have in a day and blocking out time to focus on a specific task. But it’s not just about creating a to-do list. Time blocking is designed for focus. 

How many days this week have you planned to tidy an area of your home, complete a project, check in with friends or practice some self care? With the greatest intention in the world, items on your to-do list are just suggestions.  You have not set a commitment or plan to follow through with any of it. If you regularly get to the end of the week, with the majority of items not ticked off, I’m sure you feel deflated and disappointed, which affects the relationship you have with yourself.

Time Blocking changes all of that. By scheduling every minute of your day, you limit distractions and multiply productivity. It’s the ultimate time management strategy. 

As time is of the essence, I’m not going to deep dive into the full ins and outs of Time Blocking. (This is a ‘cheat sheet’ after all!).  What we will explore is the basic fundamentals to get you started this week. Let’s get ready to:

  • Sort your daily schedule timeline.
  • Identify your high level priorities.
  • Make space in your day for things which bring you joy. 

Time Blocking Cheat Sheet : How to find more time in your day

Setting Up Your Time Blocking Schedule

The blocks on the cheat sheet start from 5am up to 12pm. This doesn’t mean trying to sleep less in order to have more time during your waking hours.  Making sure you get the sleep you need, will have a profound impact on your motivation and how you feel during the day. However, if you wake up later than this or go to bed earlier – you will need to block off your sleep time as your first step.

Next, think about any unavoidable, daily tasks you already do. Cooking, eating, commuting, etc. For each of these tasks, estimate the time you usually spend on them and what time they usually happen during the day. On your cheat sheet, block out the time of day and the length of time each of these tasks take over the week. 

There are certain tasks you my not enjoy, but are a necessary and recurring part of life. (The boring necessities!). Things like washing, ironing, tidying the house etc. all take up our valuable time.

On the Recurring Task section on the cheat sheet,  write your list of these tasks and put the time you usually spend on them. Don’t block them out as yet.  Lets focus on your priorities and enjoyment first. Those are the good bits!

The 90 Minute Rule

Think about the priorities you want to achieve this week. Is there a project you have to complete? An area of your home you need to sort?  An event you need to plan?  On the cheat sheet, write your priorities down and the length of time you estimate they till take to complete.

Next, decide the things you want to to do for fun, enjoyment or self-care over the week.  With this list, write down how long you want to spend on them.

You now have a list of actions that need to be done over the next seven days. Not only that, you have estimated how long each action will take. 

The rule for every action on your list is you can’t spend more that 90 minutes on one individual task!  If you think some things will take longer than 90 minutes, break it into separate 90 minute blocks. 

Why 90 minutes?  Because after this time, it’s hard to remain focused on the task you’re trying to get done!  The brain will wonder. You will seek distractions and you may find yourself wasting 30 – 60 minutes on a social media fix. Or if you’re at work, find yourself sucked into the office gossip. 

Batching Tasks

Before you start blocking your time for the week, review the tasks you have on your list. Are there  tasks you can batch for completion on the same day? For example, if you have cleaning, ironing or laundry to do. Can these all be done on a Saturday morning, so you don’t have to think about it during the week? 

Batch similar tasks together to create a better flow of focus and productivity. It’s also a great way to find balance over the entire week. 

Start Blocking Your Time

You are now ready to get busy plotting your week!

On the cheat sheet, plot the task and actions over the week within the time blocks you have allocated to complete them. Start with your priorities, then the things you enjoy. Do your recurring tasks last.

What have you noticed?

If you’re anything like me – I was very surprised about the amount of time I actually did have to work on my priorities and do things I enjoy.

When you have an organised plan for your week, you’re much less susceptible to spending hours watching TV, scrolling social media or just being idle. Being more disciplined with what you focus your energy on, allows you more freedom to do the things you really enjoy. 

So, my question is – What are you going to do with all that free time??

Let me know in the comments below. 

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