Ticking off To-Do Lists – The Power of Using a time-block Schedule and Theming Your Days
Turn chaos into calm: Master your time through time blocking and themed days.
1. Introduction to time blocking and its importance for small business owners
Time blocking is an incredibly powerful time management tool that every small business owner should be taking advantage of! It helps you structure your time so you can focus on the most important tasks and make real progress. By giving time blocks to various items on your schedule, you establish clear boundaries and time limits over how long a task should take to complete. This not only allows for effective time management, but also enables you to prioritize certain tasks quickly and easily. Additionally, time blocking creates a sense of urgency and energy around each task, pushing you to stay focused until it’s complete. So if you’re looking to streamline your productivity as a small business owner, time blocking is definitely worth incorporating into your daily routine!
2. How time blocking can help to reduce stress levels and increase productivity
Time blocking is an effective time management technique that can be very useful in helping to reduce stress levels and increase productivity. By breaking down tasks into more manageable chunks and scheduling time slots to get through those tasks, time blocking eliminates the overwhelm of tackling big projects at once. Time blocking also allows you to focus on one task at time, enabling you to direct all of your energy into that single activity. This improves efficiency and encourages you to complete the task without being easily distracted or feeling overwhelmed. By organizing time in this way, time blocking can help minimize stress and keep productivity high.
3. The steps of time blocking, including setting priorities, breaking tasks into manageable chunks, scheduling time blocks for each task, etc.
Time blocking involves setting priorities, breaking tasks into manageable chunks, scheduling time blocks for each task, and keeping track of progress.
First, before time blocking, it’s important to set priorities in order to determine which tasks are most important to accomplish and when. This allows you to focus on the tasks that will have the most impact, rather than getting bogged down in time-consuming activities of lesser importance.
Second, breaking tasks into smaller chunks is important for time management because it helps make long-term projects more manageable by dividing them into shorter time blocks. Shorter time blocks make it easier to stay on task and keep track of progress.
Third, time blocking allows you as a small business owner to set time aside for specific tasks. This ensures that time-sensitive projects are completed in a timely manner, as well as allows for time to be scheduled for more creative activities.
Finally, time blocking also helps with time tracking, which is important for staying on top of the progress of a project. This helps small business owners stay organized and focused on their goals.
Overall, time blocking is extremely beneficial if you first prioritize tasks, break down big projects into smaller chunks, and then track your progress.
4. How time blocking can be used to manage daily tasks more effectively
After teaching one of our clients about time blocking a while back, she decided to put it to the test. She thought it would be a great way to tackle something that had been daunting her for some time: finding new avenues for marketing his services and products. This is what I call, “a task in the CEO zone of business.” Anyway, she set aside a block of time each day and focused on brainstorming new strategies and tactics, leaving time afterward to implement whatever she came up with. After about a week and a half, she had fresh ideas in place that were generating better results than anything she had tried before! Not only was time blocking the key to getting this task done efficiently and with tangible results, but the experience pushed her to grow as a business owner AND simultaneously boosted her confidence along the way.
5. Seven examples of successful time-blocking strategies from real-life female small business owners
Both Angelyn and I are serial entrepreneurs. Having multiple income streams is NOT a bad idea, but becoming great at managing them all is another story. Both Angelyn and I use time-blocking to manage Next Chapter Social. We block 3 hours every Monday morning to go over client social accounts, reconcile meetings on our calendars, check in on our task progress and list out priority to-do items for the upcoming week. Knowing we have this time set aside each week keeps us focused on listing out items as they come up throughout the week that we can discuss in our Monday time-block.
Here are six other examples of female small business owners using this same technique to grow and maintain balance.
- Co-founder of Kami, Claire Murrell. She implements ‘Power Hours’ every day where she replaces breaks from work with meaningful micro-tasks instead, such as organizing her emails or focussing on strengthening her customer relationships.
- Lifestyle entrepreneur Jennifer Jones who sets aside two hours at the start and end of every day for goal setting and reflecting respectively. This ensures that not only are her goals being regularly established, but progress on them is also tracked to stay on track with achieving success.
- Anne Rossiter, founder of Pomegranate SW, who starts her day by making a list of tasks and timetables them out in 45-minute blocks. This allows her to maintain focus and keeps her productive during the day.
- Domonique Sims, CEO of Taste Buds Kitchn, who simplifies complex multi-step tasks into manageable chunks by breaking them down into simple steps and allotting herself intermittent breaks throughout the process.
- Sheena Allen, CEO of CapWay. She credits time-blocking as a major factor in her ability to scale her business while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She blocks out time every day to fit in yoga or read articles that inspire her thinking.
- Monyka Berrocosa also attributes time-blocking to helping her stay on track throughout her work day. She effectively manages her time by understanding what tasks are most important and scheduling them on specific days.
These examples illustrate how time-blocking can help small business owners maximize productivity without sacrificing well-being.
6. Explain the benefits of time-blocking such as increased focus on tasks and improved work/life balance
Obviously, by now you can clearly see that time-blocking is a great time management tool that can help you stay organized and motivated, both at work and in your personal life.
A time-block is essentially when you take time each day to focus on specific tasks that need to be done. By providing yourself with clear goals and time frames, you can dedicate time to the activities most important to you while increasing focus and productivity. With time-blocking, it’s easier to achieve a winning work/life balance because everything can fit into your daily schedule without feeling overwhelmed or rushed. Also, if something unexpected pops up during the day, time-blocking makes it easy for you to adjust and tweak things accordingly in order to stay on track with what’s important.
Give time-blocking a try – from increased focus on tasks to improved work/life balance, you might just find that it brings more balance and structure (not to mention peace of mind!) into your daily routine!
7. Theming your days
Theming your days means that you assign categories of tasks to a day of the week. Theming your days is best for people that think the word “PLAN” is the ultimate four letter word. When I started theming my days, it helped me feel more in control of of my days and added consistency and predictability to my schedule. It made me much more efficient than when I bounced back and forth between completely unrelated tasks.
You know… they say that it takes you 20 minutes to get back in concentration mode once you’ve been distracted. Think of all the time you are wasting by bouncing around all day! Themed days will take out the guesswork when some asks you, “what do you have available next week for coffee?”
Much like those people that only wear white tees and faded blue jeans, theming your days will drastically minimize your decision fatigue. Gone will be the days of random tasks all day long. You will wake up knowing what tasks are on the list because they will be categorized efficiently. You will know exactly what you need to tackle depending on the day of the week.
Here’s how I theme my days…
8. Batching your content
It’s so easy to say, “I don’t have time for that.”
Batching your content makes it much easier to increase focus, increase output, decrease friction and dramatically increase quality. Batching content just means you do a lot of one thing during one block of time. For example, Angelyn and I work on our client’s content on Wednesdays between 9am and 2:30pm. Every Wednesday we sit down and dedicate that time block to client content creation. We also batch our b-roll for reels. This is typically done during events when we are doing our thing in the wild so-to-speak. For example, teaching face-to-face classes, networking events, group zoom calls, etc. B-roll is so much more interesting when you aren’t making it up or forcing it.
Time blocking and theming your days are both effective time management tools — especially for female small business owners. As women we tend to multi-task and have “mom-guilt” when we focus too hard on work. Time-blocking will help maximize productivity while still maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Examples of successful time-blocking strategies from real-life female entrepreneurs illustrate how this technique can help you stay organized and motivated both at work and in your personal life.
By providing yourself with clear goals and time frames, you’ll be able to dedicate time to activities most important to you while increasing focus and productivity.