I was recently walking with a friend of mine and told her about all the projects I am juggling. Each new project brings a sense of excitement and a feeling of motivation until I notice that my time seemingly slips away each day and leaves me feeling frustrated that my list seemed to get longer rather than shorter after putting in a full day. So she says (and I quote), “Girlfriend, you need to get serious about time blocking your day.” Like… duh!
As small business owners, we understand goal lists, to-do lists, errand lists, social media lists, etc, etc, etc. Our brains are always working on multiple projects or ideas simultaneously and it can be incredibly distracting and unproductive. Instead of simply making a list and trying to plough through it, time blocking gives you finite, pre-planned, and controlled units of time to make the most effective use of your time and energy.
Do you have a lot of meetings throughout the week? A good way to not let those interrupt your energy flow is to designate certain meeting days for yourself during the week; that way your brain is in meeting mode and you are conserving energy by not driving all over the place each and every day of the week. I think I would consider this method energy management vs time management. You are assigned a task and timeframe. The reason this saves energy is that you can give a specific project a certain amount of time and your mind is free to work exclusively on one task to completion. Once you are done with one time block, close that project for the day and pick up the next time block.
Unlike a to-do list, giving your tasks a timeframe during your day keeps you focused AND you can plan certain tasks for certain times of the day depending on their requirement for focus or energy.
One thing that I want to point out on the example below is that email and social media do not come until after self-care and prep for the day. The reason for that is when you open email and social media you are working on OTHER people’s agendas (OPAs). You first order of business should be your agenda for your small business! I am telling you this, in and of itself, is a game changer in your energy for the day!
Let me give you an example of a time blocked day:
530-830: Daily self-care and prep (coffee, quiet time, exercise)
830-930: Emails; social media: post, response, stalking; “whatever work” for you; admin
930-1030: Sales calls, follow-ups, and thank you’s
1030-1230: Work on project for client A
130-330: Work on project for client B
330-430: Email, social media, follow-ups, confirm appointments for next day
7-9: Update CRM, set up block for next day, write book
Do you work from home and find that household distractions don’t always obey your time block? Come see what CoWork Landing has to offer. It might just offer that quiet space you need for total focus to complete your most important tasks.