Ep 20: Time blocking can change your life! (Productivity Part 1)Mar 05, 2020
Oh yes, working from home can be hard. All the distractions, phone dings, action going on outside, TV, other people around on the phone or talking, etc.
And I know it all too well. Until the end of last year, I was working with all of those distractions. I got work done, but things weren't happening at the speed I needed them to.
I used to exercise whenever in the morning - maybe 8:30 or 9:30 or 10:30 or 12 - then would work at the kitchen table as permitted. I could work at a desk but no, I wanted the TV on with the news, and let my dogs in and out and eat snacks as needed.
I soon realized that was not working. I needed to concentrate. I didn’t need anymore of these distractions.
Then I discovered the one method that changed everything: TIME BLOCKING. Yes, I started to block my time. And it has been absolutely a God-send!
The first thing you have to do with this method is block your time off. So last December I booked our summer vacation - yes 8 months ahead of time. Yes, flights booked that early. Done. And it is amazing how other things have already come up - and I have said “sorry, we are on vacation that week.” Yes, I’m now in charge of my time - not my business in charge of me. And I have mapped out those 3 day weekends and holidays that we will be gone.
So here’s how it works daily: I block at least 4 hours solid work Monday - Thursday. I actually go upstairs in a tiny room we have that the previous owners of our home had finished out. It’s about 1/3 the size of a normal bedroom. It fits my desk, computer, chair, and some other storage items on some shelves. It is not a pretty room. The paint color is BLAH and the lighting isn’t fantastic - it’s simply not inspiring.
But, I’ll have you know, it’s the best work environment I have ever had. I turn on my computer, sit at my desk, and it’s quiet. I can’t hear the dogs barking, I can’t hear my husband on the phone, and there are no windows. I turn off my phone and try to open only the tabs on computer that I need open for that one thing I am working on.
I usually exercise in the morning by 8:30 - home and showered by 10. I work solid until lunch then take a break then work solid again up in that room. This is the time I can focus on consulting calls, recording podcast episodes or work on projects (which I have one I’m working on now which I’m totally excited about!)
I do my most creative work in the morning, and do my managing type work in the afternoon when I’m not as “creative” aka more tired and worn out LOL. The great thing is that I way more aware in the morning and tend to stay focussed easier and really knock those necessary tasks with so much more ease.
I now make dinner at 3:30 in the afternoon when my daughter gets home from school so that I can be talking to her and cooking, and not working. I get her to dance and the rest of the family eats dinner. Then at night, I do work a little but not much - again just knocking out those pesky day-to-day tasks that need to get done. Nothing creative at night. But yes, I have to work sometimes at night, but not in my bunker room LOL - I’m usually able to knock it out with others around. Again, this is not my creative work - it’s just little stuff.
This has totally transformed my productivity. I get so much more done - I feel focussed - and I’m NOT interrupted. I actually enjoy working as I get excited for those specific tasks I am working on.
With that - I challenge you to this:
BLOCK your vacation and break time FIRST. Go ahead and schedule your vacations and book them. That is how successful people do things - they work between vacations. That’s you now - you schedule it so there is no taking that away from you.
Time block those hours in your day that you can work uninterrupted. Put it on your calendar and stick to it. You’ll be surprised how much you get done.
Time block your blocking time. Meaning - on Friday or Saturday or Sunday, set aside time to reflect on your past week, what you got done and what still lingers. Plan your next week’s time blocks for those things. That way it is set and now when you start your week, you won’t let things just come up - you will say no, I have to work during those hours.
By doing this, you are taking control of the distractions & your life instead of all of that running you. You set aside specific time to do specific things - in fact, ONE thing that can really propel your business.
Next week I will go into more…but I wanted to start you off with this. Time block and it will make all the difference! I would love to hear how it works for you - you can post in my private group any time!
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