This simple system might have been the most amazing thing I ever learned many years ago. I couldn’t tell you how or where I came across the subject, but after visiting a few links and researching a short while I was hooked on this concept. And after implementing it, I saw my days go from chaotic stress to streamlined peace – for the most part. I mean, any working mom with kids at home can attest to our days not always going exactly to plan. However, this has been my first line of defense and a fantastic one at that. I thought I would share my process and tips on how to create a block schedule for productive days. It’s a great system to stay efficient no matter what you are trying to accomplish.
For me, working in the home comes with its struggles and interruptions. Laying out my entire day and seeing it from a bird’s eye view helps me to maintain a sense of efficiency. Because I have created the day’s schedule around what needs to be accomplished, I know exactly where I need to spend my time in order to make it all happen. Before, I found myself wasting precious time figuring out what I should jump into next. Or getting distracted with things that were not helping my cause. So let’s break this down.
All of my calendar and scheduling needs are handled using Apple’s built-in-system, iCal. If you prefer the paper and pen approach for your personal calendar, you can use a planner and still create a block schedule. Being an Apple user and having my devices synced is such a fantastic way to manage day-to-day life. Not to mention, I am able to keep the family more organized with everyone’s devices being synced with the family calendar. Everyone knows what is coming up, where to be, even when Mom needs alone time for a meeting. If you are not an Apple user, Google also has a great calendar tool you can check out that will sync between systems as well.
Next step is to look at your entire day as a whole and the responsibilities you face. We need to divide responsibilities up into subjects or categories so we can begin to organize and prep each day for our block schedule. For some ideas, I have compiled a list of the main subjects I work with. As you create your own list, be sure and also add a color code to each subject. This will come in handy in the actual calendaring process.
For my morning routine, workouts, outings, evening routines, etc.
For all appointments, sports, meetings, etc.
For anything that Jarett and I tackle together or that the kids don’t need to be included in such as bill due dates, date nights, etc.
For all things having to do with homeschool such as daily studies, appointments, and outings.
For inbox management, scheduling, digital asset management, tech system organization and updates, invoicing, shipments, website updates
For all conference calls, meetings, photoshoots
Yes, I will absolutely set time aside for simply thinking of new ideas, fresh content, etc.
For all content writing, photoshoot planning, post-production, video editing, group content planning
For ads, marketing emails, graphics, templates
For social media content prep and scheduling, email marketing, lives, ad planning, Facebook groups
So you have chosen your calendaring tool and have built out your categories. The next step is to begin plugging in your block schedule to your calendar. I find it easier to work through my to-do list and bullet journal first so I know what needs to be tackled and the details of that particular category or task. For instance, if I am scheduling an hour block for marketing then I want to add into my notes anything that is pressing or a must-do for that hour. This way I am utilizing that time to be as productive as possible. If there isn’t anything pressing or a specific deadline, then I leave it blank so that hour would be used for brainstorming or researching future marketing opportunities.
I also make sure to add a reminder notification. Usually, I use the “15 minutes before” option and that way my desktop will “ding” and I know I need to begin wrapping up the current block I am working in.
So there you have it! How to create a block schedule for productive days. I hope you find it helpful!
What are your best productivity hacks for efficient days?
Kara Layne & Co