A Step By Step Guide to Effective Time Blocking for Busy Moms (+Free Printable Included!)
So you’ve heard about this magical thing called time blocking…
But maybe you aren’t quite sure where to start. How to start. Or maybe you aren’t convinced it will work for you. Maybe you think it’s too rigid for mom life.
Well, I’ve gotchu, mama!
This intro post is for YOU.
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What Kind of Mom is Time Blocking For?
Time blocking is for the busy mom: aka the working mom, the work at home mom (WAHM) and the stay at home mom (SAHM). We are ALL busy moms.
You may be asking yourself, but Kinzy, how can it work for all types of moms? Our lives look very different. And to that I would say the answer lies in the customization of time blocking, friends. One thing I think all moms have in common is a desire for more time to both the things we need to do and the things we want to do!
So What Exactly is Time Blocking and Why Will it Work for Me?
Time blocking is a system designed to allow you to schedule in the things that are most important to you so you can confidently tackle your to do’s and OWN your time, mama. It gives you a plan to conquer your to do list! Without it, you might find yourself staring at that seemingly never ending list and feeling completely overwhelmed as to how you are possibly going to cross everything off. I know I’ve been there, and time blocking saved me.
Time blocking works for busy moms because there is plenty of flex time that can be scheduled for those unpredictable mom life moments. Because let’s be real, sometimes the kids get sick, you get sick, nobody sleeps, you have unexpected visitors, a fun event pops up or LIFE JUST HAPPENS. And that’s totally OK! It’s a guide to help you achieve your goals, not a rigid schedule you must follow to a T.
What is the Purpose of Time Blocking?
The purpose of time blocking is to prevent inefficient multitasking, help you remain focused, get in the zone, stop procrastinating, and, ultimately, OWN your time. It takes away the stress of an overwhelming to do list by forcing you to break down your goals into manageable chunks you can fit into your busy day.
So let’s get to it.
The Steps to Successful Time Blocking for Busy Moms:
Step 1: The Audit
You need to start by doing an audit your current day. What are you doing with your time now? It’s crucial to be honest here. You need to find out where your productivity gaps are, and where you are already successful!
Step 2: The Break Down
Of your schedule & to do list, that is. Mom life is hectic, chaotic and downright crazy! You can block in larger chunks or even block in 15 minute increments. You will be surprised what you can actually get done if you set a timer and zone in to a specific task.
For example, every day I schedule in one 15 minute block to clean a particular room/space. I also allocate 30 minutes to “sweaty self care” and looking after my physical self. I have 1.5 hours (naptime) designated to working on my blog, and that gets broken down further into whatever tasks are important that day.
Step 3: The Non-Negotiables & Commitments Come First
The first step is to take your empty day and block out your non negotiables and commitments first, no matter where they are in your day. For example block out your library class, or swim lessons, or pick/up drop off at daycare. Maybe it’s your commute, or meetings or conference calls. It’s super important to be real with yourself here. Focus on your priorities and let go of perfection. No day in motherhood is perfect.
Once those are in place you can schedule in the “nice to do’s”. These are things you would love to get done and can be seen as a bonus if they are completed! You will feel extra productive on the days you get your main tasks AND your bonus tasks done.
Step 4: Budget Flex Time
Have I said it enough? Mom life is u n p r e d i c t a b l e. You need to purposely schedule in some time to go back to complete tasks that were interrupted or took longer than anticipated. My personal time blocking calendar has a lot of flex time because I am mostly a SAHM (& a WAHM with this blog)… and some days Stella naps and I can get a lot of work done… and some days she doesn’t.
Heck, some days end up being so totally out of control that I will push the entire days worth of blogging tasks to the following day. It’s important you note that you can’t believe this is “failing” at your time blocking system. You simply need to give yourself grace and pick right back up where you left off!
Step 5: Review & Modify
Time blocking isn’t this rigid system. It will take time to get really good at estimating how much time certain tasks will take if you aren’t used to it. And that’s OK. As I mentioned earlier, remember to give yourself all of the grace. Do not feel guilty for moving tasks from one day to another – that’s not the point. The ultimate goal here is to have a plan to conquer your To-Do’s!
Colour code the heck out of your schedule to make it visually pleasing! This is my favourite part.
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