Copywriting may be my jam, but productivity is my bread and butter. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to write anything (because I would be sidetracked all.the.live.long.day.).
You’ve heard me talk about productivity before, but today, I want to get specific and talk about time blocking.
Time blocking is my go-to productivity tool because I’ve seen it strut its stuff over and over again — and through multiple seasons of life.
I’ve time blocked as an employee, a business owner, with kids, and without kids. And I can tell you…it works. You have my word.
If you’ve never time blocked before, or you have and it maybe didn’t work out so well, today’s post is for you! Here are my top time blocking tools to help you stay focused 🤓
Time blocking is important no matter what stage of life or capacity you have available right now. Essentially, you’re putting like things together into “buckets” on your calendar and carving out the space for them.
It’s kind of like letting your calendar be your secretary, showing you what you have time to say yes to based on what you have going on (aside from meetings with strict schedules).
But the one thing to remember? Be flexible.
I was a proud card-carrying member of the 5:00 AM club for years, even before college, all the way through my working twenties. Then I got pregnant.
If you’ve been pregnant before, you know it absolutely does not fail that the first trimester is rough. I was down for the count, was constantly sleeping, and was always nauseous.
So obviously, I couldn’t time block like I used to. Then, I had a second child, and I had to time block according to having two littles in my house. My priorities shifted.
If I had been stubborn, I probably wouldn’t have been able to move forward.
The same schedule that carried me through my corporate era is not the same as a small business owner with two kids, two pups, and a full schedule.
But because I adjusted to the times, I was able to (mostly) stay on top of things.
So you have my permission — adjust away!
Consider your best zones
And then you have to consider what time of day works best for certain activities. Some people work better in the morning, some at night. Does that mean you only have to work in the morning or at night?
No! It just means that when you pick up on where your energy goes throughout the day you can better plan around your best zones of genius, or full focus time.
For example, I’m an early riser, so my brain is most “on” in the morning. That’s when I do all of my creative tasks that require me to make something.
In the afternoon when my energy wans a little bit, I do more of the managerial/admin tasks that don’t require that heavy focus.
Whatever it is for you, don’t be afraid to work around that schedule! Your to-do list will thank you.
Assess what hasn’t worked
To figure out what can work for you, you need to look at what currently isn’t.
If the whole concept of batching and putting things in blocks isn’t working, hit stop. If batch work isn’t doing a lot for you, don’t do it. Sometimes it’s just not your vibe.
But it could also be because of something else.
Maybe you’ve noticed your productivity switch because you’re always tired lately. Or you have a lot going on in your personal life. Or maybe you’re just in a busy season.
Those things can all impact our productivity, or lack thereof. So make sure you’re constantly taking stock of what’s happening in your life, 360, all the way around.
Use theme days
I like to “theme” my days with batch work because personally, I feel like it helps me work faster.
Mondays are for management. I spend that time catching up, getting my goals set for the week, and talking to my team. I’m in lots of meetings these days, too, mostly internal. It’s my people day!
Tuesdays are for client work, and Wednesdays are for product development. On these days I don’t take any meetings. I have a strict no people allowed policy (except if my team needs me on Slack).
This is because I’m doing a lot of writing, a lot of creation, and a lot of deep work. I need big chunks of time to do that. This type of work requires my full focus.
On Thursdays, I have more meetings, both internal and external — more external though — plus podcast interviews.
And Fridays are for finances and catching up! I usually only work half-day on these days if nothing needs my immediate attention. Then I like to leave the afternoon open for doctor’s appointments or anything else that I can’t get to during the week.
This is just how I do my week — you can totally batch as you see fit! Maybe you have a whole day dedicated to:
- Content creation
- Coaching calls
- Team meetings
- Admin tasks
Batching it like this trains your brain to not only know what to expect day to day but also keeps your schedule nice and concise.
Silence is golden
When I’m in the weeds, working on that deep-thinking work, there shall be no noise in the background! No Sweet Liza, no Ninja Turtles.
I need to be zoned in and stay in my lane for as long as possible. I try to shoot for two hours at a time, but realistically, it probably ends up being an hour and a half on average.
Distractions are everywhere, so I also try to keep notifications to a minimum too (and by minimum, I mean as close to zero as humanly possible).
During that deep focus time, if I’m constantly going back and forth between the project and answering messages, or cleaning off my desktop, or stopping to play with the sheps, I’m breaking my focus.
And it actually takes more energy and brain power to get back on track than to just say no in the first place!
Ultimately, I know I have to be flexible. Not everything will be calm and quiet 100% of the time I need to focus.
But I’ve learned that if I can get three to four deep focus hours per day, I can still be productive and run a pretty dang good business!
Go for a sprint
If I get to bed early enough, I weirdly love waking up at like four or five o’clock in the morning and I can go do sprints.
No, not the running kind. I’m a morning person but not that much of a morning person. I mean focus sprints!
If I have a big project my friend Abby will jump on Zoom with me for a coworking session of sorts. We’ll be in our glasses, pjs, and coffee cups at the ready — heck, we might not even talk to each other!
And we spent an entire burst of time in full-focus mode…aka sprints.
Having that accountability and just knowing someone else in your midst that’s also working on important things really helps you stay a little more motivated.
Join the Art of Efficiency!
If you want to get a little bit deeper into learning what works for you in terms of full-focus time and overall time management, then hop on over to the waitlist for The Art of Efficiency!
This three-stack, three-week system is designed to help you find ways to create your most proactive, sustainable workflow as a creative entrepreneur.
LOVE THIS SLASH NEED IT BACK-POCKETED FOR LATER?
CLICK BELOW TO PIN IT!
Reading Time: 5 Minutes Reading time: 5 min. Copywriting may be my jam, but productivity is my bread and butter. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to write anything (because I would be sidetracked all.the.live.long.day.). You’ve heard me talk about productivity before, but today, I want to get specific and talk about time blocking. Time blocking is my go-to […]