Try Your Free Daily Time Blocking Template!
I recently came across a quote that sums up what life as a mom can feel like.
“The person that tries to do everything, accomplishes nothing.”Robin Sharma
Society and our own inner voices push us constantly. They sound like this:
“You should be an exceptional AND present mom, but nurture your partner relationship too. Of course, don’t let that distract you from producing quality work to earn money. Oh, and by the way, there’s enough cooking, cleaning, and laundry to drown you on a good day. “
It’s no surprise that mom burnout is real.
Not only do we have a hard time prioritizing all of this, but it puts our instinct to multitask on overdrive, leaving us rarely enjoying the moment.
Are you distracted? Feeling like you’re drowning under the weight? You are not alone. Readers tell me this ALL THE TIME.
So, it’s time for a practical solution: a block schedule!
Is Block Scheduling Effective?
Time Blocking can be life changing for MANY reasons. Here are a few:
It Puts First Things FIRST
First, it enables you to focus on what’s important ahead of time. If spending quality time with your children is a priority, then you can block that in as ONLY kid time.
Likewise, if you need more time for self-care or your spouse, you can realize when that best works and prioritize it before less important items.
It Helps You Be Present
Because you are committed to staying within your block focus, it is MUCH easier to notice the world around you. You feel less rushed and actually notice your friend’s smile or the way you feel after a good workout.
Furthermore, your sense of overwhelm evaporates because you know there’s a time for everything – it’s just not right now.
It Makes You More Productive
Third, a block schedule gives you the space to work deeply. If you work from home, it’s very easy to attempt to work and take care of the kids simultaneously. Leaving you completely frustrated.
Instead, block in when you’ll help the kids with certain things, and when it’s possible to take time for focused work. It’s simple, but your productivity will soar.
It Gives You Control Over Your Time
Fourth, it keeps others from taking your time. Our time is non-renewable. We’re never getting this day back. So, treat it as the valuable resource it is.
When someone asks you to do something you’re not thrilled about, use the block schedule and realize that those are non-negotiable meetings with yourself.
It Nips Procrastination
Finally, what gets scheduled gets done. Because you have given yourself priorities and made decisions ahead of time, it drives you to act on what you’ve laid out for yourself. No excuses.
Additionally, Parkinson’s law states that whatever activity you do will fill up the time you give to it. For example, give me a whole day to clean my house, and trust me, it will take all day. Give me an hour, and BOOM. It’s done, and I can move on with my life.
Related Post: How to Motivate Yourself on Bad Days
How Do I Make a Block Schedule?
It’s simple, really. You divide your day into blocks of time.
Some people schedule blocks every thirty minutes, but two or three hour chunks of time work well for most.
These blocks of time are dedicated ONLY to your specific activity or grouping of activities. So, instead of working on the computer, while feeding the kids, and putting laundry away, you’re only doing ONE of those things. And you’re totally focused on the task at hand.
But don’t worry, the rest can be scheduled for later!
GRAB THE FREE TIME BLOCKING SCHEDULE:
A Mom Block Schedule Example
Curious on what this can look like as a mom? Check out this example, and think about what YOUR perfect block schedule looks like.
7-8 Deep work. No distractions and work on the MOST impactful work priority of the day.
8-8:30 Get ready for the day
8:30-10:00 Kid/Mom time ONLY. Help with learning stuff, cuddle/hugs, breakfast, walk together, BE with the kids 100%.
10:00-11:30 Outside time kids, batch light work tasks while they play (yes, this is still a multitasking period, but it can be broken down further into playing and batch working if kids are older)
11:30-12:30 Lunch, errands if needed
12:30-2:30 Deep work during kids’ quiet time (no distractions)
2:30-3:00 Energy break
3:00 Scheduling/planning for work and family, finishing small day tasks & 15 minute clean up
5:00-8:00 Make/eat dinner and family time
8:00-9:30 Relax, self-care, time with hubby, prep for morning
*Now, maybe you need more or less work. Or perhaps that’s not enough time on certain priorities. Make your block schedule template work for YOU!
Challenges to the Time Blocking Schedule
Since you have kids, you know that no system will EVER be perfect. So, here are a few tips to make time blocking work as a mom.
Be Flexible (& Tweak As You Go)
If you have little ones, you may find it’s almost impossible to get rid of multitasking. I certainly have. BUT the block schedule naturally adds more intentional time and keeps distracting multitasking down drastically.
Also, the first day I did a block schedule, we got a rocky start. The kids were unmotivated and the baby woke up late (not that I’m complaining!)
So, tip #1 is to expect hiccups. Isn’t that ALL of parenting?!
Make adjustments as you go, and understand that there may be times of the day when a block schedule doesn’t work. And that’s ok.
Like all new habits, don’t make it too much work!
If you’re not ready to time block the entire day, just have one dedicated slot. I recommend starting with the morning.
And if every hour seems intimidating, start with three-hour blocks and see how that goes.
Related Post: How to Build Better Habits, From the Expert
It’s important to note that this system will be ineffective if you let distractions rule the day.
So, if it’s family time, make sure your computer is shut and your phone is in another room. Likewise, if it’s work time, only open the tabs and programs that you need and make sure outside stimulus is at a minimum.
This most likely will require a little forward thinking, but the payoff is huge.
Overestimate Your Time
Finally, if you’re feeling like a harried mom who’s constantly spinning your wheels, refrain the urge to micromanage your block schedule. Instead, use your block schedule system to give yourself extra wiggle room.
Will something probably take two hours? Give yourself three. If you finish early, pick something off this Self-Care Ideas list to reward yourself with in between. Or grab the toolkit below!
Find Your Perfect Balance
Do you need a better work-life balance? Block non-related work before work (or vise-versa if you need more time for work).
The same goes for mental health. Schedule in your leisure time and self-care, because mama, you need it. AFTER, write in the rest of your time blocks.
Time blocking works for anything:
- more work
- less work
- more reading
- time on goals
- social time
- intentional time with the kids
- vacation time
You name it! So, take advantage of it as the sensational tool that it is!
Something to Consider With Time Blocking
Now, give it a try and enjoy yourself as a more intentional, calm, and present woman to the world around you.
Have you used a block schedule template before? What did you think?
And if you need even more help focusing, check out these common time management mistakes, HERE from MindTools.com! Rectify these and you’ll be a clear-headed, and uber-productive mom beast!
Other personal growth posts you may enjoy..
- 11 Time Management Tools for Successful Women
- 5 Personal Development Books That Inspire You
- The Big List of Habits That Change Your Life