How do I create a block schedule?
I recently came across a quote that sums up what life as a mom can feel like.
Society and our own inner voices push us constantly. They sound like this:
“You should be an exceptional mom, but nurture your partner relationship too. Of course, don’t let that distract you from producing quality work. Oh, and by the way, there’s enough cooking, cleaning, and laundry to drown you on a good day. “
It’s no surprise that burnout is common.
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 partner, you find 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 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 insanely 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.
See also: How to Create Your Not-to Do List
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.
Find more ways to push yourself HERE: 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 BLOCK SCHEDULE TEMPLATE:
A Work At Home Mom Block Schedule Example
Curious about what this looks like as a mom? Check out this example of my schedule, and think about what YOUR perfect block schedule looks like.
5-6:00 Self-Care (It’s worth it to wake up early!) Movement, meditation, and journaling most days.
6-7:30 Deep work. No distractions and work on the MOST impactful work priority of the day.
7:30-9:00 Get ready for the day, morning routine with kids, and drop off for kids
9-11:30 Work Time.
11:30-12:30 Lunch & Errands
12:30-3:00 Deep work during naptime for youngest (no distractions)
3:00-4:00 Scheduling/planning for work and family. Finishing small day tasks, email, planning for tomorrow, energy break
4:00-5:00 Pick up, time with kids, reading
5:00-8:00 Dinner and family time
*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!
For specific morning and night routine ideas:
- 11 Powerful Things to do at Night
- 10 Smart Things to do in Your Morning Routine
- Terrific Night Routine Tips for More Success
Tips for the Time Blocking Schedule
If 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 cuts down on multitasking drastically.
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?! And life!?
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. (Again, leave your phone in another room).
This requires a little forward-thinking, but the payoff is huge.
Overestimate Your Time
Finally, if you’re feeling like you are 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 an activity probably take two hours? Give yourself three. If you finish early, pick something off this self-care ideas list, this list of small ways to reward yourself, or grab the daily self-care checklist.
Here’s a super short video with more!
Find Your Perfect Balance
Do you need a better work-life balance? Block non-related work before work (or vice-versa if you need more time for work).
The same goes for mental health. Schedule in your leisure time and self-care, because you need it. AFTER, write in the rest of your time blocks.
Time blocking works for anything:
- more work
- less work
- more reading
- social time
- vacation time
- prayer or quiet time
You name it! So, take advantage of it as the sensational tool that it is!
To Consider With Your Block Schedule Template
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
- Big List of Habits That Change Your Life