How to Plan Your Day with Time Blocking – Includes FREE Download!

Woman holding pen writing agenda on note book.

How to Time Block for Better Time Management

Every planner I have ever purchased has been thrown away. I would hang on to barely used planners for months in hopes of using them, thinking one day I might get organized and get my sh*t together! These planners were bulky, full of empty pages, and left me feeling guilty or unproductive because they were a constant reminder of all the things I wasn’t doing.

Time Blocking

Now sitting journal-less I knew I needed to come up with a better way to mange the hours in my days. Was there a perfect journal out there that I was missing? Should I just use my calendar on my phone? Is there some secret app that was going to change my life? No. I knew none of these would work, (trust me, I tried). I eventually came across time blocking. This was my solution!

Efficient Time Management

Time blocking is an awesome time management tool that you can use every day to organize your to-do’s and properly manage your time. If you always feel overbooked and overwhelmed, a time audit and time blocking will be a straight forward way to show you what you REALLY have time for.

We All Have the Same 24 Hours in the Day

How many of us have put thing after thing down on our to-do list only to end the day with not even making a dent into that list? Time blocking will end that. It is a clear and obvious way to properly schedule to-do’s within your “real” 24 hour day. Not a pretend land that magically has unlimited hours in your day.

Time Blocking Options

There are two ways to achieve daily time blocking. You can use your calendar on your phone/computer or you can use a journal/blank piece of paper. I personally like pen to paper because I find the process calming, but do whatever is best for you!

Creating A Time Block Schedule

Decide if you want to use a journal or phone/computer calendar.

I recommend doing the initial exercise on paper, as you will need to make many edits while creating you initial time block.

Brainstorm a list of everything you need to do in a day, week, month, etc… Here is an example from my list

    • Blog
      • Writing (7x week)
      • Graphics (7x week)
      • Marketing (7x week)
    • Exercise (6x week)
    • Take Olivia to school
    • Grocery shopping (2x week)
    • Dog water & food (1x week)
    • Walk Lola
    • Meal planning (1x week)
    • Clean pool (2x week)
    • Vacuum
    • Dishes (daily)
    • Laundry (3x week)
    • Blog courses
    • Olivia’s dance class (Sundays)
    • Down time/free time (yes, you need to schedule in down time)
    • Etc….

Schedule in the non-negotiables, things that must be done at a specific day/time

    • Sleep! Yes. Make sure you block out your 7-9 hours of sleep.
    • Preschool drop-off (Monday-Thursday 9am)
    • Dance class (Saturday 11am)
    • Dog water & food (Monday)
    • Clean Pool (Wednesday & Saturday)
    • Trash (put our Wednesday)
    • Grocery shopping (Saturday & Wednesday)
    • Exercise (Monday-Saturday 4pm)
    • Etc…

Fill in the “extras”

Find time for reoccurring to-dos that need to get done that do not have a specific day/time, this is when working on paper will be helpful, as you should have quite a few edits to properly fit things in. Using a Word document with a table inserted is helpful as well, see my example below. You can be general with your time blocking i.e. “blog” “clean” or if you want to get specific you can, i.e. “write a blog post”, “post to social media”, “vacuum”, “laundry”, “dishes”, etc..

Be realistic with your time.

Allowing 15 minutes for laundry will likely not be enough time. It is better to over estimate than under estimate the time assigned to each task. For instance, you can always change it later if you find you have “too much” downtime (if there is such a thing). 😉

What to do if you do not have enough time.

This exercise should be eyeopening. Most likely you will see you do not have enough time to do everything you *think* you need to do. Here are some ways to work around this:

Ask for help! Can someone help you with cleaning? Are your kids old enough to help out? My 4 year old can make her bed, put some laundry away, put clean trash bags in trashcans, etc… My husband cleans the pool, helps when I need it, and has is own set of chores he completes around the house.

Complete tasks with your kids around. I truly believe this sets a great example to kids. I don’t think my kids should wake up from nap/quiet time and have a magically clean house. They see me cleaning and now they WANT to clean, they WANT to organize. Having kids around while doing chores may not be ideal, but I think it is important to set an example and include them. (Even when it is extremely painful watching them make an even bigger mess when trying to clean up haha).

In Conclusion

Time blocking is an effective time management tool that you can use daily to organize your days and properly manage your time. If you always feel rushed, a time audit and time blocking will be a straight forward way to show you what you REALLY have time for.

FREE Scheduling Bundle

Need a prompt to organize your day, week, and month? Download my FREE scheduling bundle to organize your time and get more hours back in your day!

Do you time block? How do you make time for things that need to get done?

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15 Comments

  1. March 14, 2018 / 2:53 pm

    This is so helpful! I think I’ll be implementing something like this for myself as well. Trying to balance it all can be rough some days!

  2. March 15, 2018 / 2:58 pm

    Awesome post. I struggle with time management and only recently started really using my calendar. Cant wait to try these tips. Thanks.

    • AverageHealthyMom
      Author
      June 1, 2018 / 7:36 pm

      Writing things out helps so much!

  3. March 15, 2018 / 10:57 pm

    This is great! Definitely something I need to do more! Thanks for sharing!

    • AverageHealthyMom
      Author
      June 1, 2018 / 7:36 pm

      Hope it helps!

  4. Alexa R
    March 16, 2018 / 7:31 pm

    I love this! This is something I’ve been struggling with too and trying to figure out 🙂

    • AverageHealthyMom
      Author
      June 1, 2018 / 7:36 pm

      There are so many systems out there! Hope this one works for you =)

  5. March 17, 2018 / 2:47 am

    I am always looking for ways to be more productive. I love this

    • AverageHealthyMom
      Author
      June 1, 2018 / 7:36 pm

      So happy to hear that!

  6. March 17, 2018 / 4:35 pm

    Up until recently, my schedule was a mess! I also never used any of my planners so I finally just put them back in the closet. I made a little excel sheet and put in everything I wanted to accomplish each day. I’m really hoping this helps my crazy schedule.

    • AverageHealthyMom
      Author
      June 1, 2018 / 7:35 pm

      I think getting it all out on paper/some system always is eyeopening! I hope this helps with your schedule!

  7. May 8, 2018 / 8:27 pm

    beautiful article. useful and real, real. thanks for sharing

    • AverageHealthyMom
      Author
      June 1, 2018 / 7:30 pm

      thank you so much!

  8. March 28, 2019 / 8:03 am

    I love this 🙂 I time block too. I have a “Schedule Buddy” (basically a journal) that I use to block time out in chunks as well… It’s the best way to get organised! Can’t wait to read more great ideas like this one!

    • March 30, 2019 / 1:54 am

      Love that its called a schedule buddy! It seriously is the best way to get organized! I couldn’t imagine my days/weeks without it! =)

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