The Year I Try Time Blocking

I am trying to get a handle on the choas in my life right now. I don’t feel like it’s permanent chaos (a lot of it is related to a potential move or other temporary projects) or else I’d make some changes to remove some of it. Instead, I’m just trying to figure out how to adjust so that I can keep all of the balls in the air without dropping any of them or losing my sanity during this temporary time when chaos is reigning.

I went to a work retreat recently where I heard a speech referencing Time Blocking. This is the idea that you should block out certain times/days to do specific things so you don’t get

>>>
I was in the middle of that sentence there ^ and I thought, I have to pee. So I went upstairs and I thought While I’m up here, I should bring down that stuff that needs to go to the street since it’s garbage day. And while I was carrying that stuff to the street I saw the recycle bins from yesterday and thought I need to put those in the back of the house. And while I was back there I thought I need to wheel this one bin to the street too. I did that and then came inside to finish the sentence.
>>>

distracted or lose focus.

Let’s all pause for a minute to consider the beautiful timing of that series of events. LITERALLY, all of that happened RIGHT AS I WAS ABOUT TO TYPE THE WORD “distracted.” It suddenly became very meta around here. Obviously, I need help avoiding distractions.

ANYWAY. My point? I feel like there’s too much constantly needing to be done in my life and I’m not always focusing efficiently on those things. My To Do lists are there every day but I’m not always efficient in how much time I’m giving certain tasks. I stay caught up on some and get woefully behind on others.

So! I’m thought I’d try to start blocking some time. This seemed an easy idea at first. I just sat down and scheduled/mapped out the “ideal” weekday thinking I’d have time leftover to play around with.

HALF OF AN HOUR IS ALL I HAD LEFTOVER. THIRTY MINUTES! And then – after staring at that for a bit I realized – Um. I put NO time to write on that schedule. And I like at least an hour of every weekday set aside for just writing. So, OBVIOUSLY just jumping in and blocking out time was not the place to start. I put the cart in front of the horse in terms of Time Blocking. I realized I needed to wrap my head around my life a little more before actually trying to block things out.

So I thought I’d start with listing out the “categories” or so of time that I need make sure gets scheduled.

These are the categories I started with. I’m leaving the list open because – even as I’ve been writing this – I’ve thought of other “categories” I’d like to include in my days. Things like “communications.” I want to be more disciplined about setting aside time to touch base with people with personal texts/emails/messages. Or responding to emails and blog comments.

I also want to give myself time to “get ready” in the morning. I know it sounds silly, but that is SUCH a low priority in my life and I think it shouldn’t be. I think I should take time to look at myself and dress/style in a way that makes me feel good about myself and not just in a rush to get to the next thing. My appearance is often proof that I prioritize myself very last on the List Of People Who Need Care in my life. On the days I take time to put on jewelry or mascara I just feel so much better about myself! So I want that to be a “category” too. I called it “Self Esteem” time.

I think I’ll leave the list open for another day or two to REALLY get a feel on the “categories” in my life. I’m also going to try to log my time to see how long it takes me to do things like grocery shop and meal prep.

AND THEN…THEN…armed with categories and time logs I should be able to build a time blocking schedule that makes sense. I’ll report back and we’ll give this time blocking thing ANOTHER chance with hopefully a little more understanding of my own personal chaos.

Have you tried time blocking? Any tips or hints you can share?

Tools I Use:
Notebook: Leuchtturm 1917 A5 Hardcover Dotted
Cover: Custom cover with trail marker from my favorite local race. Made by Makers South
Pens: Currently loving the Paper Mate Inkjoy Gel Pens, Fine Point


    Social(ly Awkward):

2 thoughts on “The Year I Try Time Blocking

  • January 3, 2017 at 12:47 pm
    Permalink

    I came to the realization toward the end of 2016 that I completely overwhelm myself with long to do lists. I am trying to limit the number of tasks I give myself every day to make the day’s goals more attainable. So instead of putting 20 things on a list on Monday and only accplishing 5 all week i am breaking the list down over the week and getting most every thing done. While not exactly the time blocking you are considering I think I could incorporate some of those same strategies into my new downsized way of tackling days.

    Reply
  • January 3, 2017 at 5:54 pm
    Permalink

    That brief interlude where you got distracted with a task which led to another task you noticed which led to another…….I am constantly doing that. Sometimes I get so far down the task rabbit hole, I forget what I was doing in the first place!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *