Whether you’re a self-proclaimed pro at working from home, heading back to the office this year or just looking to manage your days better, I feel pretty confident that this method is a game changer.
The best part? It’s nothing super fancy or intricate. It’s actually pretty basic AF. But it works. I’ll admit that I am the queen of a to-do list. I have one for the week, for each day, for the month – and the list goes on. But sometimes, a to-do list can still be a little intimidating. When do you get it all done? How do you balance your tasks for the day with other things you have going on (Zoom calls, workouts, walks, Netflix)? That’s where today’s post comes into play.
How do I keep my days organized? Time blocks.
Pro tip: get yourself a panner or use the calendar on your phone/computer.
I block my days out by the hour or half-hour and since doing this, I have never felt more organized and stress-free.
Seeing your day outlined with time blocks has a few benefits. For me, it’s easier to actually plan what I can and cannot do on any given day. Having a long to-do list is great but if there’s too much on the list for you to get done in one day, you end the day feeling stressed and un-accomplished.
How to create time blocks for your day…
Step 1: make sure all appointments, calls and timed activities are in your calendar or written down with the timeframe. (i.e. call with new client from 12:30-1:00pm, family Zoom happy hour from 5:00pm-6:00pm).
Step 2: add tasks that are important to you with allocated timeframes. For example, if you tend to skip workouts or make up every excuse in the book, schedule it! I have my workouts and my daily walks on my calendar so I can build my day around them rather than skipping them to get projects/tasks done.
Step 3: Every Sunday night or Monday morning, make a weekly to-do list. This shoud include a list of everything you need to get done that week. For tasks that are specific to certain days (i.e. gather trash for Trash Day on Tuesday, check on Best Buy refund on Wednesday (it’s been 7 days since the return) or Write out menu for the next week on Fridays), make sure you make a note of the day it needs to happen. This list will include other tasks that might not be date specific but still need to happen (i.e. write next week’s blog posts, promote new challenges to Stories, call the insurance company about discount). Include everything you need to get done during the week!
Step 4: Once you have your list for the week, add a timeframe for each task. For example, write blog posts for next week (2 hrs), vacuum (30 minutes), workout + HIIT (1 hr), update budget from the month (30 minutes). Make sure every task, even appointments and time-related tasks like a workout or a walk has a timeframe next to it.
Step 5: Once you have your list with timeframes, then you can start to plug and play. Write out the things that can’t be moved to your calendar first (i.e. phone calls, appointments). Then, add things that are a priority to you (your workouts, meals, etc.). Next up, add in the day-specific items like trash on Tuesday or menu on Friday. Finally, fill in the gaps with all of the other tasks you have.
pro tip: I use Asana for my to-do lists. I have a column for each weekday and keep my weekly/ongoing tasks in those columns. Once I’m done with my weekly to-do list, I’ll start to drag and drop the new tasks with their time allocations to each day’s list.
Step 6: For any tasks that might be brief or might just take you a few minutes, rather than putting them in the calendar with time blocks, write them on a post-it and stick it on your planner or computer screen. This could include tasks like putting the clothes in the dryer, calling your mom to check-in, etc.
And there ya have it. Give it a try and let me know what you guys think!!