woman working on her time blocking schedule

The Ultimate Time Blocking Guide for Bloggers to Maximize Productivity

Have you heard of the saying “control your schedule, or it will control you”? Ever feel like your schedule is slipping through your fingers, and you’re just along for the ride? If so, you’re not alone. 

I remember those overwhelming days in my former sewing business, juggling everything from crafting to managing orders, social media, and so much more. It was chaotic, to say the least. I wasted precious time and wasn’t nearly as productive as I would have liked. Staying focused on my tasks was challenging, and I often found myself overwhelmed with distractions and time-consuming activities. This lack of structure resulted in a significant decrease in my overall productivity and a feeling of frustration with my inability to complete tasks efficiently. I wished someone had told me about the magic of structuring my day with time blocking.

Fast forward to my blogging business, and I’ve embraced time blocking with open arms. It’s like having a friendly guide throughout the day. Picture this: structured routines, clear priorities, and ticking off tasks with each time block, getting me closer to my goals. Now, let’s dive into why time blocking has become my productivity superhero.

The Meaning of Time Blocking

So, time blocking isn’t just about scheduling; it’s also about your mindset. It’s not only about getting stuff done; it’s about changing how you think, becoming more disciplined, and creating awesome blogging habits.

Imagine having specific time blocks dedicated to your most important tasks. You are taking control of your day. Time blocking will make you feel accountable, ensuring you give your full attention to the stuff that really matters in your blogging business. It’s not just a daily routine; it’s like a secret weapon boosting your efficiency and impact as a blogger!

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Some Other Time Management Strategies

Before I discovered time blocking as an excellent productivity strategy, I looked into other time management strategies. Let’s take a look at 3 of them and why these didn’t work for me.

A big to-do list

I have tried to get my time and tasks under control for a long time. In the morning, I started with a brain dump. I needed to get down on paper what was going on in my mind so I wouldn’t forget what I needed to do that day.

I ended up with an extensive to-do list and started at the top. However, my to-do list got checked off a couple of things by the end of the day, but my list kept growing, and I even got tasks twice or more on that same list without even realizing it. Safe to say, I lost my overview of things to do.

Reduce my workload

To reduce my to-do list, I looked at tasks I could just remove altogether. And sure, there were a few things here and there that weren’t really necessary. But most of it needed to be done anyway. So, I thought of hiring help.

Hire help

Unfortunately, I didn’t yet have the funds to hire a virtual assistant or a photographer for my sewing business. Because that could have worked out pretty nicely, a VA could have taken over my social media posts and written my listings for me. She could even have uploaded the products to my shop. And to be totally honest, a photographer could have done a much better job than me!

So, when these practices didn’t contribute to my overall productivity, I needed to look further. Fortunately, I found time blocking!

The 6 Big Benefits Why Time Blocking Works

When the other time management strategies didn’t work for me, I looked further and found the time blocking method. It was a great way to structure my days, get my tasks done, and feel good when I closed my office door by 5 pm. And this is why.

Benefit #1: Get Your Priorities Done

Time blocking is my secret sauce to getting priorities done. After a brain dump the night before, I know my daily priorities. Allocating the time blocks for those tasks ensures that the most important tasks get conquered when I stick to the plan.

Benefit #2: Be More Productive

Time blocking increases productivity. The reason for that is that you know exactly what you are going to work on in the different blocks you have set throughout the day. Once your major tasks for the day are checked off, you may even have time to tick off some smaller ones from your to-do list.

woman looking at her calendar - time blocking her day

Benefit #3: Provides More Focus

Knowing exactly what to do in a particular time block sharpens focus. As Parkinson’s Law puts it, “Work expands to fill the time allotted for it.” So, boxing in tasks to specific time slots is like having a meeting or Zoom call with someone. You set aside a specific amount of time and expect a certain outcome. Apply that same focused attitude to your tasks, and you’re golden. Time blocking allows you to assign specific time blocks for dedicated, uninterrupted work on your blog, minimizing distractions and enhancing concentration.

Benefit #4: Prevents Multitasking

Time blocking also prevents multitasking, something that is detrimental to productivity. When multitasking, as you may know, you need more time to get your daily tasks done. Your brain needs to go back and forth when doing two things at the same time. It’s like clicking from one tab to another and reading two articles. Whenever you click over to the other tab, your brain needs time to process and remember again what this article was all about. By keeping your brain dedicated to one task per time block, it gets through that task quicker. 

Benefit #5: Better Organized

These days, time blocking makes my workload feel lighter. My tasks no longer slip through the cracks because I’m more organized. Besides, smaller tasks also get done and don’t stay on my to-do list for months on end. This newfound organization not only improves my efficiency but also creates a sense of clarity in my daily priorities. With a well-structured schedule, I can easily track my progress, celebrate small wins, and continuously refine my approach for even greater productivity.

Benefit #6: Protect Your Time

Time blocking ensures my creative work takes center stage, allowing me to dive deep into the writing process without getting pulled away by other stuff. Blocking time is more than just planning; it’s about setting clear boundaries that scream, “Right now, I’m all about my blog.” And when you defend your time and focus like this, not only will your productivity soar, but you will also find a whole new level of purpose and satisfaction in your blogging journey.

woman working on her tablet - time blocking

How Time Blocking Works: Preparing the Technique

Now that you’re intrigued let’s demystify how to master time blocking. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Figure Out Task Times

First of all, before diving in, figure out how long tasks take. This can be hard, and we usually underestimate how much time we need for a task. 

So, the best thing you can do is write down your starting time before you start working on your task. Then, when you finish and the task is done, you write down the time again and see how long you actually worked on that particular task. 

Whenever it’s a big task, like writing and publishing a blog post, you probably don’t sit with it from start to finish. You break up your bigger task into smaller tasks, like researching keywords, writing the draft, editing your piece, finding your images, finding backlinks, etc.… you know what I mean. Keep track of how long you work on each smaller task and write down how long it takes. 

A good tool to track your time is the app Toggl, especially when you work on a specific task in smaller chunks of time. 

Step 2: Include Daily Chores

Next, write down how long your lunch break is, when you take your dog out for a walk, your exercise time, and other daily chores that need to be done. For example, I do a daily load of laundry, so I fold, iron, and put away the laundry for about 30 minutes every day. But also, in my time slots, I include cooking, family time, and yoga. Write down everything you do during your day… everything… put them on paper or a Google doc or something. 

Step 3: Create Your Template

Now, you can make a template for your regular day. For example, you know you always get up at 6.30 am, and you go through your morning routine. Your workday starts at 8 am, and because you break for lunch around noon, you now have 4 hours to work. Dividing these 4 hours into blocks of 25 minutes with a 5-minute break (also known as the Pomodoro technique), you’ll have eight time blocks to fill. To gain momentum in my work, I prefer my time blocks to be 50 minutes with a 10-minute break.

You do this throughout the day, tailoring it to your routine, whether it’s a full day or just for work hours.

woman working behind her desk, having a cup of coffee - time blocking

Step 4: Prioritize and Assign Tasks

Once you have your template for the day, it’s time to write down your everyday tasks into your template. These are non-negotiable. I mean, you need to eat, sleep, do your household tasks, spend time with family, exercise, etc. 

When your everyday tasks are accounted for, take a look at your to-do list. Then, pick priorities from your to-do list and fit them into your time blocks. You know how much time each task takes, so you can put your blogging priorities in the empty time blocks for the day. 

Don’t forget to build in those 5 or 10-minute breaks between time blocks. They’re crucial, you need those minutes to switch tasks, go to the bathroom, make yourself a nice cup of tea, or just stretch your legs. 

Step 5: Make It Routine

Now, let’s turn time blocking into your daily routine. The more you do it, the less overwhelmed you’ll feel, trust me. As you make this a habit, not only will your days become more organized, but you’ll notice a serious boost in your productivity levels. 

It’s like training your brain to know exactly when it’s time to kick into high gear. Consistency is key, and the more you stick to your time-blocking routine, the more efficiently you’ll tackle tasks and conquer your daily goals. It’s not just about organizing your time; it’s about unlocking your superhero-level productivity!

Time Blocking Tools: Paper or Apps?

Whether you’re a pen-and-paper enthusiast or a tech-savvy user, the choice is yours. Just do a Google search, and you’ll find a bunch of time blocking apps to use. I personally love jotting down my priorities and time blocks in my planner.

If you want to keep it simple with a tool that you probably already use, you could try out time blocking with Google Calendar. Google Calendar is an excellent tool to use for time blocking. You can use it to create events, set durations, color-code tasks, and sync across devices for a seamless experience.

Ali Abdaal has a YouTube video where he explains how to use the Google Calendar for time blocking during the day. He talks about grouping similar tasks and where to start time blocking. 

A Few Tips & Tricks Regarding Time Blocking

Make sure to reserve flexible time slots for your tasks. Life is full of surprises, and allowing room for unforeseen circumstances keeps your schedule adaptable. Don’t forget to sprinkle in some self-care and leisure activities. Take a breather, and, as a bonus, periodically review and adjust your time blocks to stay on top of your game.

Time blocking templates and printables provide a visual representation of your day’s agenda. Color-coded and categorized, they help you quickly identify and prioritize tasks, ensuring consistency in your working schedule.

Identify the top three tasks that absolutely need your attention each day. By highlighting these priorities, you ensure that crucial work gets done, even on days when time feels tight. Picking out your top three tasks is an excellent way to stay productive and focused throughout your day.

Include intentional breaks in your time blocks. Whether it’s a short walk, a stretch, or a moment of mindfulness, these breaks recharge your energy, plus they’ll maintain your focus throughout the day.

Assign specific themes to your time blocks based on the type of tasks you’ll be tackling. This helps your brain transition smoothly between different activities and maintains a flow in your work. For example, designate mornings for creative tasks and afternoons for administrative work. 

At first, the idea of assigning specific blocks of time to each task might feel a bit rigid, but as you get into the flow of it, you’ll start to appreciate the structure it provides. I found that having dedicated time for writing, engaging with my audience, and even relaxing allowed me to be more present and effective in each activity. So stick with it and give it time. 

Now, with these additional tips, your time blocking strategy is set to elevate your productivity and bring more balance to your blogging journey.

Final thoughts

Before, I wasted precious time and wasn’t nearly as productive as I would have liked. However, with the power of time blocking, I experienced a transformation in my productivity and overall fulfillment as a blogger.

Time blocking helps and has empowered me to take control of my schedule, allowing me to assign dedicated blocks of time for focused work. By diving into this method, I’ve watched my blogging journey grow in a way that fits with my long-term goals. It’s like aligning my professional game with where I want to be down the road.

Embark on your time blocking journey, it’s a game-changer that enhances efficiency and creativity as a blogger, leading to a more fulfilling and sustainable approach to your work. It is time to take control of your schedule and unleash your full potential!

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