As a small business owner and entrepreneur, you are more than likely thinking about how you can maximize your time and still grow your business as much as possible. Time blocking is the answer in many of these instances. With this not-so-new technique, you can successfully plan every hour of your week so that nothing slips through the cracks. There are time blocking apps and weekly planners with time blocking grids. You can use your Outlook calendar or your Google calendar, no time blocking software necessary, or use intricate programs that schedule your tasks automatically. This time management method allows you to keep track of your task management and stay focused.
By setting boundaries, buffering your time, and blocking out time to work on your tasks you can retake control of your day. It’s also good to think about your obstacles so you can plan for them. Does your client always call at the same time during the week? Make a note of it on your calendar and plan for that interruption. Maybe that means you work on items that don’t require much brain power or focus because you know the client will inevitably call during this time. Notice the patterns in your day so you can make a plan.
Here are some interesting statistics on where our time goes:
- We spend ten minutes every day searching for lost items, from books and phones to car keys and even the cars themselves.
- 3,680 hours or 153 days is spent searching for stuff, over our lifetimes.
- Office workers waste an average of 30% of their workday looking for information
You have a limited supply of energy, focus and will power. And the distractions don’t help. Allowing interruptions and less important tasks to take up your time is a recipe for disaster. It takes on average 25 minutes to get back to a task after a distraction
Where do I begin? Here is a simple way to get started.
Create a new spreadsheet that has the days of the week across the top and the hours, from the time you wake up until you go to bed, down the left hand side.
Fill in recurring events.
Fill in anything that reoccurs from day to day or week to week. These could be meetings, recurring tasks, networking events, work hours etc. You can now fill in the blank spots with chores, you time, and hanging out with your family.
One of the easiest ways to make it feel like you have more time in your day is to group like tasks together. Plan a specific day for errands. Define a laundry day and a shopping day. Don’t feel like you have to do this all on the weekends. Laundry can be done while watching your favorite shows mid-week or you can run errands after work on your way home.
At the end of the day, if you feel stressed and feel like you do not have time for things you enjoy, time blocking may work for you. If this technique does not, a virtual assistant from Life by Design can take on any tasks you just don’t have time to do.