Hour Blocking: Essential for the Self-Employed
Who else struggles with time management? The question should really be who doesn't struggle with it? I know I'm not the only one.
I don't know about you, but I have distractions EVERYWHERE ---social media feeds, text messages, private messages, email notifications for 4 different email accounts, dogs who what to go outside or eat ALL DAY LONG, and I won't even share how much time I spend designing graphics. :) Anyway, time management has been given a big focus in my life lately. As a self-employed therapist and coach, being disciplined with my time is essential for success.
On my journey towards figuring out what works best for me and learning more about time management I came across these helpful sites:
I have also come to realize that my perfectionism takes up A LOT of my time! So what has worked for me so far?
Hour blocking or time blocking.
Check out some of the secrets to time blocking.......
The Secret to Effective Time Management
Time management is an essential skill, and hour blocking is an easy and powerful way to master this skill. You can use it to block off hours in your schedule and get more things finished. It enables you to take control of the minutes in each day.
Follow this process to take advantage of this valuable technique:
1. Start with planning. Make a list of all of your important tasks for the week. Then, narrow this list down to three to five essential tasks.
Be realistic about your planning. Avoid thinking that you can do a million tasks in one day or week.
2. Block your hours. After you have a short list of tasks, block the hours on your schedule. This is called time blocking and essentially requires you to take each hour and assign a task or item to it.
Clump related tasks together and add them to specific blocks of time.
Remember to schedule lunches and breaks. Taking time to rest your mind and body is important! Your breaks allow you to get back to your tasks with renewed energy.
3. Reduce distractions. Hour blocking demands that you eliminate distractions, so you don’t lose focus.
Figure out what your main distractions are. Do you waste time on social media or constantly check your phone? Do you spend hours in your email inbox and respond to every message instantly?
Eliminate or reduce these distractions. You may want to set aside a specific chunk of time each day to handle your social media, email inbox, and other tasks that distract you from your more essential actions.
Also, when you’re working, let others know that you’re busy so they can limit their interruptions.
4. Keep the time blocks flexible. Unless you know the exact amount of time each task will take, it’s important to keep the time blocks flexible. This will also enable you to take care of other important things that come up with a minimum amount of stress or changes to your schedule.
5. Review your time blocks regularly. Make adjustments as needed. If your tasks change, or you find that they take more or less time than you thought, modify your time blocks to take the new information into account.
Reviewing your time blocks will also give you the chance to see when you’re most productive. If you do your best work in the morning, schedule more important tasks during these hours. Reviews will help you evaluate your productivity levels and decide which parts need attention.
Use alerts on your phone or computer, sticky notes, or traditional alarms to remind you that it’s time to move to the next task. The key is to find something that works for you.
Effective time management can help you finish more tasks each day and feel more accomplished. Hour blocking is a useful method for anyone who is interested in greater productivity, either at home or at work, and especially for those who are self-employed. Compensation is dependent upon productivity and staying on track.
If you have any tips, tricks, sites, software management, apps, etc. that help you manage your time, please share them in the comments!!