What Happens When You Mix Micro-Wins and Time Blocking

A Purpose Driven Mom Podcast

Episode 408

Are you a busy mom who needs support creating your schedule? In a chat with the Purpose Driven Community on Facebook, Cara shares her wisdom on time blocking and the power of micro wins. 

Time blocking is a great way to create your schedule. It involves creating 3-4 hour blocks in your day where you are doing a theme of activities. This could be 3 hours in the morning that is dedicated to cleaning or 4 hours to focus on administrative tasks for your business. It is a great way to get a bunch of similar tasks done in one period of time. Time blocks won’t stay the same every day because your priorities and tasks will change as schedules change for you and your family.

Cara shares the importance of pairing time blocks with micro wins. Micro wins are the things you can do in a short amount of time. If you are working on administrative tasks for your business, be specific in what tasks like invoicing for the month or scheduling a certain number of meetings. That way you are not overwhelmed with a lot of tasks that won’t get done because you are afraid of how much there is to do.

Take a listen to learn more.

Click here to download this episode and save it for later. 

🎥 Watch the full video on YouTube here.

Episode Highlights:

01:41 Time blocking and the importance of micro wins in managing tasks

04:10 Using themes for time blocks

09:50 Planning and accountability for achieving tasks

14:18 Checking in and managing overflow tasks

15:44 Buffer blocks and how to maintain flexibility in task management

17:49 Utilizing free time for self-care

Links Mentioned:

This episode is brought to you by

1. ➡️ Free weekly checklist link here.

2. Join the waitlist for the Purpose Driven Mom Club at: https://apurposedrivenmom.com/club

3. The 15 Minute Formula: How Busy Moms Can Ditch the Guilt, Say Yes to What Matters, and Conquer Their Goals here >>> https://the15minuteformula.com/free/


Thank You For Listening!

If you like to share your thoughts on this episode:

Leave a comment below this blog post

Ask me a question or submit a guest request in this form here

Share your key takeaways and tag me @apurposedrivenmom

If A Purpose Driven Mom podcast has helped you at all ...

… please take a minute to support the show by: 

1 | Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, make sure you head over and do it now so that you don’t miss an episode! Click here to subscribe on Apple Podcasts!

2 | While you’re there, I’d love an appreciate if you’d leave a rating and review! These allow other purpose-driven moms to find the show and help grow our community! Just click here to review, select ‘Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know your favorite part of the podcast! I’d love to feature you as our ‘Review of the Week’.

3 | Make sure to join our Facebook Community and continue the conversation about the episode

Transcript: What Happens When You Mix Micro-Wins and Time Blocking

*Cara Harvey * (00:00:00) – All right. I am live here in our Facebook community group to answer some questions on time blocking, because I made a new planner and I wanted to show you how to use it. I’m going to put this also on our YouTube channel and on the podcast. So show notes will be over at a Purpose Driven mom.com/podcast 408. So if you want to check out what we’re talking about or watch the video. But I like to do these lives in our free community search, purpose driven community, wherever you’re at, just to answer real time questions. So if you’re getting on live or if you’re watching the replay, just tag me. But I want to talk you through time blocking 101 and how micro wins can help. And I made this, image the other day for my Instagram stories because I needed it. I love time blocking. I think it is one of the best ways to create your schedule, but I found that if I don’t couple it with my micro wins, I can be all over the place.

*Cara Harvey * (00:00:48) – So what I want to do today is kind of talk you through a little crash course into time blocking, and then I want to talk you through the lessons I’ve learned after just a few days of listening to myself. It’s so funny. I’ll be like, Kara, you know what you’re talking about. Like, just listen to yourself. When it comes to time management, you know, time blocking is essentially it’s this concept of using a chunk of time. I think the secret sauce is between 3 and 4 hours to manage out your day. What you’re doing during that time is thematic. This is kind of my secret sauce when it comes to time. Blocking is the themes. It really helps give you urgency. If you’re somebody who likes an hourly scheduler. I hear you like I used to be that way, but what I found was that hourly schedulers kept me feeling too tight and a I’m just going to do this today attitude kept it too broad, right? Because I’m just going to do this today.

*Cara Harvey * (00:01:37) – Also could mean I will do this never. Right. The time just keeps going. So when you’re looking at your time blocks and I put a link up in the description of the live video and you can click it, it’ll be in the show notes. If you’re watching the podcast, YouTube or whatever, you can download that PDF that I made. What I want you to do is I want you to start with identifying what your time blocks are. This is step one. Now time blocks can get built around anchors. I like to build mine around natural breaks in my day. Now this is going to change soon because summer is coming and my breaks are a little different. But if you don’t have natural breaks like summer’s coming, maybe everyone’s home. You’re like, we don’t have school anymore to anchor us. You can do it around meals as well, so I will do mine right now from when I wake up at 6 to 9, which is when we go to school. Now, my kids, we walk to school at 830.

*Cara Harvey * (00:02:24) – I’m not home till like 845, 850. So is it technically 9:00? No, but it works for us. So I’ve got one until 9:00, then from 9:00 till 12, which is about when I take my lunch break. That’s my natural anchor in the day is another time block from 12 lunch break to three, which is when I start to kind of close up shop, get ready to pick up the kids from school. That’s my other natural anchor. And then from 3 to 6, I pick that because we typically have dinner or most of our activities starter on six. And then I have another one from six activity starting to nine, which is, you know, you know what that’s like, right? The activities and the dinner and the baths and like all the stuff is do my kids finally go to bed at nine and then I have a shorter block from 9 to 11. So you see, I picked my anchors. Now as I’m going to summer, what I’m going to actually be doing is choosing different time blocks because my summer looks a little different.

*Cara Harvey * (00:03:11) – We don’t have as many activities. Sometimes camps ended different times. So it’s important to note that, like, not every day needs to be the same, but I do recommend you pick kind of some similar anchors, because what that’s going to do is let you feel, and have some consistency, but not every day has to be the same. Okay. So step one is pick your anchors. And then in the the PDF that I made you, you’re going to kind of put those in time. Block one. What’s the time. Time block two. What’s the time. Things like that okay. So you’re going to put those in for yourself then what I recommend you do is you pick themes. Themes are saying this is what I’m going to focus on. This type of goal. Themes are not saying, this is the only thing I’m going to focus on during this time. Does that make sense? And so what I recommend you do is you decide what your themes are. So for me, for example, today, all right, my 6 to 9 theme on today, which is Wednesday that I’m recording, this is self-care.

*Cara Harvey * (00:03:58) – Any self-care goals that I have, they’re going to go inside that block okay. I’m not only doing self-care from 6 to 9. Wouldn’t that be beautiful? Right? Wouldn’t that be nice? Like, oh yeah, I’ll just do some self-care. I’m doing other things. I got to get my kids to school, things like that. But that’s where I’m going to focus on those types of things. Then from 9 to 12, that was my other block I had today. This was a block focused on launching. So for my business, I’m getting ready. We’re doing a simple summer schedule challenge. The promotion for that will be a Monday. I need to finish emails and things like that. So that was my theme. All my launch task. Go from there. Now my next block from 12 to 3. And as you can see I’m recording this. It’s 1133. It’s not working out perfectly, but it’s going to be fine. I’m not going to get upset if things don’t stay the same.

*Cara Harvey * (00:04:40) – My 12 to 3 block was supposed to be recording. So any podcasts, any videos, any live videos inside groups, things like that. That was all going to happen 12 to 3. So I can batch them together, see how I have themes. It’s not the only thing I’m doing. I have therapy later today that’s not a, you know, a video, but it’s fine. Then from 3 to 6 I pick a different theme. For me today is Wednesday. Wednesdays are our wild days. My kids have back to back sports. We’re doing a lot of driving. I just call 3 to 6 activities block. I don’t worry too much about that except for getting my kids activities from 6 to 9 for me. that’s my home block. Tonight we have a couple meetings. We’re having, like, a budget meeting with my husband. I’m going to make lunches, things like that. And then from 9 to 11 is my buffer block or my personal block, which is where I do the overflow tasks, or I watch a show or read my book or do those things.

*Cara Harvey * (00:05:24) – Okay, so I identify what my themes are once you have those. Now here’s where the magic happens in the micro. When I teach this entire system in my book the 50 Minute Formula and it’s all about micro wins. Micro wins are things you can do in. The short amount of time, instead of just saying, I’m going to do all of it. Okay, so for example, I said that I was doing a block this morning on launching. I’m not just going to write down launch tasks, I’m gonna write down specifically what I’m doing. So what I was doing was writing my invite emails to the webinar. Very specific stuff. All right. Invite to the webinar. later I’m going to work on the workbook specific workbook. Right. And I might even say draft the workbook, second draft the workbook. Why does this matter? Because when we put too much on our plates, when we put too many big tasks on our plates, we can feel overwhelmed. And then we do not do anything.

*Cara Harvey * (00:06:12) – So this is what I’ve been doing this week, right? I’ve been feeling kind of frazzled. We got out of summit, which was so amazing, over 4200 moms coming together for summit. It was so great. If you came to summit, thank you so much. But I was tired and I moved into I have a seasonal goal method I teach, I move from push into like a rest and plan. So I spent the week after summit just resting. I did other things like I didn’t just sit on the couch, which would have been nice, but I just kind of mostly rested. I moved slow, we went on a trip, things like that. Then I moved into planning where I kind of got organized for this week, and now I’m back into a push. For me, this is important because I want to take my summer light, and so I push a little bit in May, I get a lot of stuff done. I batch out a ton of podcast episodes, which is why this, this recording I’m doing for the free Facebook group is going to be episode 408 Purpose Driven Non-compete 408 when it comes out at the end of May, because I’m trying to get ahead on things.

*Cara Harvey * (00:07:03) – I was feeling really frazzled though. And so I woke up Monday morning and I thought, what’s missing? Like, what am I not having? And for me, it was a little bit of accountability and intentionality. So I put together this quick little flyer on Canva, which again, the links up there, if you want it in a PDF, you can print it. I put this little thing together and I said, I’m going to post this on my Instagram stories and I’m going to just check in, I’m going to make a plan and I’m going to use my micro three. And it’s only been a few days, but I’ve had such a productive week, and it’s because I’ve been intentional and it’s because my tasks were super duper small. All right. And so actually let me pull it up. So I’m going to pull up what I had for Monday, Tuesday. And I’ll kind of walk you through how I plan them out and then give you some tips on how you can plan them out.

*Cara Harvey * (00:07:43) – So you can use a PDF on Instagram. I don’t know, I might use this every day. I kind of have. You can see here the the image that I use for Instagram Stories. You can screenshot it. and I plan it out. So the first day I did it, I put in a couple of things. One is I put in an appointment. So somebody had asked me this on Instagram, like, do you put appointments as a micro wins or micro tasks? I do because those things have to happen when I’m time blocking. I try not to plan out the entire three hours. I try to have maybe two hours at the most of tasks so I can have buffer. So on Monday I had my son’s IEP meeting. So from 12 to 3 this is what I put on my list. I say as I p meeting. That was it to connect my webinar tech for the webinar that I did and finish the sign up page for the webinar. Now again, those aren’t always 15 minute tasks, but they’re small enough tasks broken down that I was very clear on what I needed to do.

*Cara Harvey * (00:08:31) – All right. So I have not only the tasks that I know are appointments and things like that, but I also had this now my 3 to 6 block on Monday. I need to get my garden going like this was a personal goal, but I said if I don’t plan this garden, this thing is never going to happen. So I broke it down this week how to get my stuff planted and I wrote on there. Spent 30 minutes outside weeding like I just needed to weed my raised beds. And so from 3 to 6 my kids came home from school, everybody grabbed a snack, everyone was in the backyard, and what I wanted to do was be overwhelmed. Look at all the laundry. Look at my floor that desperately needs to be mopped. Sit down, scroll my phone. I want you to do all those things. But I looked at the plan I had and I said, all right, spend 30 minutes in the garden, take 30 minutes out there and just weed. And guess what? I spend about 30 minutes and I got almost all of it done.

*Cara Harvey * (00:09:15) – It felt really good. I even got some soil laid out and I was able to move to my next task, which was folding laundry. Okay, cool. That doesn’t take me that long. I can fold the load of laundry and put it away. And then I also wanted to do a thought catcher for me, which I did not wind up doing on Monday, but I finished it yesterday, so I kind of went through and I did some of my tasks. other things that I have, like my 9 to 11 block was like, wash my face and plan out tomorrow. Very small, simple task, but they allow me to do those things that are my personal goals that matter to me, that I often don’t do. Okay, so here’s an example of my 6 to 9 block today. I had workout, so I want to get my workout in again. Fits in my self-care, unload my dishes. I always talk about this. I always, not always I try to, in my ideal state, go ahead and, load the dishes before I go to bed.

*Cara Harvey * (00:10:01) – So then in the morning, I unload them so I can load them all day long, and then I’m doing Duolingo. my neighbors across the way only speak Spanish, and I wanted to talk to them because they have kids. My kids age. I was like, you know what I’m going to do lingo. So I could try to figure this out. So I’ve got very small micro goals, but it keeps me accountable. Okay. So once we’ve picked your themes and you go ahead and you put your, tasks in, then it’s checking in frequently. At the end of every single time block I check in, I look at what I’m supposed to have done. So let’s look at today. Today’s Wednesday, I have my tasks here. Let me see where I got them. There we go. Okay, so 6 to 9. Work out empty dishes. Duolingo check check check. I feel great about that. That stuff got done from 9 to 12. I was checking my emails and my clickup.

*Cara Harvey * (00:10:42) – I had a meeting with a team member and I needed to do my invite emails for my challenge. Done. Those are great. So now because I got done early, I have a couple options. All right. It’s 1139 right now. I’ve been live for about ten minutes. So at 1130 I was done with my my growth rate. Now I have other work tasks to do. So I actually worked on getting this PDF up for you, on a page real quick. Just put a really quick landing page together. So you could sign up for it if you wanted it. That wasn’t on my list, but because I had the extra time, I knew where I wanted to go. Here’s the other thing I want to share overflow or buffer. Now, I typically keep my stuff in Trello. Sometimes I keep it in a notepad, but at the end of the day, anything that didn’t get done, I will go through and put on my list so that when I have extra moments which just happened, I just had 20 extra minutes, I can do that thing.

*Cara Harvey * (00:11:28) – I also keep this list of things that pop up for me that I’m thinking. So I have a lot of stuff right now and it’s gotten very large. I’m not going to worry about getting them all done this week, but let me call this is my overflow list ready? so as I’m like in the shower, as I’m talking to someone, right, it was make time block PDF. I didn’t plan on doing that this week, but people wanted it. They asked for it. It took me about 20 minutes to make it a PDF, put up a quick page like, I can do that pretty quick, right? So I can check that off. a couple other things I need to post on Instagram about our in-person conference. I need to send a prize to a speaker for the affiliate. you know, little things. That just pop up for me, but I don’t originally have planned. I will put on this list and then if I have time, I will do them. Okay, other things on my personal list, right? I mop my floors.

*Cara Harvey * (00:12:12) – I’m, like, staring at my floors. Like, these need to be mopped, right? I have to mop them. I need to run to the bank. Me on my Mother’s Day cards, finish the camp paperwork, shoes. I was looking for these sandals. I want it this morning. So I just wrote declutter my shoes. Like I just need to get it done. email. I have to send an email about certain stuff, right? Order patches for Girl Scouts. This is the thought catcher, right? So all of this little stuff pops up. When do I do these things in my time blocking? Well, I could put on here for Wednesday on my little chart. I could put thought catcher tasks. And sometimes I do that. I try not to put more than three tasks. So like my 9 to 11 for today just has watchface planned tomorrow? Could I put thought catcher tasks, and then work on like 1 or 2? Yes. Did I know why? Because Wednesdays are wild for us and I’m just driving a lot.

*Cara Harvey * (00:12:56) – And Wednesdays midweek. I also know I get really tired and I don’t want to burn out, so that’s important. The other thing that I do is I keep a buffer block at the end of the week. So when I looked at my weekend Saturday, we have sports and activities to one, and then we have nothing in the evening. And then for Mother’s Day Sunday, we have no plans and I don’t do anything. So Saturday I said, in the afternoon I’m going to work on any of these extra buffer activities. I don’t need to finish them all, but I will work on some of them. So I’ve predetermined when they’re going to happen. But by having them pop in my brain and then putting them on my list, I have options, right? They’re not just stuck in my brain or forgotten, right? They’re not written down. They’re not just, oh, I don’t know what I’m going to do them. So I have to stay up all the time. It’s like, no Saturday afternoon.

*Cara Harvey * (00:13:38) – I’ll spend two hours. I’ll bang through some tasks, I’ll know I’ll get them done. But again, yesterday I had extra time. So something happened. Yesterday was we got our cookie prizes for Girl Scouts, and I picked them up, for my cookie mom, because she couldn’t get them. And she messaged me and said, hey, I can come get them and sort them. My brain automatically went to, oh, I can do it. And then my rational brain said, just delegate. She said, she’ll do it. Why do you have to be the one to do it? So she came over, she picked them up and that gave me an extra hour back from my tasks. So I had a couple choices. I chose to use that hour that would have taken me to do that, to get ahead on some other girl’s got tasks. So I did other things that were on my list. That’s how I was able to get it done. Because of that, though, I had an extra hour.

*Cara Harvey * (00:14:19) – Another hour that popped up. I don’t even know how, 8:00 last night. And I sat around and I had everything done that I needed to get done, and I thought, okay, I could potentially do something off my list, or I could use this as recharge time. And that’s what I did. I, you know, still had to get the kids showers and stuff there at the age where they can get themselves ready. I just have to kind of like, let’s go get in the shower, get in the shower. facilitate, if you will. I’m not doing I’m just facilitating slash nicely, encouraging them to get their smelly, sweaty selves in the shower. and I read a book I took that hour, while I was in between helping them with showers because lunches were already made, and I read a book for an hour, and it felt so refreshing. And what felt even better about it was because I had my micro priorities preset. I knew exactly what I’d get done. I was able to talk to myself in a voice that was like, you know what? You need to.

*Cara Harvey * (00:15:10) – What was something on my list yesterday? That was today. Hold on. Let me find something on my list yesterday. That was like a small task that I almost didn’t want to do. make lunches. Always. Always. So I was like, just go make the lunches and do my PM pickup, which is like, load my dishes, sweep the floors, wipe the counters. I said, just go do it. I also had lay down soil. I had to lay down soil in my garden bed because I went and I bought soil because I ran out. and I was like, this will take you 15 minutes at the most. Just go lay the soil down. You’re going to feel so accomplished. And that’s how I spoke to myself. And it happened because I was here. I had a plan. I predetermined where I was going to go and what I was going to do. The other thing that I think is really helping me with this, using this is I said I was going to post on, on Instagram.

*Cara Harvey * (00:15:52) – I’m like, I’m just going to post every day. I’m going to show up. I’m going to give an example of what I’m doing, because then people are interested in how I do it. And really it’s for me more than anyone else. But knowing that I’m showing up and that people are watching, it helps me be accountable. So find a buddy that’s like, hey, do you want to check in on our days? The key here in how you make micro tasks and time blocking work is intentionality. It’s being small about it, predetermined. So if you don’t have planned tomorrow written down on your list, make sure plan tomorrow is one of your micro tasks. Doing it the night before really helps me feel good about going into the day. I’m not. What should I be doing now? I’m not. Oh, I do have time. Like, you know, the kids are playing right now. My kids play outside a lot by themselves. they don’t need me right now. It’s a weird feeling.

*Cara Harvey * (00:16:37) – So I’m just standing around. My brain goes to good. I can sit down and scroll my phone, but if I look at my list, I’m like, I can go order those girls got patches that’ll take like 15 minutes and I’ll feel great crossing it off my list, and then I’ll go screw my phone. Right. I can have the best of both worlds, so I’d love for you to grab the tracker. People asked. We made it into a PDF. it’s in the link in the show notes. If you’re on the podcast or on YouTube, or if you’re in the Facebook group where I’m doing this live, and if you’re not in the group, come in the group. I want to do some more lives and you can come. Ask questions. you can grab that, free PDF. I also have the stories version on my stories every day. In May. I’ll be posting it every day in May. So you, Well, actually, this is going to go on the podcast at the end of May, but it’s still May when it’s there.

*Cara Harvey * (00:17:16) – So you can take a screenshot and use it over and over again, that story’s version. if you just want to tag me for accountability and let me know if you need any help. Again, this episode isn’t going to go live till the end of May, so a Purpose Driven mom.com/podcast 408 is the episode it will be at. but I hope this helps. If you have time blocking questions, let me know. And when this does go live, we will be doing our simple summer planning. Simple. Say that three times. Fast, simple summer schedule challenge. which will be starting to share the link for that on Monday the 13th, but we’ll be going, live every day from the 27th to the 31st to help you make a summer schedule. So if you want more tips like that, let me know. Otherwise, have a great one and reach out if you have any questions at all.


The FREE Ultimate Weekly Planning Checklist!

Are you ready to go into your week feeling less frazzled and more in control? 

You need this checklist to help you set up your week, save time running around and plan out time for you! 

Sharing is Caring!

Like this:

Like Loading...

Leave a Comment or Question! I'd love to know what takeaways you had from this post!