Time Blocking for a Simple Weekly Schedule
As a mom, it’s important that I have a simple weekly schedule to guide my day. By using time blocking, I find that I can spend more time getting things done and less time complaining about not having any time.
Because let’s be real, as moms we’re SUPER busy. We have a million things on our plants, our brains are constantly running in circles, and we often feel overwhelmed and at the mercy of the to do list.
But there is a better way.
There is a way that you can set up a schedule, not to ‘get everything done’ (because that’s just ridiculous to put on our shoulders) but to get MORE of what MATTERS done. To create a schedule that aligns with our priorities, help us maximize the time that we have in a given day, and actually go to bed feeling good about everything we’ve done.
Since I began being a work at home mom, I knew that I needed to be more in control of my time. There are a different set of challenges when you work from home, and you have to really be the master of your time. I needed something that would let me have the structure of a schedule but the flexibility to deal with the day to day craziness of having small kids at home.
When I found time blocking things really changed for me. Instead of having a rigid schedule where at 9:00 am everyday we did our daily cleaning and at 1:30 pm every day was reading time, I use time blocking to organize out sections of our day so that the have some semblance of order but the flexibility to do things on our own time.
How to Organize Your Schedule as a Busy Mom
The principle of time blocking is that you chunk your day into sections (early morning, morning early afternoon, nap time etc….) and assign 3-5 tasks to get done during that schedule. By doing this, you’re making sure that when that time comes, you’re not overwhelmed and wondering what you should be doing but focused on the tasks at hand.
Time blocking also leaves room for the typical day to day life with kids where toddlers need you, it’s always snack time, and some days things just don’t get done because extra snuggles are necessary.
As a work at home mom, who has kids who still are napping, I block my time into small chunks that make the most sense for me.
Early Morning 5:00-6:30 (pre-kids waking up)
School Time 9:00-12:00 (my 3 year old is at school on MWF)
Nap Time 2:00-4:30 (on the day all of the stars align and my 1 year old makes it until 2 and my 3 year old actually naps. This time happens maybe 3-4 times a week)
Post Bedtime 8:00-11:00
By chunking my day this way, I have small parts of my day already split up where I can decide what I am hoping to accomplish, what my kids will be doing, and which tasks make the most sense.
Take time and chunk out your day so that it makes sense to you. Try to have 2-4 hour time blocks that you are working with that just naturally fall in your day to day.
Once you’ve determined your time blocks, the next step to productivity is to pre-determine what happens during those chunks of time.
Now again, this isn’t where you make something super rigid that you must still to right to the minute, but a general idea of what is happening. And by predetermining what happens, you can make sure during that chunk of your day you’re more intentional with all that has to happen.
This is a sample of my ideal day in a time block:
Early Morning 5:00-6:30
- Bible and Devotional
- Small work task
- Clean Up Breakfast
- Start Laundry
- Get Dressed
School Time 9:00-12:00
- Run Errands or Playdate
- Daily Household Cleaning
- Make Important Phone Calls
- Clean Up Lunch
- Put Away Laundry
Nap Time 2:00-4:30
- Work time (which I'll spare you the details of but I put 3-5 work tasks to get done each day)
- Clean up Dinner
- Pack Lunches
- Load Dishwasher
- Family Time
Post Bedtime 8:00-11:00
- Bible Study
- Finish daily work tasks
- Evening Routine
As you can see, I’m not super specific about at what time during that chunk things happen but, it gives me a guide of what I should be working on during that period. Before I had this system, I would continuously put off things like phone calls or cleaning, feel like I was never accomplishing anything, and felt frazzled and overwhelmed by housework.
I suggest after you go through and assign your tasks, look again and make sure it’s a realistic set of things to accomplish. Then you can create smaller goal charts and checklists for what they mean. For example, I write down that in my “school time” block that I do my daily household cleaning but have a separate Trello board where I put down what that actually looks like each day.
Time Blocking Template - A Trello Weekly Planner
You may be a paper planner person, and so was I, until I found Trello.
I know use Trello to keep all of my time blocking charts, as well as my weekly schedule. It took me a bit to figure out how to create a board that fit my needs with time blocking but, by using labels, I can separate out each day into sections and drag and drop the tasks from day to day.
Trello allows me to make a checklist on each card so that when it is ‘daily household cleaning’ time, I can look at see which day i focus on today and what tasks should get done during that block.
You can also use Trello on your phone as an app so it makes it very easy to see when you’re out or share your schedule board with your family so that you’re all on the same page.
If you want to see more about this board and how you can use Trello to simplify your life, go and grab this free mini course! In it, you’ll learn the Trello basics AND get to snag my ‘my week’ (along with 2 other) boards absolutely free!
This week, I encourage you to take time to start to implement time blocking into your schedule and see how it changes things. My hope is that it helps you be more productive, more accomplished and less like you’re stuck on a rigid schedule trying to squeeze everything in!
And if you need any more help figuring out how to make a schedule that works, go and grab my e-course Design Your Day: Time Management for the Busy Woman.
In the course, I break down exactly how to map out a schedule AND get done what you need PLUS work on your goals! It's a self paced course and we go step by step together to helping you design a life you love!
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