- Christie Varner
PJS #024: 💥6 Simple Steps to Priority Time Blocking to Get More Done
Get more done. Enjoy your life.
As a busy CEO, there’s always more to get done than hours in a day….so we end up working more than intended…and often still feel unsatisfied with how much is still left to do at the end of the day. And like we are missing out on life too.
Sound familiar? I get it. I hear it from clients all the time. And I’ve experienced it myself. You are not alone.
Today, I’m sharing a simple Priority Time Blocking method that’s helped me go from overwhelmed to organized.
Let’s dive in:
What is Priority Time Blocking?
It's a combo of the best parts (for me) of some other methods I've tried...
Priority - if we aren’t prioritizing, we'll just ask “do I have time on my calendar for this?” rather than “is this something I want/need to do?” You can see how much more powerful that second question is.
Time Blocking - dividing the day into chunks of time and assigning tasks to those chunks
6 Simple Steps to Time Blocking
1. Choose your Calendar & Set your View
This method works best with an online calendar. I personally use Google calendar - after trying a million of them.
Set your calendar to WEEKLY view because we are planning a week at a time.
2. Color Coding
Color coding your time blocks by category type make it easy to see at a glance where your time is spent. (Also, it's soothing to look at a color-coded calendar - feels organized!)
Regardless of which calendar app you use, they likely all offer the ability to change the event color.
For example here are my colors with their categories:
Green for client work (income producing so green!)
Lavender for personal (because I love that color)
Yellow for meetings and calls
Blue for learning, collaboration & marketing
Tangerine for other work (emails, financial review of my own biz, etc)
Copy my color coding to start if you like. You’ll figure out a rhythm as you go.
If you don’t know what types of categories your business tasks fall into, I highly recommend batching. (I wrote a newsletter issue with some simple steps to batching your business life.)
3. Schedule your Priorities
If you haven't given focus to your priorities in life because you’ve been moving so fast doing all the things, I hear ya. Probably you are feeling out of sync. I get ya. I was actually recently just there.
I recently sat down to think & pray about my priorities and came up with what made sense for me - God, husband, children all come before my calling of my business…but my calendar didn’t reflect it.
Let's fix that:
Calendar your priorities first. Schedule time (lavender for me) for those non-work priorities – even as simple as a time block for “family dinner” or “end of work day” or “quiet time” or “move your body.”
If you don’t put these in first, they won’t happen.
4. Schedule your Business Time Blocks
Decide how many hours a day you intend to work.
For starters, I’d chunk no more than 2 hours at a time to a category. I find it hard to stay on task for longer. You may end up with some 30 minute categories.
But let’s say you intend to work 8 hours a day - then you have a maximum 4 two-hour time blocks available.
💡Think through your schedule as to the timing that makes sense for your business AND for how you work.
For example, I prefer morning for my most intense work and afternoons for admin work. So i block client work time blocks in the morning and less intense work in the afternoons.
Don’t forget to add in meetings & appointments.
PRO TIP: White Space
Leave some white space on your calendar. Life doesn’t go as planned. You will need to have some flexibility to move your blocks around (why I prefer an online calendar vs paper!) and add other things in later.
Also, don’t bother scheduling breaks. Just take them as you need them. Let’s not make this calendar thing a giant task in itself.
5. To-Do by Time Block
Add your to-dos for each category in the details of the time block.
Just open the time block and list out what you intend to accomplish. This may cause you to shorten or lengthen a time block.
PRO TIP: Add attachments to the time block too if needed.
6. Adjust & Audit
Adjust your time blocks as you move through your week. Let this system work for you!
Audit the time you actually took & the tasks you actually accomplished at the end of each week. It’ll help you get better at planning your time blocks for the next week.
- - - - -
Priority Time Blocking means you take care of your priorities AND you also divide your day so that you are intentional about getting things done…rather than just responding to every to-do as it comes up.
1. Weekly view on online calendar
2. Color code by category
3. Schedule your priorities FIRST
4. Schedule your business time blocks
5. List your to-dos for the week & add them to blocks
6. Adjust as you go & audit weekly
Your fave fractional CFO calls this great ROI:
invest 30 minutes a week of planning that should pay off in your spending your time on your priorities and being productive.
❓What’s working for you for getting things done? I always love to learn.
I hope you found this valuable. Let me know. I'd love to hear your thoughts!
See ya next week, my friend!
Whenever you're ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:
1. Ready to increase profit & have your stress melt away? Schedule a call to see if we'd be a good fit to work together. I have availability for a few additional clients.
2. Want to create your own Custom Roadmap to Success with my help? Let's talk about doing that. Schedule here.
3. Want more like this? I post on LinkedIn every weekday at 7:15a CST. I'd love to connect. Find me here!
You'll also love these...
Roadmap to Success Pt 1: Define your Vision of Success
From Stuck to Solution
How much should (can) I pay myself as owner?
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