One of my coaching clients asked me what my time blocking and planning look like. It’s one thing to hear about best (and worst) practices, talk through implementation, and practice what you think it looks like. It’s another thing to actually watch someone else do it and monitor the progress.
Rather than have him fly in to sit by my side for an entire week, I decided that the best way to show him this would be to share a “time lapse” version of my weekly planner.
Here’s what you should be aware of before viewing my time blocking:
*The Perfect System – There is no such thing, so don’t stress over seeking it. You need to do what works best for you. Below is what I do. Pick up ideas from this visual example, my blogs and my videos, and then apply what works for you.
*Hybrid – I use paper (what you’ll view below) to plan and a digital calendar for my bookings and major task appointments.
*Time Estimation – This is the key to creating to-do lists that actually get done. I choose to put my to-do list on this planning sheet because I only fill in what I’ll have time for.
*Routine – I usually start next week’s sheet on a Friday morning. This particular week I was headed out of town on a Thursday to give presentations, so my first “round” of planning happened on a Wednesday.
*Evenings – This is personal time, so I usually don’t time block those unless my husband and I have a project we need to work on – like researching health insurance options.
*Beauty – This ain’t pretty. If you came across this sheet without any background information, you’d probably think it was a sloppy rough draft for some project. Your planning tool doesn’t have to be beautiful; it needs to be functional for you. By the end of the week, my planner is full of scratched off items and is a complete mess…a very productive mess.
The blank spaces will be filled in as I map out the tasks I need to complete.
You’ll notice that two items are circled and not crossed off:
Thanksgiving Thank u’s
Title/Desc Las Vegas
Those two items have been in progress and are due today (Friday), so I’ll be wrapping those up this morning.
If you want to see the full size versions, you can click each individual graphic above or view this link.
In the end, no matter what tool you choose, if you pause to plan your appointments and tasks based on priority level, and you estimate the time needed for each commitment, you’ll improve your productivity.
For more guidance on time blocking and utilizing a weekly planner, check out The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.