FOCUSING ON ONE TASK AT A TIME
So yes, I'm one of those people! I block my time into chunks so that I can get more done. I have two kids, two dogs, and a family business with my husband that keeps my plate full. If I don't plan time in my week for certain things, they never get done. At the start of each year and sometimes in between, if my schedule changes drastically, I look at my time blocks and adjust them if need be.
For example, when I was homeschooling my daughter or when the kids came home for Covid, I had to readjust my schedule. Now that we have a puppy, my mornings look different, so I readjusted. I pack more work into my mornings, but late afternoons are dedicated to school pickups and time with the kids. All of this to say, I plan it, but I keep it fluid.
There are lots of theories on time blocking. What I'm about to explain is simply my way of doing it. First, I figure out what my priorities are. I know I want to exercise 5 days a week, so I need time for that. I also look at how much time I will have to dedicate to my business-- sometimes it's how much time I need, especially when we are busy.
Once I have those hours, say 40 for the sake of my example, I divide them up based on how I want to run my business. I like to spend 40% of my time designing, 40% of my time on sales & marketing, and 20% on administrative work. Since this is my ideal and these are broad categories, I can figure out how many hours I should allot to each area: 16 hours designing, 16 hours on sales & marketing, & 8 hours on administrative tasks. It would be oh-so-nice if it worked out to be a full two days of design, but typically it ends up being 3-4 hours at a time for each area with breaks, meetings, and other admin items that can't wait thrown in.
I usually get all of my planned hours, including a few over the weekend. Friday stays open for the things that got squeezed out during the week by important client-related tasks or other unexpected issues. That way, I have a workday when I can reach others in the office to catch up. The weekend is an easy time to write, draw, paint, or knock out much of the administrative stuff, should I have the time.
It's pretty simple to block out your time, and I find it helpful in staying on track. If I get too bogged down in design, but I'm not marketing or thinking about getting new clients or selling pattern collections, I'm going to be sorry down the line! While it never works out perfectly (what does?), it sure does help me keep a sense of balance in my business and life.
Did you miss the first post in this series where I shared my favorite planning tools? Be sure to check it out! You can find my free watercolor weekly planner download by clicking here and signing up.
Next up: Getting more done.