Many authors who follow me on a regular basis know that I swear by something called time blocking. It allows me to prioritise my workload as well as my personal life because let's face it, we all need to be in control of our schedules. Time blocking has become an essential part of my routine in order for me to be productive, in control, and prepared for anything that the universe may throw at me.
For me, managing my business, blogging, and family life can at times be overwhelming. So, in order to beat that overwhelming feeling, I was introduced to this technique during an NLP course (Neurolinguistic Programming Course). It has on many occasions allowed me to beat my anxiety and be ultimately in control of my business.
During this blog post, I am going to tell you all about the advantages of time blocking and how it can be effective for your writing career.
What is time blocking?
Time blocking is a way in which I plan my week. I initially separate my schedule into days of the week and then each day into hours. The concept behind this is it allows you to divide your day into smaller “blocks” of time. In each hour slot, I prioritise what I wish to get done during that hour of time. It is a calendar, but also a to-do list. I ensure I have checkboxes in each of mine to allow me to feel productive as I mark sections of my schedule.
“Timeblocking or Time Blocking (also known as time chunking) is a productivity technique for personal time management where a period of time - typically a day or a week - is divided into smaller segments or blocks for specific tasks or to-dos. It integrates the function of a calendar with that of a to-do list.” - Source Wikipedia.
Benefits of time blocking
Time blocking has had huge benefits to my personal and business life so I am going to take you through a few of the advantages I have experienced since beginning to time block effectively.
For me personally, the biggest advantage is that it has allowed me to clarify which tasks I need to prioritise and allow me to account for the time it takes to complete each task. For example, I used to have HUGE to-do lists and in reality, there was no way that I would actually achieve all of these tasks in a single day. This left me feeling defeated and wondering why I even bothered at all. So, the one thing time blocking has allowed me to do is set time scales in which things can be effectively completed to a high standard. As an example, I would usually book a couple of custom cover designs for one day but in reality, they needed much more time dedicated to them. Each custom design is now given a four-hour slot, giving them the much-needed time that they deserve. I have also assigned every Friday as an admin day to allow me to catch up on admin management, website management, and any tasks I may have had to put on hold during the week. Time blocking has allowed me to manage my time much more effectively.
It also allows you to feel more productive and fights against procrastination. Each day you already know the tasks at hand so you don’t spend time wondering which task to battle first which means that you are already mentally prepared to start your day and have an element of control over your day. Being realistic about what you can achieve in your day really does make you more productive, you find that you may actually get tasks done at a faster pace as you are dedicated to one task at hand rather than looking at your to-do list and wondering where you even start.
Time blocking creates focus and increases concentration. When we have time blocking in place we have already created a focus by prioritising our workload. It gives the brain one item to focus on at a time instead of believing that you can multitask multiple projects at the same time. It really doesn’t matter who you are if you are multitasking you really aren’t giving your all to one project and are much more likely to make mistakes and in the process take longer than dedicating your time to one project at a time.
For me, time blocking has allowed me to follow through with my goals. I set a task and I am more likely to accomplish it because I have set aside the time to do so. My goals and dreams have grown immensely since using the time-blocking technique because I now realise that I am capable of so much more because it has allowed me to create more time! On my specific time block, I also have a section for setting intentions. This too allows me to reach my goals, it allows me to break my goals into chunks so they seem more achievable each time.
It has allowed me to look after not only my physical health but also, my mental well-being, as many know I have struggled with my own mental health over the years as I have suffered from Complex PTSD. However, time blocking allows me to prioritise my mental well-being and physical well-being as I dedicate time not just to my work but also to my personal life. I include things such as my morning routine including yoga and meditation, meal plans for the week, after-school clubs, walking the dog, and so on. Time blocking does not have to purely be about your writing career, you can incorporate your entire personal life and you truly will feel in control!
How can a Time Block help my writing?
So I can already hear you ask how does this benefit me as an author? Well, it can benefit everyone, have you ever sat down to write and think where do I even start? It is time to treat your writing as a business, not just a hobby! By creating writing routines and blocking time to create a writing schedule you can truly beat the procrastination and get yourself on track to becoming that “amazon bestseller”.
Using the time block will allow you to schedule a time to sit and dedicate to writing, you can set writing intentions for your daily intentions. Remember that being an author isn’t just about writing amazing stories, it's about marketing, connecting with your readers, market research, editing, formatting, and the numerous other tasks incorporated with being an author. So time blocking will allow you to set times when you focus on certain elements of your career, and by dedicating the time to it you WILL reach your potential!
You can read more about setting up a writing routine in our blog post “How to implement a writing routine”
If you are interested in implementing a time block feel free to take a look at our Time Blocking .pdf which can be printed and used on a weekly basis.
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