Episode 24 - How Time Blocking Benefits You and Your BusinessSep 21, 2021
Do you ever wish you could control your schedule so it couldn’t control you?
That you could maximise the time you have, stay completely on top of your game, get stuff done and find time for yourself and your family too?
One of my favourite productivity hacks- Time Blocking- will definitely make a difference to your life!
It’s the perfect tool for you if you juggle multiple responsibilities, spend too much time responding to emails and messages, battle constant interruptions or struggle to find the mental space to grow your business dream.
In this episode, I’ll be explaining everything you need to know about time blocking and how I use it to optimise my time and keep my life beautifully balanced (well, I try!)
I’ll be revealing how I spend my days envisioning, planning, and dreaming of tasks that need to be done and how I can take action in doing it.
I’ll also be sharing info about the project management tools, applications, and websites I use to help me prioritize my tasks, get my work done and move on to my next goals. By using them, I know I’ll still have the time and energy to see my family and friends whilst having the satisfaction that I’ve got stuff done!
- I need to make sure that when I’m taking the time to work on my business, I'm being very intentional and I am getting what I need to get done because I want to get to the fun stuff.
- Time blocking helps me to prioritize the things that are important to get done on the days that I need to get them done.
- Start with the things that are of top priority first, and then work through all of the tasks that you have on that list.
- Some things don’t always go as planned or life throws you a curveball. But that's okay when you build your day to accommodate those surprises. (But make sure you spend time doing the things that bring you joy too!)
- If you don’t have focus, you're not fully being present in the task that you're doing. So try to be both intentional and focused and you’ll get things done in a short amount of time.
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About the show:
The Eleshia Show is an exciting new podcast that helps empower female business owners to put their well-being first whilst building their businesses. Tune in every Wednesday as my inspiring guests and I discuss strategies, share stories and experiences and dive into how you can build your business whilst trying to navigate real life. The host, Eleshia Harris is here and ready to share her decades of project management and wellness experience to help you start saying ‘Yes!’ to your business and life.
If I can really take the time to be intentional to do the things that I need to get done in a way that works for me then to be able to spend quality time with my precious family and the friends that I adore, that's what I'm going to do.
Eleshia Harris: Hi, I'm Eleshia Harris and I am your host of The Eleshia Show. I am also the founder of eleshialifestyle.com, and I'm so excited that you're here with me and I am here with you. I'm also really appreciative. Each week, I'll be sharing strategies and stories, and insights to help you enhance your wellbeing and to build your business while still navigating life. Because sometimes we often try and separate the two, and let's face it, if you are not well, you have no business. So let's try and work with these two things combined because we can, to enhance your lifestyle. Again, I'm really excited to have you here. I have wanted to put together a podcast for over two years, and so here I am ready to share. Let's get into this week's episode.
Hi, I'm excited to be back. This week we are talking about time blocking and why this is so important to me. I am a multi-passionate human being, and this means that I have always got some idea or some goal that I want to bring into the world. And so, if left to my own devices, I would spend my days visioning and planning and dreaming sometimes, but not always taken action. I need to be able to do that as I spoke about external accountability in one of the previous episodes. I need to ensure that I have sacred time to get my tasks and my projects moving. This is the whole reason why I'm so passionate about blocking out time to do that.
For me, as I said, it's really important that when I am in my workspace, I know exactly what I want to work on because it saves me time. I don't want to be a slave to my job or my desk. I have been there. I have seen what it's done, and I don't want to do that for the rest of my life. I am in this role as a female entrepreneur, business owner, my own CEO because I want to do all of the things that I want to do on my own terms.
Yes, sometimes I have to be a little bit flexible because obviously, as I've said before, my well-being and my family are very important to me. And so I need to make sure that when I am taking the time to work on my business, I'm being very intentional and I am getting what I need to get done because I want to get to the fun stuff. I'm not saying that my business stuff isn't fun, but I don't love admin. Yes, I said it. I do not love admin. And sometimes, I get a little bit of resistance when I have to sit down and do my accounts and do all of the things that, us, business owners need to do when all we want to do is do the thing that we're passionate about. But we have to do all of the things until we can then delegate them out. I just want to give you a few examples of what I do to help me really double down when I need to get work done, so that I have the time to move on to my next goals or just spend time with myself or with the family or with friends without feeling guilty that I've still got business work to do.
Time blocking helps me to prioritize the things that are important to get done on the days that I need to get them done. It helps me to stay on track with the tasks that I need to do. And it stops me from procrastinating and distracting myself with all the other things that I know that I have floating around in my brain. It also gives me the ability to stay focused. And that's really important because in that place where I'm staying focused and I get clarity, and then I can really get into the work that needs to be done without overwhelming.
So let me give you an example of how I time block. So Thursday is one of my working days, and I like to dedicate the morning to business admin. But before I do that, I work out. So from 9:15 to 10:30, I'm working out. And then I give myself an hour where I have something to eat and I shower and I get dressed and I just take my time with it. And in that time, I'm also thinking about the things that I need to get done. The majority of the time, I make a list of things that need to get done. Possibly the night before, or I use my project management tool, ClickUp, as I mentioned in one of the previous episodes. And I will go in there and see what I have on my task list.
And then from 11:30 to 1:30, I will spend a two-hour time block working through my to-do list. So for the first half an hour, I like to spend that time just drafting my newsletter. And my newsletter doesn't usually go out on the same day. I like to draft it on a Thursday. It goes out on a Sunday because then I can really just focus on just writing, just freewriting all of my highlights from the week and everything that comes up from a wellbeing and business perspective. I share that every Sunday at 7:00 PM. So if you're not on the subscriber list, then get yourself on it. I will link the details in the show notes. And yes, that goes out weekly. It's just a really nice supplement for all the information that I am sharing. I try to do it in one place.
And then after that, then I will move on to taking 15 minutes just to see what is actually on my to-do list. If I've written a list of things that have come up as a priority, then I will go through that. After the first 45 minutes of working, I like to take a five-minute break and that's usually to grab water, have a comfort break and then I'll come back and I will sit down for half an hour. And in that half an hour, I will start to work through my list. I know what's on my list, so now I start to work through my list. I will start with the things that are of priority first and then work through all of the tasks that I have on that list.
And then after half an hour, I'll take another break just to stretch, grab some more water. And then the next half an hour, I will continue to work through my list so that I get as much as I can do on my list before I move on. Then I will take another break and then on this break, I like to move or I like to tidy up or put my favorite tune on, and just have a little dance to move my body because a study showed that there was 72% improvement in time management and productivity when you move your body on a work day. In this study, they were talking about low impact, but it could mean anything. It could mean dancing. It could be taking a nice brisk walk, or shower, or do some yoga. Just taking a little bit of time for yourself. So I'm going to link in that study as well because I think that was great information. I love just getting confirmation that the things that I'm doing, I'm on the right track. So I want to share that with you too.
And then the last 30 minutes of that two-hour time block, then I dedicate to checking my emails and checking any DMs on social media. Just answering emails and social media DMs. And then after that, I usually break for lunch. And then after lunch in the afternoon, I'm usually working with clients.
So that is my day. Does it always go to plan? No. As I've said in previous episodes, sometimes life throws you a curveball, and that's okay. Because there's a time filled out during my day. On a Thursday, am I always at my desk? No. I sometimes time block half an hour to take a walk when I've been sitting for too long, or half an hour to read, or half an hour to do some personal development. But it just means that I am getting to do things that I want to do. The reason why this is so important for me is that, as I said before, I want to spend as much time doing the things that bring me joy.
I've been there where I have worked, worked, worked, and missed out on family get-togethers. I've been working so hard that I have had to pull all-nighters to reach a deadline. And I was so blessed that when my mom was here, that I was given the flexibility to work around her appointments and so forth. But it still meant that the majority of the weekends, lying on her sofa, watches movies with her, or just tired.
So I want to get to the place where, if I can really take the time to be intentional to do the things that I need to get done in a way that works for me then to be able to spend quality time with my precious family and the friends that I adore, that's what I'm going to do. Is balance going to be 50:50 all the time? No. Again, because we don't live in that perfect world. And as I said earlier today, who wants to be perfect? Perfect is boring. Is perfect even real?
Anyway, moving on, let me share some of the things that I find really helpful to do to honor my time and honor myself when I'm blocking time to get the things that I need to get done done. So I use a timer, and it doesn't have to be fancy. It can be the time on your phone. There are so many different apps out there that you can use. I sometimes use an app called Toggl to track the time of what I'm doing. Just to see how long it's taking me to do a task. And I found that very useful. I sometimes put my phone on Do not disturb. The numbers that I need to get hold of me on my emergency list. But I just find that when I do that, I know that there's no distraction. There's going to be no me picking up the phone to check my social media.
Actually, do you know, and somebody said it this week and I can't remember who it was, that as human beings, we pick up our phones 80 times a day. Can you imagine? That's a lot of distractions. So when I put my phone on Do not disturb, I know there's no point in checking it because nothing can come through. So I really like that for just keeping me focused. I've actually taken off all of the notifications of social media, WhatsApp, and text messages on my phone. It's only when I pick it up intentionally that I can actually see that I've got messages. I made sure that I have plenty of water on my desk and any snacks. So that in that timeframe, yes, I'm getting up when I have my breaks. But I could still be hydrating myself and still nourishing myself whilst I sit and get to work.
I sometimes choose to play soft music in the background. It depends on what the tasks that I'm doing need. If it needs my full focus, I try not to multitask anymore. My brain just can't take it anymore. I just can't. And plus, it doesn't always work. You're not fully being present in the task that you're doing. So I tried to shut as many tabs as I can down. I usually have multiple tabs open. I'm putting my hands up to that. But when I'm trying to be really intentional and focused, I try and shut as many tabs as I can down also. And all of this just really, really helps with me getting everything that I need to get done in that short amount of time if that's the amount of time that I have. And I do this throughout the day, but I also give myself longer breaks.
As I said, in the mornings, I take an hour out to just really enjoy my exercise. But then another hour to enjoy getting myself ready to work and eating and dressing. I try not to rush. Some days, yes, I have to cut that down to half an hour 45 minutes. But at least I know that I've got time to play with. And then again, just making sure that I get some more movement throughout the day because I'm sitting for quite some time.
All of these things are really beneficial to me. I hope they have been beneficial to you also. If they have, and you know somebody who needs to hear this or just needs a little reminder, remembers to share with them.
The podcast now has been listened to in over 35 countries and 218 cities. I am so excited to see those numbers grow. It was a dream, and now it is a reality. And time blocking, external accountability, all of those things have really helped me with my goal. So again, thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Eleshia Show, and I will see you again next week. Take care. Bye-bye.
Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode of The Eleshia Show. If you know somebody who needs to hear the conversations that we are having, please share it. Take a screenshot and send it to them. Also, I would really love for you to rate and review the podcast as this really helps, and I'd love to read your comments. Lastly, remember, you need to invest in yourself first because you are important and amazing. Take care. Until next time. Bye-bye.