Fortunately, over the years I’ve consumed books, blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos—you name it—all on how to manage time more effectively. And you know what? Some of it worked, and some of it didn’t. I’m going to walk you through what is really working for me these days, and I hope you will take bits (or all!) of it and incorporate it into your life.
How to Whip Your Busy Life into Shape (in 8 easy steps!)
So… You probably know all about Marking Time…. But have you ever tried Blocking Time?
And no… It has nothing to do with Marching Band.
*huge sigh of relief*
Yes, friend. Blocking Time is something that will literally Change. Your. Life.
If you let it.
Here’s what it is:
Blocking time = making a list of everything you have to/want to do and using a calendar to when you will do it and how long it will take you.
Sounds simple enough, right?
That’s because it is. And it’s a great way to make sure that you’re not binge-watching YouTube and shoving Fire Doritos in your mouth while you should be practicing that killer etude you still can’t play.
So how bout it? Let’s get stuff done!
1. Grab a pen and paper (or your planner) and make four columns:
- Things you have to do (sleep, school, practice, homework, chores, eat)
- Things you are committed to (sports, extra-curriculars, church, work)
- Things you want to achieve this semester (get a good GPA, improve fitness, make All-State)
- Things you do to have fun and unwind (tv, hang with friends, gaming, shopping, hunting)
2. Fill in each column: Use this handy time blocking worksheet to help.
3. Open up your Google Calendar, iCal, or whatever you use to keep track of your schedule.
4. Just for this week, make time blocks for everything in your lists from columns 1 and 2.
5. Use the open times on your calendar to plug in items from column 3 so you are sure to spend time this week working toward your goals.
6. Do you have any time left? If not, adjust things so you can spend time each day doing at least one fun thing you want to do. Block it in your calendar like you did in steps 4 and 5.
7. As you go through your week, try to stick to your time blocks. Unexpected things will happen and throw your schedule out of whack, but just do your best. Even if you don’t get everything done, you’ll accomplish more than you would if you didn’t block your time at all.
8. Revisit your columns and calendar every Sunday night to block time for the upcoming week. This will set you up for success—and you will feel so much calmer knowing what you’re supposed to be doing, and when.
And I’m betting you’ll get mad props from your parents. Couldn’t hurt, right?
Overwhelmed by your busy school schedule? Leave a comment on the blog and let me know about your biggest time-blocking challenges--I bet you’re not alone!
You know what is equally as hard to whip into shape? A practice routine! If you want some help in this area as well, check out my latest video where I’ll show you how I divide up my practice time and hold myself accountable. There’s also a free downloadable Weekly Practice Tracker that you won’t want to miss.
Have a fabulous day--- and Happy Practicing!!