Makers Monday - How I use Time Blocking To Get The Most Out Of My Workday

In today's Makers Monday I'm talk about how time blocking has been a lifesaver for my productivity.  We talk about what it is, how to add it to your schedule, and the myth behind multitasking.  Hope this quick tip helps you in your creative business! 



Here's the link to the blogpost about breaking up with your to-do list! 

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Transcript: (Autogenerated, please excuse any errors)

Hello, welcome to Makers Monday.

A live chat. Today, we are going to today. We are going to be talking about one of my favorite time saving hacks and if you are doing the business as a side hustle, you have kids, you have a busy life, you know, here we are, like you've got to make the time be efficient. So definitely having my daughter about 2 years ago has made this of the utmost importance and knowing that we're going to have a little one on the way I'm definitely thinking about all the ways that I can save time and get the most bang for my buck.


So, anyway, in the past, I have talked about breaking up with your to-do list and so I wanted to try to clarify that. I've had a couple people asked questions, so it doesn't mean just like, hey, I'm going to fly by the seat of my pants and just be like, who knows what I'm doing? Like obviously that is not efficient, but what I mean by breaking up with my to do list is that I am not married to doing these 47 tasks in this order on this day, it's more...intuitive. In the sense that if I am feeling like I really want to be talking one day, maybe that's a good day to do filming for tutorials. And if I'm just kind of having a quiet day or if I'm like I know having an emotional day, because... pregnancy hormones, it can be helpful to paint because I find that relaxing. So when I say breaking up with my to do list, it doesn't mean just throwing caution to the wind, like I'm still a very efficiency driven person. And basically, I've been trying to deescalate the stress and the pressure I put on myself, but that being said, my favorite, my favorite favorite time hack is time blocking.


So if you all know what time blocking is great, if you don't, I'll do a little refresher. Time blocking is when you take a chunk of time and it is meant specifically for one task purpose. So, for example, my Monday mornings are time blocked, specifically for Makers Monday. So when I come into my office, I'm prepping my outline and You know, I'm getting my email ready, I'm getting my camera set up everything like that, and then I film it, and then afterwards, I make sure that I'm doing the transcript and the captions and putting the links and my Biz Buds newsletter for next week. So it's all chucked in one day because… 


Why do you chunk? Why, do why do we track? Why is this important? Well, one helps you focus better. I don't know about you, but I, if I have a lot of things that I'm thinking of. I'll be like, tab happy, I will try to make a new browser window that just has the tab that I need for that time block.


Polina is asking "how big are these time chunks... Random according to Mommy schedule?" Yeah, so we have a nanny who comes 3 days a week from 8 to noon and so those are my big time chunks where I know that I'm absolutely going to get that time. However, so that's a big-time, however, my husband and I kind of depending on like I don't know. He has a dentist appointment today. So, I'll be taking this afternoon, you know, like whatever our schedule is, if I am doing something during nap time, I will block out the nap time for something that doesn't, that isn't so time-sensitive. So like painting, if I'm going to be in the middle of a piece that's really wet and I know I can't go as soon as she starts crying. That's not a good nap time chunk. So like I don't know, like a one and a half two hours thing. A lot of times I'll use that to work ahead on emails because if I stopped in the middle of an email, it's not a big deal. Also if I need like a day to clean my office, like I just did this wedding invitation suite and it's a hot mess in here. So yeah, But sometimes you can even do it as short as like, half an hour. I'm just going to go through my emails and answer my emails and there's some sort of quote maybe.

I mean I'm sure I'm butchering it but like, as much time as you have to do something, you're going to take that much time.


If you have two hours to do your email, guess what? You're going to take 2 hours. But if you have thirty minutes, you're also going to finish it in 30 minutes. So yeah, I don't know. Just something to think about if you're blocking out that time and then you finish what you need to do in that time. Great, maybe you have a little running list of some other things you'd like to get them that day and that's a great time too. Kind of pop in those little tasks at the end of your block.


Let's're going to get better focus and it helps me get right down to business because I already know what I'm doing that day. So I'll kind of the morning, so like the week before or Sunday. I'll kind of take a moment and say, okay, what are the big chunks thatI need? Like, Mondays are always going to be Makers Mondays because that just has to happen because it's a consistent thing. But I know I definitely need a painting day. I definitely need like an admin day for getting caught up on emails an all the boring things and then I like to have like one day that's kind of flexible so that I can catch up on things that I didn't get to or If I was feeling crummy on Wednesday, I can always do it on Friday and get right down to business. 


I talked a little bit about how it works in my schedule and then I personally like to chunk by the day just because I feel like if I'm getting into my painting then it's like I want to only do painting. I don't want to be thinking about anything else, if I am doing my admin stuff, it just helps. I get in the flow but I'm also like I don't know, I'm one of those people who get second Super Focus mode but I've also heard for those of you who might have ADD or things like that, I've heard, this could be a really helpful strategy to help focus in as well. Jenna Rainey talks about having ADD and how she time blocks as well and how it's been helpful for her. So I think it's cool because you can kind of make it work for how your workflow works best for you. 


So I wanted to talk a little bit about multi-tasking. There have been these myths and things that women are you know better multi-taskers than men or whatever.Like right. We've all heard this but I'm just going to throw it out there. Like multitasking is not a thing. Like we think the word multitasking but it's not you're not doing anything efficiently because nothing is getting 100% of your attention. So if if you're able to juggle multiple things in your brain, kudos but the best most solid work that you're going to get is if you're able to focus on one thing at a time, which is why I really like time blocking because I know that I'm giving it my 100%. 


So think about how you could time  blocking in your business. What are some of the big tasks that can kind of be broken? Broken up? Like computer stuff is kind of one of my tasks, which is kind of a loose term, right? If I was doing just answering emails that might be a little bit more specific but I kind of like to just save all my computer stuff for one day so I can like be in a cozy chair or whatever. So think about like the kind of categories that would make sense for your business and I'd love to hear from you guys.


Do you have any Favorite Time hacks that I can shout out and let people know? It's always helpful to hear from other folks to what works for you...while you're typing those. I'm going to just keep going on my ramblings.  So multitasking is not a thing and -- Oh yeah. So some things I will do everyday like I will check my email at the very beginning of my day just to make sure that I'm not like missing anything cuz Pregnancy brain, you just I don't know. So I know if I need to like attend to any emergencies or whatever, I try to not do it like right as I'm closing shop. But like 45 minutes or so before my day is done, just so I can attend to anything that's pressing.  And yeah -- we talked about how it works for naps


Hey Jo! We were talking about time blocking, so I actually think this one is going to be kind of a shorter one for today. Does anybody else have favorite time Saving hacks? Now I'll give y'all a second to type. But yeah, so I'm in my blog for this week. I in my Biz Buds newsletter, I will be sending out my guide to how to break up with your to-do list. If you are somebody who feels like a lot of pressure and anxiety around, accomplishing the tasks on your lists feeling overwhelmed. Like, you've got too much going on--This is a really great way to kind of break it down, and not make it be like your to-do list is part of who like how good of a person you are, right? It's just a to do list and what's most important is that you take care of yourself and you're getting the things done that you need. So, I'll have a guide in there for that. I'll have a link to the replay.


So if you missed this, I see you guys are saying focusing on one thing at a time that I'm really helps but we have trouble sticking to it though. I see you Jo! I hear you. It's definitely hard especially when you’ve got a million ideas run around in your brain. So that is another thing, I like a notepad next to me. If I do have something that pops up cuz, you know sometimes when you're doing something like it just comes, it comes to you. So you can put that in your little notepad and say I'll get to it on that special time block.


So f you want to get my weekly email. It has all these tips and if you missed any info and I'll have it all there. DM me and I'll add you to the email list and you'll get it every Monday morning. So thank you so much for tuning in and it's great seeing you all here. I hope to see you next week. What is next week's topic? Making it work with kids and art naps. Oh, just kidding.


Question "I know you mentioned flex days, but do you ever not feel creative for a couple weeks at a time?" How do I handle that. That's a great question. I definitely do get into slumps and sometimes I will just try to do other things. If it's not a pressing deadline, I'll be like, okay, well I'm going to have more computer days right now. Like I'm kind of planning for more computer is coming up as it gets more uncomfortable to sit at my desk. So if you can plan ahead, great, if not sometimes it helps to just like If you're having a creative slump like just play, like maybe try a different medium. So even if it's your it's your painting, your card making day, try a different medium. Try doodling, or maybe doing something like going to a Botanical Garden that might inspire you or wherever you? I don't know somewhere that makes you happy, but I can kind of get those creative juices flowing in a different way. So still part of your painting process is finding the inspiration, right? So that could still be part of your time block.  


And  adios!  I'll see you next week.

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May 24, 2021 — KATE TALCOTT