This simple system might have been the most amazing thing I ever learned a few years ago. I couldn’t tell you how or where I came across the subject, but after visiting a few links and researching a short while I was hooked. I was diligent with it for an extremely long time until baby number four, a move as well as a few big work additions. I’m only human, right? As I am working hard to get back to the routine, I thought I would share my process and tips on how to block schedule your work day for those of you who are looking for a great system to stay efficient.
Now, I would venture to say that this system is ideal for those people who work from home. I would say it is even more ideal for creatives who work at home. Why? Because us creatives get distracted easily. And working at home comes with it’s own struggles and interruptions. Laying your entire day out and seeing it in plain site is beneficial not only on a personal level, but it helps to boost efficiency in each work day. Knowing exactly where your time needs to be spent helps in simplifying a list of a thousand things that you may be facing every day as a business owner.
First up, the actual calendar tool. I base my entire calendar system through iCal. Being an Apple user and having all of my devices synced is such a fantastic way to manage the day to day. If you are not an Apple user, Google also has a great calendar tool you can check out that will sync between systems as well.
Next step is to look at your entire day as a whole and the responsibilities you face. We need to divide responsibilities up into subjects or categories so we can begin to organize and prep each day for block scheduling. For some ideas, I have compiled a list of the main subjects I work with. I left a few off since they were geared to specifically what I do, but I think a lot of you reading will find these to be universal for your work or day as well. And as you create your own list, be sure and also add a color code to each subject. This will come in handy in the actual calendaring process.
Alright, so you have your list. And you have chosen your calendaring tool. So the next step is to begin plugging everything in. A few things I like to include are notes for each scheduled item. If I am scheduling an hour block for marketing, then I want to add into my notes anything that is pressing or a must-do for that hour. If there isn’t anything, then I leave it blank and know that the hour will be used for brainstorming or researching future marketing opportunities.
I also make sure to add a reminder notification. Usually I use the “15 minutes before” option and that way my desktop will “ding” and I know I need to begin wrapping up the current block I am working in.
If there is something that you do daily, you can add a repeat to it so it will automatically be added to each day that you assign it to. Batch processing, my friends.
My favorite part about this system? I can “share” a single calendar or “subject” with someone else. So by sending a share invite to my husband for my “home and family” subject means that anything I add to the calendar in that category automatically notifies him on his device and adds it to his calendar. You can also sync to most client/studio management systems so when a new job is booked it is automatically added to your calendar.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoy and be sure and leave a comment below to let others know how it is working for you. Enjoy!