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Schedules, time blocking and day theming Oh MY!! (The Kansas girl in me couldn’t help it…)

We have spent the last month discussing time audits, schedule building, and power hours. Now let’s dive into a few scheduling strategies. Schedules, like life, are not a one size fits all thing. What works for one person, might not work for you. Below we will discuss the strategies of time blocking, his friend task batching and their cousin day theming! These are tools to harness your schedule so gone are the days of allowing your schedule to control you!

Balancing the meetings, emails, social media, phone calls, appointments, and endless tasks (aka busy work) that fill up our day is a challenge we all must face. I want to share some practical and user-friendly strategies to bring focus into our days that are so filled with distractions. To help harness your time and make sure you are using it effectively and efficiently.

Let’s start with Time Blocking! Time blocking essentially is a time management approach where you divide your day into blocks of time that are dedicated to specific tasks…and ONLY these tasks. This replaces the never-ending task lists with no specific due date. It provides a set schedule laying out what you work on and when you will do it. This is a much more productive method than just keeping a running to-do list. You start by prioritizing your tasks in advance (this means having a dedicated time to review and schedule is key!) Look at the upcoming week and make a rough draft version of your schedule for every day. At the end of each workday take note of any tasks not completed that day, and anything new that popped up so you can adjust your time blocks accordingly for the remainder of the week (or next week)! This method is driven by doing the blocking ahead of time, this stops your from needing to constantly choose what to focus on. One of the key elements to this is the prep work, by setting your schedule ahead of time you avoid the “What should I do next?” pitfall! You simply follow your schedule knowing that you planned it to maximize your productivity and time available. Another benefit to this is that when you inevitably get off track you can check your schedule and know what you should be doing and get back on track from there.

Image from Public Domain by “”.

Our next strategy is Task Batching. Here you group similar activities (i.e., I will answer all emails at this time, I will do all marketing at this time, I will hold client meetings at this time and so on). The point is to group similar tasks together and schedule specific times for that activity. This cuts down on the switching between tasks that make our brains work harder and diminishes our productivity. Studies show that it takes around 20-30 minutes to resume a task after an interruption. Our brains are not wired to multi-task, and it takes a lot of brain power/energy to switch gears constantly. As hard as it is, focusing on one task until completion allows you to put all your mental resources into that one task, which provides more efficient and effective outputs. For more information on this topic check out the Multi-tasking Myth post from a few weeks ago. This strategy can also be used in tandem with time blocking, but it just further structures and guides your block activities.

Image from Public Domain by “”.

The last strategy I want to introduce today is Day Theming. This is a beefed-up version of task batching! This is great for people with a lot of responsibilities in a lot of areas that are all competing for their attention. Here you dedicate a full day each week to a specific “theme” or activity that you need to complete. This strategy is pretty straight forward and honestly doesn’t require much explanation, but check out the graphic below to see an example of my schedule using day theming approach:

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