After reading Ali Edwards’ thoughts on block scheduling, I started implementing a block schedule of my own. Setting aside blocks of time each day to get the day-to-day stuff done and blocks of time each week for certain projects were really, really good for me. It kept me focused and intentional, and I found I was hugely more productive that way. I was actually amazed at how much I was able to get done every day!! Then I fell off the wagon.
I’ve done this several times over the last nine months. Get back on the block scheduling wagon, fall off, get back on, fall off, get back on again. Life and things happen, you know? Sometimes your day/week/month doesn’t go according to plan and you learn to #justkeepswimming.
That’s actually the best part about block scheduling!! It’s no big deal if you miss a morning, or an afternoon!! You just simply start again. Even if you miss a whole day, you simply start again the next day!! And the best part about that? I noticed that every time I fell off the wagon, I missed the function and ease of my block schedule. And every time I got back on, I wondered why I even allowed myself to fall off in the first place!! That’s how amazing this whole block scheduling thing is!!
Now I’m not saying I didn’t kick myself like crazy for falling off the wagon. Because I did. Because it felt like failing and I hate to fail. But it taught me (and is still teaching me) to be flexible. Working from home allows me the flexibility to work when and how I want to. But that blessing can also be a bit of a curse. Because that flexibility can sometimes allow distractions to win. And that’s just not a good thing when it happens over and over again. Especially when you’re trying to achieve some kind of balance and not work seemingly all of the time. Which is where the block scheduling comes in.
On a typical workday, this is what my block schedule looks like:
6:00am-8:00am // Get up, work out, shower + get ready, take care of the cats, have breakfast
8:00am-9:00am // Social Media
9:00am-10:00am // Misc.
10:00am-11:00am // Emails & Submissions
11:00am-12:30pm // Project Time
12:30pm-1:00pm // Lunch
1:00pm-4:00pm // Blog Post Prep
4:00pm-5:00pm // Emails
5:00pm-5:30pm // Misc.
But this is just an outline. It doesn’t happen perfectly, or even the same, every day, and I’ve learned to be okay with that. I’ve learned to be flexible. For instance, if I’m on a roll with a project one day and I want to put another hour in, I will. If I have an appointment, call, or Skype date one day, I’ll work the blocks in and around it. If I decide at the start of the day that I’d rather work all morning on a project or blog post, I’ll put in two hours of email and miscellaneous stuff at the end of the day. Flexibility is the beauty of being your own boss and working from home.
I have by no means perfected this system. (Fall off the wagon, get back on, remember?) But as far as I’m concerned, it’s about progress, not perfection, and how practice makes something permanent.