How To Use Time Blocks As An Online Entrepreneur
Time blocking is a best practice I learned years ago in the corporate world. In a competitive environment, I needed systems and processes to put me ahead of those around me. My natural behaviors as a type A came out in full force. I wanted structure, definition, and consistency in my days. Time blocking my calendar was born and I have used it ever since. And now as an entrepreneur and juggling my own business and many clients, it is crucial to a day’s success.
But, how do I get started?
Let’s dive in!
In a corporate sales world, it looked like brief administrative time in the AM to get my day organized followed by several blocks of prospecting or following up. To bring things full circle, each day ended with a short administrative block to close up and prepare for the next day.
When I launched an online business, the same practices became critical to surviving the hundreds of interruptions a day can bring. I am an online business manager and focus on fewer but larger client relationships. If you are a personal trainer or a graphic designer, your days will look different, but the sample principles will apply.
It is important to note that you must do some brain work before digging into time blocking your calendar. When does your energy peak? Schedule your hardest time blocks for this time. For me, I am a huge morning person. Therefore, I must block my day according to when my energy and focus are at a high. If you prefer a slow start to your day, then you may want to reverse my ideal schedule. If your initial client calls are a simple task for you, then schedule them when your energy is lower. Heck, take a walk during a call if you can!
I start each day with 15 minutes of email and messages. I then schedule another 15 minutes after my lunch and another final 15 minutes before my day is over. If you are checking your email all day long...please stop! You are killing your efficiency. Hop in a few times a day and stick to the schedule. For those ready for a real game changer - only allow your emails to actually send at a certain time each day. This way, when you are in your 15-minute blocks, you won’t receive immediate responses forcing you to stay in email longer than you intended. Read this article to find some detailed email time blocking methods
The next big phase will be different for each person. But you do need to split it up for time on your own business, time for prospecting, and then time for relationship building or following up.
I set aside Fridays for my business. I don’t schedule client commitments on Fridays unless it is an emergency. This allows me to reserve time to read, research, develop, and simply grow. If you forget to block time for your own business, you will eventually find yourself in the weeds.
I have a few clients who take a bigger part of my week. I quickly realized I could not accomplish work for all my clients all day long. For example, 9-10:30 AM each day is for client A while 1-2:30 PM is for client B. This sort of schedule will allow your mind to be focused on one client and dig deep into that work. You might set aside 9-11 AM as your creative hours if you are a writer or designer. Then you would block your afternoon for more administrative tasks.
This method gives you an easy out when you need to say no to a potential commitment - you simply stick to your blocks and let them know you are booked. Check our this article for further reading on using blocking to guard your calendar! I learned with time blocking that my days felt more centered and less chaotic. I knew what was coming and I felt prepared. You can surely have every day look different, but then make every week look that way. The more you can anticipate and predict than the more quickly your brain can prepare and complete the task at hand.
A structured day might cause you anxiety initially, or the sound of this article may make you cringe. But I promise you when I was surrounded by an entire floor of sales people it was my color-coded and routine calendar that stood out and quickly became a best practice. You can check out this quick reference for some visuals on how sexy a color-coded calendar can look.
About Amanda - Amanda comes from those good ole midwestern hard-working roots. She is married and they have two beautiful yet busy children. She moved to Southern Florida last year and gave her every motivation to launch her business - The Lux Company. She is your efficiency and project management goddess. Bring her into your chaos and she will create a beautifully organized process for your business. Need more help? Allow her to stick around and become an incremental part of your team and continue to keep your machine operating.