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Running a business

Time blocking template: A guide to time blocking

Have you ever had a day when you feel like you’re working nonstop but ticking nothing off your to-do list? The hours fly by, and before you realise it, it’s the end of the workday and you’ve barely accomplished half of what you wanted to. We’ve all been there.

Don’t resign yourself to this overwhelmed feeling – try time blocking. Time blocking is a simple way to plan your day to ensure you tick off all the tasks on your to-do list. In this article, we’ll show how you can use time blocking to improve the efficiency and success of your business. You can read from start to finish or jump to a section you’re interested in by clicking on the links below.

What is time blocking?

Time blocking is a technique that helps boost productivity throughout the workday by scheduling tasks into specific periods of time. For example, you can allocate specific periods of time to spend replying to emails rather than doing it sporadically throughout the day.

Time blocking is a form of the Pomodoro Technique, which is a productivity and time management technique that involves working uninterrupted for 25-minute intervals. Once the 25 minutes is complete, you then can take a 5-minute break. After 4 rounds, you can take a 30-minute break. Time blocking is quite similar.

Time blocking adds intention and boundaries to each workday. If you’re overwhelmed with your daily tasks, try using a time blocking sheet to organise your day.

What are the benefits of time blocking?

Time blocking helps your team prioritise, prevents inefficient multitasking and mitigates distractions. Using a time blocking template is an easy and effective way to visually organise your day, and the workflows of your team. You can use a time block schedule template to get started. Here are other benefits of time blocking:

Efficient multitasking

As a business owner, you’re juggling many responsibilities. It’s easy to forget about certain tasks when you have a lot on your schedule, but that won’t happen with time blocking. Using a time blocking sheet will help you master multitasking and reduce the distractions that stop you from getting work done in a timely manner.

More control

In addition to efficient multitasking and reduced distractions, time blocking can help you feel more in control throughout the day. There is no doubt that a busy workday can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. But when you use time blocking to plan your day, you know exactly what task you’re completing and when, and exactly what your team is working on.

When you and your employees walk into the office or log on for the day and already know all the tasks ahead, productivity increases.

Time management

Using the time blocking technique is one of the best time management tips to improve the efficiency of your workday. When you have a lot of tasks to complete, you may find that you delegate too much time to certain tasks and not enough to others. This can lead you to neglect important priorities and even miss deadlines. Good time management is essential for a business owner, and using a time blocking template to plan your days will help.

How to time block

Time blocking is simple. Let’s break it down into 4 easy steps:

1. Determine all the tasks your team needs to accomplish

First things first: Take some time as soon as you get into the office on Monday to sit with your team and discuss what needs to be accomplished. Make sure you are thorough with this step so you don’t miss any important deadlines or projects.

2. Designate a time limit for each task

Once you have established all the tasks your team needs to accomplish, you need to designate a time limit for each task. This doesn’t have to be set in stone, but it helps motivate you to complete work within a specific time frame.

3. Categorise line item tasks into time blocks

Now that you know the time limit for each task, categorise the tasks into time blocks. This can be daily, weekly or monthly. It’s good to have a range of time blocks so that all tasks, even ones further into the future, are accounted for. If you use a time blocking template online, this step should be easy. Separating your tasks into time blocks makes it easier to visualise what needs to get done when.

4. Designate flex-time within your team’s schedule

While designating time limits is essential in time blocking, it is also important to factor in flex-time. You may predict that a certain task will take 30 minutes, when it actually takes an hour. That’s perfectly okay! Things happen. But that is also why you need to designate flex-time within your team’s schedule, just in case something doesn’t go according to plan.

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Time blocking templates

Having a time blocking template will make getting started much easier. If you like to physically write things down, you can use a free printable time blocking template. You can then hand out the blocking templates during meetings and fill them out together for a productive team-building exercise. Otherwise, you can use an online timesheet calculator. Using a time blocking template is helpful because it gives you an outline, and all you have to do is plug in your own information.

Time blocking isn’t just useful for organising your own daily tasks. It can also be very beneficial for managing employees. Overseeing employees means having to take on additional tasks, such as payroll, but using our free payroll calculator will make your life easier. It is also a good idea to use time tracking apps so you can easily monitor the hours your employees work.

Daily time blocking template

How to use it

This template is broken into 15-minute time periods. Determine the month and day, then list the tasks you plan to complete in 15-minute time blocks.

Who is it for?

If your daily schedule involves a significant amount of small, quick tasks, this template may prove useful and keep your daily projects on track.

Daily 15 minute planner

30 Minute daily time blocking template

How to use it

This template is broken into 30-minute time periods. Determine the month and day, then list the tasks you plan to complete within these half-hour time blocks.

Who is it for?

If a 15-minute interval time blocking template is too detailed and you need longer work periods, the 30-minute daily time blocking template may help.

Daily 30 minute planner

Weekly time blocking templates

Weekly time blocking templates help provide a high-level view of each work week, breaking down each day into one-hour intervals.

Five day weekly template

How to use it

Within this template, write the week date range, then add tasks to each hour interval for each work day.

Who is it for?

A 5-day weekly template is beneficial for those who work a traditional 5-day work week and want to prioritise their tasks by hour and day.

5 day weekly planner

Seven-day weekly template

How to use it

Within this template, write the week date range, then add tasks to each hour interval for each day.

Who is it for?

A 7-day weekly template is beneficial for those who regularly work on the weekends, who need to block time across all 7 days of the week.

7 day weekly planner

Monthly time blocking template

How to use it

Monthly time blocking templates break down into 30- or 31-day views. Define the month of work, then add overarching tasks you’ll complete each day.

Who is it for?

If you need a high-level view of work that spans across a month or more, monthly time blocking templates may help. This template helps provide insight into how much work you need to complete over the course of a month, showing what is complete and what work is still left to finish.

Monthly planner

Time blocking: frequently asked questions

Now that we’ve covered the basics of time blocking, let’s get into some frequently asked questions.

Final notes

A business owner wears many hats. They have endless responsibilities in addition to overseeing and managing their employees.

That’s why it is a good idea to use time tracking software like QuickBooks Time to improve the efficiency of your business. The more organised you are as a business owner, the more successful your business will be, so try out time blocking today.

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