Do you want to achieve more this year in different areas of your life? Calendar blocking may be the one habit you need to adopt to start materialising your plans.
It’s a fact that you’ll be more likely to take action towards your goals if you schedule the tasks that will actually move the needle for you this year. However, don’t forget to leave room in your calendar for creativity and spontaneity. It’s all about striking a balance between being productive and managing your energy to avoid overwhelm and burnout.
What’s calendar blocking after all? Basically, it’s the habit of allocating specific time slots in your calendar to important tasks that will dramatically get you closer to achieving your goals.
I bet you’ve heard it before: “If it’s not on the calendar, it’ll probably not get done.” It involves getting clarity on what you want to achieve and careful planning to make those plans a reality.
Here are some quick tips on how to start incorporating calendar blocking as a habit in your life:
- Doing time blocking just one day a week when you’re still starting out.
- Having a buffer block at the end of the day or week to catch up on work that wasn’t done, or for you to stay on top of things.
- Time blocking around the times of the day when your energy is at its peak.
- Adjusting your time-blocking calendar at the end of the day to show the actual duration of activities, and not how long you want each activity to last.
Step 1: Getting Clarity
Before you even start doing calendar blocking, you need to get crystal clear about what you want to achieve. Creating your vision board will help you choose the most critical goals for you.
Getting clarity is not an easy process. However, don’t let this stop you from taking action. Don’t rush the process but don’t drag it out too long. Remember, done is better than perfect!
Also, if you find that your tasks always take longer than expected, spend one or two weeks tracking how long certain tasks will take and write it down. Write your tasks in your calendar based on how your day actually went to get a better understanding of how much time you spent on them. This process is also linked to setting the right expectations on what you’ll be able to achieve in the time you have available.
At Paint for Fun, we strongly believe that everyone would benefit from carving out some time to explore their creative side. Regardless of the form of expression you choose, don’t forget to block some “me time” to relieve stress and refill your cup regularly. Any form of self-care will make you more productive and happier.
Step 2: Breaking Down Big Projects
Some big plans and projects may feel daunting when you start thinking about all the steps involved. It leads to procrastination and lack of motivation.
A useful workaround is breaking down big projects into sizeable tasks you can schedule. If you keep moving a task over from one day to the next, you may need to break it down into even more manageable pieces. It’s a game changer!
While everyone else is getting overwhelmed with the work load, you schedule every single task and keep up with everything done and needing to be done. You could end up owing your success and lack of stress to calendar blocking!
Step 3: Calendar Blocking
There’s no right or wrong way to do calendar blocking. Depending on the type of person you are, you can go for a paper or digital calendar.
“Calendars have long been a fundamental tool for time management. However, online calendars have taken this to the next level. That’s because you can access it from multiple devices, easily schedule meetings and appointments, set up reminders, create time blocks, and schedule recurring events.”
If you’re a paper planner, you may find it easier to have a physical calendar in front of you that is open on your desk. You probably like to actually cross things off with a pen just like many people do.
Alternatively, you can print out the digital calendar for the week or take the time to add all this to your paper calendar, planner or journal. By using both, you will be reinforcing the plan in your mind. Some other people like their erase chalk board on the wall and use a digital calendar for real appointments as a reminder. Regardless of the system you prefer, the process is exactly the same. Just do what works for you and make sure you stick to it.
As we mentioned before, don’t forget to make room in your calendar for those things that spark joy in your life. How about a sip and paint class outdoors to unleash your creativity over a glass of wine or a beer? Just a quick reminder that our ‘Outdoor Painting’ season is in full swing. Don’t forget to check our events calendar to get you inspired. Buy your tickets online and block that time for you to share this amazing experience with your favourite people!
The Paint for Fun Team