Time Blocking 101 (For Busy Moms That Need More Time)

Mom at computer time blocking schedule

How Time Blocking Will Improve Your Time Management (Includes Free Template Downloads)

Is your schedule non-existent or a mess of to-do lists, but you desperately want to get more things done in your day? I have one solution for you, time blocking. Organizing your schedule and improving time management can be a daunting task. Maybe you don’t know where to start, maybe you haven’t found the *right* planner, or maybe you just think this won’t work for you.  Well let me tell you, this will work, and you will be amazed at all the things you can get done in your day when you implement time blocking.

As a busy stay at home mom trying to make more time for my family and blog, I knew I needed to come up with a better way to manage the hours in my days. Was there a perfect journal out there that I was missing? Should I just use my calendar on my phone? Is there some secret app that was going to change my life? Nope. Since none of these things were working, (trust me, I really tried) I eventually came across time blocking. According to Forbes; this is what all the highly productive people are doing! So I gave it a go!

Not Your Typical Schedule…What Is Time Blocking?

Time blocking is not your typical schedule or to-do list. Instead, it is an awesome time management tool that you can use every day to organize your to-do’s and properly manage your time. If you always feel overbooked and overwhelmed, a time audit and time blocking will be a straight forward way to show you what you REALLY have time for.

Many of us moms feel like we don’t have the time for hobbies, self-care, side hustles, exercise, etc.. with all that is going on. I know I felt this way. I wanted to start a blog, but I felt like I didn’t have enough time for it. After doing a time audit and some time blocking, I am able to work on my blog anywhere from 10-20 hours a week!

We All Have the Same Hours in the Day

Guess what? We all have the same hours in our day. How many of us have put thing after thing on our to-do list only to end the day with not even making a dent on that list? Our to-do lists become brain dumps and do not lead to productive days. Time blocking will end that. It is a clear and obvious way to properly schedule your to-do’s within your “real” 24 hour day, not a pretend land that magically has unlimited hours in the day. It is similar to the decluttering idea; everything has a home. Everything you need to do should have a place in your schedule.

Will Time Blocking Help Busy Moms?

Mom Time Blocking

Oh my gosh, yes! I think every mom should use time blocking! I know schedules aren’t for everyone and time blocking can look really intimidating but it is such an easy way to get your days organized! We can all use time blocking differently. You can create one schedule for the week (a framework) to base your days on as an ideal schedule or you can also us time blocking daily on scratch paper. Make it work for you! I personally use it both ways.

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How to Time Block

Grab a piece of paper and start writing all the things down that absolutely need to get done. Most days will likely be different. If you need more help with this, check out my Time Audit post.

Brainstorm a List of Everything You Need to Do in a Day, Week, Month, Etc… 

(I specifically love using these erasable gel ink pens, so I can erase errors as needed!)

Here is an example from my list:

    • Blog
      • Writing (7x week)
      • Graphics (7x week)
      • Marketing (7x week)
    • Exercise (6x week)
    • Take Olivia to school
    • Grocery shopping (2x week)
    • Dog water & food (1x week)
    • Walk Lola
    • Meal planning (1x week)
    • Clean pool (2x week)
    • Vacuum
    • Dishes (daily)
    • Laundry (3x week)
    • Blog courses
    • Olivia’s dance class (Sundays)
    • Downtime/free time (yes, you need to schedule in downtime)
    • Etc….

Schedule in the Non-Negotiables, Things That Must Be Done on a Specific Day/Time

    • Sleep! Yes. Make sure you block out your 7-9 hours of sleep.
    • Preschool drop-off (Monday-Thursday 9am)
    • Dance class (Saturday 11am)
    • Dog water & food (Monday)
    • Clean Pool (Wednesday & Saturday)
    • Trash (put our Wednesday)
    • Grocery shopping (Saturday & Wednesday)
    • Exercise (Monday-Saturday 4pm)
    • Etc…

Fill in the “Extras” Within Your Schedule 

Find time for reoccurring to-dos that need to get done, but do not have a specific day/time. You will likely have quite a few edits to properly fit things in, kind of like putting a puzzle together. You can be vague with your time blocking; “blog”, “clean” or be more specific, “write a blog post”, “post to social media”, “vacuum”, “laundry”, “dishes”, etc..

Be Realistic With Your Time

Allowing 15 minutes for laundry will likely not be enough time. It is better to overestimate than underestimate the time assigned to each task. For instance, you can always change it later if you find you have “too much” downtime (if there is such a thing). 😉

This exercise should be eyeopening. Most likely you will see you do not have enough time to do everything you *think* you need to do. Here are some ways to work around this:

Ask for Help!

Can someone help you with cleaning? Are your kids old enough to help out? My 5-year-old can make her bed, put some laundry away, put clean trash bags in trashcans, etc… My husband helps when I need it, and has is own set of chores he completes around the house.

Complete Tasks With Your Kids Around

Busy mom playing with her kids

I truly believe this sets a great example for kids. I don’t think my kids should wake up from nap/quiet time and have a magically clean house. They see me cleaning and now they WANT to clean, they WANT to organize. Having kids around while doing chores may not be ideal, but I think it is important to set an example and include them. (Even when it is extremely painful watching them make an even bigger mess when trying to clean up haha).

My Day Did Not Go as Planned, Now What?

Your time blocking schedule is a framework. An ideal day of things that *should* get done. Will it always get done? Heck no! And that’s okay. As moms, we have so much random crap being thrown at us. Our kid’s get sick, our partner’s meeting runs lates, the dog eats dinner off the counter (wait, your dog doesn’t do that??), etc..

The Best Planners and Journals to Help You Stay Organized

Here are some well-known journals and planners people love when getting their life organized! They say the best planner is the one you will actually use, but it doesn’t hurt when they are pretty and functional 😉

Rachel Hollis Journals and Planners

Rachel Hollis Planner

Start Today by Rachel Hollis

Rachel Hollis Journal

The Future Is Yours by Rachel Hollis

Calendar Planner

Emily Ley

Planner

Emily Ley Simplified Planners “At A Glance”

Notebook

A Plain Notebook!

Save Time With Time Blocking

Time blocking is an effective time management tool that you can use daily to organize your days and properly manage your time. If you always feel rushed, a time audit and time blocking will be a straight forward way to show you what you REALLY have time for.

Improve Your Time Management With These Related Articles

Mom time blocking her schedule

Free Downloads to Organize Your Day With Time Blocking

Need a prompt to organize your day, week, and month? Download my FREE scheduling bundle to organize your time and get more hours back in your day!

Scheduling Planner Pages Bundle

Time Blocking Template and Guide

Brain Dump Template

Join The Busy Moms Getting Stuff Done Community Group!

Mom with Kids Chaos

Looking for more help to manage the chaos mom life brings? Join my FREE Busy Moms Getting Stuff Done Community Group to connect with like-minded moms where we help each other simplify life and get more stuff done!

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33 Comments

  1. Up until recently, my schedule was a mess! I also never used any of my planners so I finally just put them back in the closet. I made a little excel sheet and put in everything I wanted to accomplish each day. I’m really hoping this helps my crazy schedule.

    1. I think getting it all out on paper/some system always is eyeopening! I hope this helps with your schedule!

  2. I love this 🙂 I time block too. I have a “Schedule Buddy” (basically a journal) that I use to block time out in chunks as well… It’s the best way to get organised! Can’t wait to read more great ideas like this one!

  3. Now that the baby is a bit older, I’m ready to get our schedule back under control. I love the idea of time blocking!

    1. It’s the best! I have included my kid’s activities within our time blocking schedule and it helps me out so much to keep things *slightly* in order 😉

  4. I needed this in my life! This is going to help me so much! I’ll implement some tasks you mentioned here.

    Thanks for sharing this

  5. I too find time blocking necessary in order to get so many things done. If you don’t, you will find that you loose a lot of time working on one task which leave no room for completing the other 10 you have on the list. I use the planner pen and paper method because I need to have something physical to look at to help hold me accountable.

  6. Great post. I need this. I am a wife mother entrepreneur blogger clogger homeschool a special needs child. I need this thank will tey

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