Time Blocks to Increase Efficiency

Time Blocks to Increase Efficiency

Use these time blocks to make your days more productive.

Time management is essential for every virtual business owner. Freelancers work differently than their traditionally-employed counterparts because they don’t have a boss lurking over their shoulders to check their productivity. As a VBO, you are your own boss. There’s no one else to keep you within the guardrails. That’s why it’s so important that you set every day up with time blocks to help you sort out your work. In this blog, I’m going to share three essential time blocks that will help you manage your time efficiently, so that you can get all of the things you need to get done accomplished on time every time. 

We’ve pulled these time blocks from our 13 Week Miracle success system, which you will learn all about in VBO Quickstart, should you choose to enroll — we hope you do, it has everything you need to empower your life and launch your dreams in as little as 90 days. The 13 Week Miracle teaches you how to plan and execute your work in a strategic way that delivers powerful results, so that you’re hitting the mark every quarter. A big piece of the 13 Week Miracle is the time blocks that we’re about to dive into. 

The first time block I’ll introduce you to is what we like to call a miracle block. This block is a three-hour long time span in which you focus on your important, strategic activities that drive your business forward. During a miracle block, you’re zeroing in on your most high-value, high-impact tasks. No routine phone calls and emails here — there’s another block for that. The key to making miracle blocks work for you is commitment. Once you schedule your miracle block, you need to protect that time from interruptions so you can get the most out of it. Generally, it’s ideal to have a miracle block once a day everyday, but if finding three hours of uninterrupted time daily isn’t feasible, aim for at least two miracle blocks a week. That should be enough to keep you on track with your strategic tasks. You’ll want to schedule your miracle blocks during times when your work activity is the lowest and when you’re the most motivated and energized to work. If you schedule them during your prime time, you avoid interruption and have the focus you need to get your tasks completed.

Here’s a word of advice, don’t multitask during your miracle blocks. Take each task on one at a time and work it through to completion. When you multitask, you interrupt your focus, which slows you down and makes you more prone to mistakes. So, be deliberate, be focused and protect your time. 

The second essential time block that helps with time management for freelancers is the admin block. These blocks last 30 to 60 minutes and are scheduled once or twice daily. It’s best to keep the time of day for your admin blocks consistent day to day. Like the name suggests, you’ll use this time to focus on the urgent, but unimportant administrative work you have to do to keep your business running. This time is for responding to emails, making routine phone calls, updating your social media, running website maintenance and the like. It’s also your time to manage interruptions and other low-value tasks that may arise. Admin blocks allow you to tackle your busy work while freeing up your more important time, your miracle blocks, from interruptions. 

The final time block is called a balance block. These last three hours long and are all about restoring that work-life balance that is core to the VBO Lifestyle. You want to schedule them during the work week. During your balance block, you’ll get away from the workplace and do something restorative that makes you happy. It could be anything from going to see a movie to going out for a long walk or playing a nice round of golf. Whatever you choose to do is fine. The purpose of balance blocks is to refresh and recharge so that you can come back to work energized and ready to take on the day. Keep in mind that it’s best to schedule your miracle and admin blocks before you schedule your balance blocks. And though you may be tempted to include them more frequently, it’s a good rule of thumb to schedule just one balance block a month when you’re first starting out. Once you start completing all of your strategic and admin work in a timely fashion, then it’s okay to sprinkle in a few more balance blocks.  

Now that you know what the time blocks are, let’s talk about implementing them. You’ll want to build them into your calendar to keep you on track. It’s also a good idea to install time management software on your computer so that you can see where your time is going and decide if you need to move your time blocks around to accommodate your workload better. Time management software is an essential VBO tool, so if you haven’t installed one yet, don’t wait any longer. 

So, once you’ve established your time blocks and put them into your calendar, you’re ready to attack each day with direction and focus. Incorporating these time blocks is sure to make a positive change in the way you do work. You’ll find that you’re able to stay on top of your prioritize and accomplish so much more, so don’t wait. Build out your time blocks and watch your productivity transform over the weeks.

Chantel Baul

I’m a skilled communicator with more than four years’ experience in digital and print content creation, who has a keen ability to adapt messages for diverse audiences. I have demonstrated proficiency in editorial writing conventions, social media strategy, brand reputation management, and interdisciplinary collaboration. I’m a driven and progressive researcher with an aptitude for storytelling. I'm also a proud Public Affairs Officer in the United States Army Reserve.

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