Hello, there loves, I have created a lil’ on-going series called ‘get your shit in order’ or gysio for short. It’s what it says on the can really. The posts in this series are written to help you live a more productive and positive lifestyle. While also benefiting me because I will be doing the tasks before writing about them so it keeps me accountable! Here’s the down low on block planning.
Katie, what on Earth is block planning?
The best way for me to describe it is that it makes your day kinda look like a school timetable. Now, I’m going to say right off the bat that if you didn’t like the rigid structure of your school timetable then you probably won’t enjoy block planning. Essentially, we’re blocking out time in your day. I find that this method works for me because my brain tends to flitter from one task to another. I’ll be writing blog posts one minute and then reading for uni the next. So, this method allows me to have more structure to my day which is something that I, personally, strive on. I learned about this method from Amy Landino who is an absolute planning goddess so I take her word on these things!
One of my favourite things about this method is that it is digital based. While I love my planners, I never really carry them around with me so I get lost with what I need to be doing and when. I can plan something on one device and have it sync to the other with so much ease. This is a big win for me because I always have my phone on me so getting lost in what I need to do is a thing of the past.
How do I set it out?
I tend to start out super simple and just write a list of what needs to get done this week. Then I break it down into what I want to do on the next day. An example of this is that Sunday is when I like to do a lot of my tidying up. So I’ll have a big time block for tidying on that day. Work out what day is best for you to do what. This way you’re not piling ten thousand tasks on yourself per day and expecting to get them all done. Spoiler alert, you won’t do it all. An example of a time blocked day for me looks like this:
What do the experts say?
Okay, when I say experts I mean people on the interwebs who have blogs & channels dedicated to helping you plan your life. As I mentioned in the introduction, I learned about this method from Amy Landino. While describing this method, Amy states that is is really versatile which I found to be so true! If I really needed to swap a time block around or add/delete something it was easy because it was on my Google Calendar. Things change whether it’s because of an emergency or a forgotten appointment. Not having to scribble something out in my planner makes me a happy bunny.
Brittany Vasseur has also recommended this method on her YouTube channel calling it a game-changer! She is a mother, wife, content creator and business owner so she has a lot on her plate and if this method makes her life easier then I have no doubt it will work wonders for anyone else. She likened this method to being like a school timetable which made so much sense to me. I remember being in school and when I was in a French class, I would obviously be focused on my French work rather than Maths. It’s almost like the time blocks give your brain a mode to be in at a certain time. For example, from 10am-12pm my brain is in ‘blogger mode’- I know I have to be focusing on creating content. Whereas from 5pm-6pm, my brain is in ‘reading mode’ so my phone goes down and I put my full attention into my book. I have a scatterbrain and when my brain is told what to be focused on, when and for how long it makes it so much easier for me to get stuff done.
What are the pros and cons?
As with anything there is positives and negatives. I think it’s super important to know whether or not a method is going to work for you so here we go.
- Days have much more structure
- You can focus on one thing at a time.
- There’s no need to worry about what comes next.
- It ensures that you can get all of the tasks done that you want to do.
- It’s set on your phone/laptop so it’s easy to track what you need to be doing.
- You don’t have to lug your planner or to-do list around.
- It can be difficult to follow when you have other commitments – work, kids, studies, etc.
- It can be too strict for some people to follow.
- You sometimes may not feel like doing your next task.
My experience with block planning
The first time that I tried block planning I tried to set it out that my days were all exactly the same. This was the easier option as I didn’t have to plan each day out but I quickly ran into some problems. The first one being that no one day is the same. I do different things every day. For example, on Wednesday, I’m out of the house for most of the day so having a big to-do list on that day is pointless. So I decided that my days needed to be planned in a more specific way.
After I made this discovery, I started block planning my day the night before. This was loads easier to do as it meant I had a clearer idea of what would be going on on that day. Because I wasn’t planning like a week in advance it made me feel less overwhelmed. My to-do list didn’t seem like this huge mountain to tackle. I am on my summer break from university at the moment so I have a lot more free time. I think I may do an updated post when I start my third year! I’ll be able to see how well this method works when chucked into the stress that my final year will be.
Will I be sticking with it?
One hundred per cent, yes! This method hasn’t only helped up my productivity but it’s also ensured I don’t forget important things such as free time or self-care. It works really well for my very tangled brain because I have no issues knowing what tasks I need to be doing. Block planning has really helped me out of a life slump and put me back on track. I can’t wait to see what impact it has on me planning around uni.
♡ Will you be giving this planning method a go? If you already have, what did you think?
“Failing to plan is planning to fail” – Alan Lakein.
Lots of loves,