Block Scheduling 101

Block Scheduling 101 | Rourke Planners

Today we're talking about a wonderful productivity method known as Block Scheduling! First off, what is block scheduling? Block Scheduling is grouping together similar (or the same) activity for a block of time in order to increase focus and decrease time transitioning between activities. It is used in a variety of settings (you may have heard of it used in high schools) and you can usually implement it in your own life.

People usually choose to do block scheduling because they need to do a lot of the same things and find their productivity increases if they just do all of that week's tasks at once. This isn't just for work or school - bulk meal prep is an excellent example of block scheduling. You spend a few hours Sunday prepping ingredients or full meals and the rest of the week the time it takes to cook a meal is decreased substantially. I actually like to fully prep & portion out my meals - all I need to do when I want to eat is heat it up or pour on some dressing. 4 hours on Sunday leads to about 10 minutes of 'cooking' a day, including making my morning smoothie. It also greatly cuts down on cleaning for the week. (Plus this method makes me eat proper amounts of veggies with my meals!). 

You may be wondering how you can implement block scheduling in your own life - especially if you work an hourly job. If that's the case, you can still block together things like cooking, cleaning, and errands in your personal life. If you set your own work schedule, you can block things like email, proposal writing, number crunching, meetings, etc. If you're a student, you can block things like research, writing, lab work, study guide creation, etc. Or you can block by subject. Whatever way you find is most efficient. 

Block scheduling doesn't just help with efficiency in time - it also helps with being efficient with your resources. If you block prep your food, you're likely to be much more efficient with your food and have less waste. If you block your errands, you'll use much less gas or energy. 

Once you've tried block scheduling you can adapt it to how you see fit - maybe you find you can't focus on a certain activity for a long time and instead you do better dividing it up as a daily activity (like cleaning - many find doing a few things daily is best for them, but I prefer to block it in on Friday afternoons and just do a light tidy before bed). Maybe you'd like to accompany the block schedule with other techniques like the pomodoro technique. Don't feel like you need to decide on a productivity method and stick to it if you're not into it. 

As for my block scheduling, I thought about all the major parts of what I needed to do for my blog and shop and divided it up into Monday through Friday, based on my attention and motivation levels. Mondays are for Inspiration, Pinning, and finding new Design Resources as well as planning the week in detail (I do also plan Sunday night, but I like to really fill everything in in detail Monday). Tuesdays are all about writing - mainly blog posts and any new product descriptions. Wednesdays are for taking pictures, editing pictures, and creating graphics. Thursdays are for creating any products and any necessary blog/shop maintenance. Fridays are for scheduling all social media and finishing any projects (plus cleaning). Now these aren't the only things I do during the day, but I section off certain times of the day for 'block time'. Try creating a good balance of variety into your day - doing the same thing alllll day is not only boring, it can really drain your energy.

Next week we'll talk about creating your daily schedule (whether or not that includes block schedule is up to you). 

Do you use a block schedule? How have you implemented it in your life? Let me know in the comments!