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8 Reasons To Time-Block Everything in Your Calendar

October 25, 2019

I’m Kelly Nolan.
I'm an attorney who'd been decently organized through law school but got quickly overwhelmed as a actual attorney. After nothing else worked for me, I created this system – and kept on practicing law. Years later, I found out others were interested in learning it, so that's what I do now! Let's get this realistic system in your hands so you can start living a life that feels more calm, doable, and that lights you up.
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As you know, I love time-blocking.

And I love time-blocking everything, from time to accomplish business projects to family-time to setting up the coffee machine the night before to reminders to start renewing my driver’s license. (Granted: you need to set up your calendar to accommodate this with tech strategies to avoid calendar overwhelm, but I can help you with that – don’t let it stop you!)

Here are the reasons why time-blocking everything in your calendar rocks:

  • It gets everything out of your head into a trusted system that’ll remind you to do it. This lets your brain focus on more important and creative pursuits.

  • Tasks take time. Time is managed in your calendar. It follows: tasks should be in your calendar.

  • Similarly, everything that requires your time is in one place. No more calendar + 3 to-do lists + 15 sticky notes. Your calendar alone dictates how you spend your time. Simple solutions rock.

  • Putting tasks in your calendar requires you to think about how much time each task will take. If in doubt, overestimate. This forces you to get real about how much you can accomplish in one day. And that’s a great thing! You need to ask realistic things of yourself and set yourself up for success — not feelings of defeat when you couldn’t possibly get all you planned to do done anyway.

  • Calendars tell you when to do the thing. To-do lists do not. Note, this is even truer if you use an electronic calendar — thank you, phone alerts.

  • Time-blocking everything in your calendar allows you to plan when to do the task and then just execute your plan, which saves your decision-making power on a daily basis for the task itself. To-do lists require you to decide what to do every day/hour, tiring you out before you even start the task.

  • When new opportunities come knocking, your calendar shows you exactly what a “yes” to that new opportunity would mean in terms of saying “no” or “later” to something else.
    For example, if an acquaintance asks you out for a drink on a Friday night and you see your “Read novel with glass of wine” entry in your calendar, you now can make an informed decision about what you want to do. There’s no right or wrong answer, and you can totally remain flexible (I change up my calendar all the time!), but now you’re making informed decisions on how you want to spend your time (versus default saying “yes” before time-blocking because you’re free so why not? — and only later thinking, “man, I never get to read my book… I have no time for myself!”). This gives you ownership over how you spend your time, which leads to confidence and happiness.

  • You can trust the white space in your calendar. When everything is in your calendar, white space actually means “you’re free!” — not “now go check those to-do lists and post-it notes to figure out how to use this time productively… well, Instagram sounds more fun… so I’ll just do that … [27 minutes later] ugh, I have no free time!” When you time-block and white space is in your calendar, it actually means you have NOTHING you should be doing there — and that’s an amazing feeling.

  • You see in advance when you do have available time and can plan to do something that’ll recharge and revitalize you. E.g., chipping away at creating that online product, taking each kid out for an individual date each quarter, going on a walk to think by yourself. Time-blocking lets you plan and build the life you want.

If this has you thinking, “this time-blocking thing sounds pretty amazing,” and you want to try it out, you can get a taste of it for free by downloading my guide: 3 Things You Should Time-Block Right Now To Make Your Life Run Smoother.

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