Have you heard of time-blocking? You usually see it in pre-made diaries, and I’ll be honest I always disliked that type of set up before I started making my own journal spreads. I find I don’t always need to plan out my day hour-by-hour, so the setup was mostly pointless to me. However, now that I’m bullet journaling, I love having the flexibility of making my weeklies how I need them on a given month. There’s been several times now where I have relied on time-blocking, and I wanted to share with you the benefits I have discovered and why some months they’re my new go-to setup!
- Journal – As always, it will be no surprise to you that my pick is the Archer and Olive Journal. The lovely and thick pages have no bleeding or ghosting, so you get a clean start for every project spread! Also, it means you can decorate the spread without worrying about it.
- Pencil – To carefully plan out your ideas so you can make sure your spread has everything you need.
- Fineliners –My favourites are the Unipin fineliners as they’re waterproof, affordable and have a strong nib.
- Highlighters/Markers – To tick off completed tasks etc. I personally love Midliners as they have a pointed nib an chiselled nib, and a great variety of colours.
- Decorative Touch (optional) – This could be anything from washi to watercolour, or of course, nothing! I usually like to add a personal touch to my spreads so they’re more fun to use and look at.
Appointment Heavy Weeks
Now this one is probably the most obvious reason for needing time-blocking, and it’s probably the main reason people buy pre-made planners with this layout. As a student and a person with a set schedule, I don’t usually need to plan out each day, but every now and again I have a week which really lends itself to time-blocking for this reason. It doesn’t just have to be appointments, but any time-sensitive heavy weeks such as events and meetings etc. I find it’s easier to see where each appointment is with time-blocking and it makes you less likely to miss something!
Get Used To A New Schedule
One way I really found time-blocking extremely beneficial is when I was trying to get used to a new schedule. As a student, this means I usually set up the first few weeks of a semester this way as I’m not very sure on the timings of everything and this way I can see it all easily and start to memorise it. This could be useful for all types of changes other than university. For example, a new timetable for work or even feeding times with a new baby. I find seeing it visually is much better for getting into new habits.
When I have busy weeks ahead, I love to use time-blocking. It helps me really plan out the week and see where I can fit in work around my commitments. If I plan my days at the beginning of the week, I am also much more likely to get tasks done. It’s way less daunting to see my day planed out than looking at a mile-long to-do list! I like to include a task box below each day for this reason. That way I can allocate the tasks at the beginning of the week and then fit them throughout the day.
See Where Your Time Goes
Do you ever find yourself greatly underestimating how long a task will take you? I do this all the time! I found that time-blocking is a great way to actually gauge how long tasks take you. For example, I used to think cleaning wouldn’t take long, and I’d allocate it an hour in my day. Turns out, owning a dog completely scuppers those goals and hoovering up dog hair takes a good hour alone!
This is a great example of using a time-blocking layout as you go, rather than planning the day ahead. I like to keep my journal with me as I work so I can fill in each task as I go, and really see where my time is going and how longs things take. It also allows you to see where you’re wasting time. Maybe that 1 hour of TV actually ends up being 3 hours… in this case I say use this layout with caution because if you’re like me you may see just how much you procrastinate!
Stay Productive And On Track
Finally, the main way I like to use time-blocking is to stay on track with completing my tasks each day. Also, if I plan things in time slots at the beginning of the week, I don’t spend time thinking about what I need to do, and instead I can get right into a task. It’s also a great way to work healthily! I definitely plan in way more breaks when I time-block, as I know what I need to do and I have a plan to do it, so I don’t feel guilty taking 30 minutes downtime when I’ve been working a while.
Well, these are all my tips for using time-blocking in my bullet journal! Hopefully I’ve given you some help and inspiration to give it a go, and maybe it even sounds like something you you’ve been needing to try out! If you do, I would love to see your creations, so tag me on Instagram (@hayleyremdeart) and use #hayleyremdeinspired to get the chance to get your creations featured in my stories!