Project Management concept image

If you’re a project manager you know time blocking is a process of scheduling. It functions more like a project management schedule because you are blocking and scheduling for multiple projects. When you get started, don’t expect perfection, perfection is in the process and the resulting progress.

By starting the practice of time blocking or project management you will add the structure that you need to ensure that you are capturing all the important areas that move you forward in these projects. In project management, they call it the critical path.

I recognize you might not be a big fan of project planning and might find that it reduces your flexibility and creativity. I had the same situation with a magazine owner who didn’t like to plan but she constantly felt overwhelmed at the various different hats that she wore in the business and all the projects she had to manage. She was typically stressed out in getting the magazine ready for publication every month.

She used non-technical project management scheduling tools and structures to start the process of evaluating her capacity and the capacity of her team by breaking down the projects into time blocks ensuring that she had time allocated for each of the important areas of her business. When using project management scheduling software such as Zoho projects, Asana or more sophisticated tools such as Microsoft project or Primavera P6 , these tools help you with visual Gant and Pert charts as well as other visuals to see where capacity is at its max and other resources need to be allocated to get the work completed. By breaking the work down into groups of tasks, you are able to set priorities and work streams and allocate different resources to run parallel work streams.

One of the work streams that we added was 30 minutes three times a week was for customer loyalty. She had overlooked this very important category entirely and found herself struggling to get new advertisers for the magazine on a regular basis. She didn’t spend enough time working with the customers that she already had. By allocating this time and putting together a plan of touch points with her existing customers, she was able to go from over 50% attrition to less than 10%. That gave her a lot more time to focus on other areas of the business, any time spent on finding new advertisers only added to the profit of the bottom-line.

Time blocking or project management schedule will ensure that you are spending time specifically allocated to the project areas that make your business grow and make you feel in control and productive.   If you don’t put some planning into it, it won’t happen at the rate you want or expect if it happens at all. Work your business like a project manager and get results.

7 Step Process For Time Blocking

Use this 7 Step process to effectively block and align your tasks and goals. It forces you to connect your goals and planned actions to your project management schedule. It forces you to evaluate what is possible before you start versus taking on too much and then getting stuck in overwhelm or overload.

You can continue doing it your way, but you are here for a reason, You are looking for a better way. If I could show you a way to reduce stress, frustration and feel in control of your time resulting in more profits in every area of your life, would you listen? Would you do what I am telling you?

Gantt chart and penAs you get started in the acclimation period, your time blocking worksheet is a starting point of the implementation. If you are not a trained project manager, building these skills and habits will take time. We, humans are notorious for poorly estimating how long things take. I had a developer who wired for me and I thought it was great how quickly and clear he was about providing me with a 300-hour estimate. Little did I know the next project presented to him also had a 300-hour estimate and the project thereafter. I came to realize that was a safe number of him so he just used it every time. Not a great method for me when I am making fixed price bids and need a more accurate estimate of how long the project would take. When we break it down into the larger deliverables, we are able to get a more accurate forecast and schedule the project.

Using this method of time blocking you will start to recognize how much time your activities really take and enable you to accurately break down bigger projects and block those activities accurately in your project management schedule for the future. It may take a month or even two to get adjusted to the best and most efficient project management schedule, but what you will learn along the way will be invaluable.

This structure of managing your projects and your schedule will reduce overwhelmed, stressed, and wasted time.

Make a commitment this year end to block your time and manage your project management schedule.