#027 : Get More Done with Less Stress Using “Time Blocking”

#027 : Get More Done with Less Stress Using “Time Blocking”

If your to-do list seems like an endless source of frustration, if at the end of the day it seems like it has more items on it than when you started, and you never seem to get it all done, this Gymwright LIVE is going to be a great show for you.

On this episode of Gymwright LIVE, Markus Gerszi is going to break down how you can get more done in your week with less stress using the “time blocking” method. 

Join us every Friday at 10 a.m. PT on The Network where we’ll be airing live. Be sure to stick around for the live Q&A session at the end of the show so we can answer any questions you have.

How to Time Block Your Week:

  1. Create a spread sheet of everything you have to do to successfully run your gym.
  2. Create 5 categories that represent the theme of your tasks.
  3. Sort them by their recurring intervals: daily, weekly, monthly, etc
  4. Note how long each takes to do. If you’re estimating time, double your estimate.
  5. Get a planner with time slots and block at least a 90 minute window each day to accomplish your day’s theme that has ZERO interruptions.
  6.  Create a 6th category called “me time” to schedule 1-3 hours of doing something just for you and your wellbeing.

Watch the show below and check out the detailed show notes on this page for more info on the points above. This show was recorded live in The Network on Friday, April 6, 2018. 

Table of Contents

time blocking

Image Credit: CrossFit Rife

1:00 Why should a gym owner care about “time blocking”?

Some of you may be aware of the time blocking method. Author Cal Newport writes about it in his book Deep Work and you’ll hear many other successful and time-wise players talk about this method. We’ve tweaked it for you gym owners to make this method as simple as possible to implement.

Time blocking could be compared to a to-do list. It’s a tool used for productivity – but it’s really much better. A recent LinkedIn survey found that 41% of to­-do items are never completed. That’s actually ridiculous and what’s even crazier is that for some reason we keep using this endless list method even though we know something just isn’t working. With this method of time blocking, we’ll hopefully put an end to this strange phenomenon in your life.

Instead of creating one long task list, you instead set aside priority windows for each day and theme those days by category. This way, instead of just getting things done when you have some spare time (which is mostly never), you’re being proactive with planned work windows dedicated to your category for the day.

This reduces the time lost between cognitively switching to and from vastly different types of tasks. There’s really no such thing as multi-tasking so by focusing all of your attention on the category at hand, you’ll start to gain a feeling of control instead of keeping your head just above water.

 

time blocking

Image Credit: CrossFit Rife

2:55 Create & Sort Your Master to-do List

First, find a planner that has time blocks of 30-minutes or less. You can use Google Calendar or if you’re like me and prefer a hard copy as well, check out my favorite planner, the Passion Planner.

Create 6 color coded categories of the most important aspects of your business. Here are some examples:

  1. Programming
  2. Gym management
  3. Lead generation
  4. Retention
  5. Content creation
  6. Me time

Then in a spread sheet, list out all of the tasks you need to do to successfully run your business. Sort them by their recurring times (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly) and estimate how long each task will take. A good rule is to double your estimated time so you have some wiggle room to do your task right.

Lastly, put into their themed buckets.

You can color code them digitally on Google Calendar or if you’re using a physical planner, these erasable colored pens will be your new favorite productivity tools. Color coding may seem a bit arbitrary, but it does wonders for helping your mind make a quicker connection between task and category. Want to really geek out on this? Check out this article on why you need to color code. 

 

time blocking

Image Credit: CrossFit Rife

6:16 Set Yourself Up For Deep Work 

The point of all of this is to get into something called “deep work” where you’re not cognitively shifting from task to task. Your window of work is completely uninterrupted. And it feels SO good.

So you can imagine all of the places where you wouldn’t want to spend your allotted deep work time: the gym, home, a place where people want to interact with you, a place where you get easily distracted . . . Remove yourself from anything that can get in your way, set your timer for at least 90 minutes, put your headphones on, and get to work.

 

time blocking

Image Credit: CrossFit Rife

8:25 What to do with New or Surprise Tasks

There will inevitably be new tasks and to-dos that come up throughout the week. One of the best tips we can give you is to create a note in your phone with your 6 categories and when the new task comes up, resist the urge to do it right away (use your best judgement of course). Instead, put the to-do into the appropriate category’s queue then tackle it when that category’s day comes up.

The longer you do the “time blocking” method, the better you’ll get at estimating time to do a task and how big or small your uninterrupted work window should be. Some categories might require 2 days, some categories might be better hired out if they take too much of your time and you’re not enjoying it. This is an awesome way to see where you’re spending your time and what’s actually worth your time.

 

time blocking

Image Credit: CrossFit Rife

14:33 The Importance of Your 6th Category

We always suggest creating a 6th category for “me” time – or rather “you” time.

You need time to recharge your batteries in a business like this. Scheduling in time that’s just for you will be good for you and everyone around you. Plan something that you’ll look forward to and don’t feel guilty about taking this time for yourself. You’ll feel better, you’ll treat your team, family, and members better, and enjoy your vocation more – and that’s what it’s really all about.

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Jessica Depatie About the author

Jessica is the marketing maven here at Gymwright. She's a business consultant and holistic marketer for fitness businesses. She specializes in the decision-making psychology of what makes everyday people want to optimize themselves. She dives deep into how people seek out growth in the pursuit of living happier and healthier.

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