Fast Daily Planner Template and Easy Time Blocking Element. The latest trend for increased activity and achievement is time blocking.
Using a daily planner
Many of us use a to-do list to plan our priorities for a given day. This is to ensure we tick off all the necessary items on the list as done. Life is not that easy and many of them cascade into the next day.
Unfortunately the list also contributes to your stress levels as you worry about not completing everything written as urgent. The reasons are usually many and often unavoidable thus building a new bigger list.
The other problem is the items you never quite get around to. These are the not quite so urgent ones that move from day to day never getting attention and never quite falling from the list.
The big concern is the time you need to do the things that don't reside on the planner but are as important to your future as the pressing issues.
What is time blocking and how can it help?
Your week contains a work and lifestyle schedule that often over ride each other.
An example may be Gym time, Daily walk or even a Yoga session that needs to be included in your day. The important thing with exercise is that it can not be caught up, if it is missed it is opportunity and benefit, gone.
To ensure these things happen it is necessary to block out a period of time that will fit into your busy day.
The other issue is dealing with the one percent gains that will make a difference to the future but are ignored with seemingly more important issues.
What are one percent gains?
Every business, either fixed or virtual, needs constant growth challenges acted on or a decline in sales or service will slowly eat away the growth curve.
This starts with knowing your figures or understanding an analysis of results against forecast. Are you achieving everything you need or want in all your activities.
Let me explain the benefits of incremental aggregation further with an example.
Say you are a blogger as a business which means you write articles and post them on the web. Outwardly simple stuff however there are many elements that make the whole and ignoring them is the factor behind your lack of success.
My point is to make a one percent change to as many elements as you can to build up to a much larger cumulative total.
- Have I posted on social media today. or this week. A simple 10 second tweet is a 1% difference
- Did i check my header (keyword) against a rank tracker so it has an opportunity of being read.
- One extra picture with an appropriate link could be a 1% difference
- Have I linked to another page on my site to gain additional activity time can be a 1% difference.
- Spelling mistakes distract from the process so a spell checker can be used for a one percenter
Virtual or fixed
If all the above were done on a regular basis you may achieve a 5% gain in activity. In fact I work on nearly fifty items like this to ensure consistent growth in readers and naturally income.
In a fixed shop it is also simple things that make the difference.
- Are my window decals current, clean and enticing. If I add the word SALE could I get a 1%
- Do my staff ask for personal details so I can add them to my Newsletter or email list. a !%
- How often do we upsell, do you want fries with that? a 1%
- Social media posts tying in with other advertising to get multi media exposure. 1%
Now you should be getting the idea and thinking about your business and your 1% increases.
Block your 1% time to really grow
Aggregation of marginal gain
The problem with all the above is that it is not urgent stuff. It would never appear on a To-Do list simply because it is considered not urgent, a nice to do and not really necessary anyway?
From 1908 to 2003 The English cycle team had never won a major race let alone a Gold medal at the Olympics. They employed a team manager Dave Gainsford that simply went about making small improvements, 1% Changes.
They changed the saddle, altered a tire , wind tested the clothing and many other minor elements that all contributed to a change big enough to take them to the lead in all major events. They could all ride and had the equipment they just needed to hone the skills enough to make a 1/10 of a second change that added to a winning margin. They ended up winning the Tour de France for several years and Gold at the Olympics all because of small incremental additions.
Time blocking and 1% improvements or a Marginal gain from accumulation of changes
In this case my daily routine comprises emails, reading and planning my list. I have blocked out periods to make sure I attend the areas that need to be done and make sure I work on the small things. It is dynamic and yours will be different but make sure you concentrate your time
You need clarity to achieve goals
Knowing what needs to be done is very different to allocating time or resources to the project. By block scheduling time you are one step ahead in clarity. I have had success with the 1% allocation simply by stopping and thinking about it.
Furthermore forward planning saves your time following a well structured path instead of that wishy washy approach to a days work.
Clarity needs to be written to be constructive.
Focus is fundamental to results
Power work is a way to get more done in a smaller amount of time. Turn off the distractions, close the doors and apply solid effort for a set period of time. It may be an Hour or even two but set the clock and focus completely on the task at hand. I set myself writing goals by time and words and wont stop until I meet the goal. My attention span generally is butterfly like flitting from task to task unless I use control.
Focus is not reading Facebook during a busy day.
Control is up to you.
Control is in your hands and it is with you to manage every hour of every day unless the building is on fire.
Setting out Block activities allows you to really apply control to your time and increase your productivity.. Adding Control to clarity and focus will guarantee the results you want.
However these important essentials of your everyday life are very difficult to maintain unless you clearly designate your time blocks and generally follow your rules.
Furthermore until you establish an absolute desire to grow your business you will fall into the 90% that are declining, it is your choice.
Set your own standards and apply them religiously therefore achieving more
The ability to extend yourself beyond your capabilities
Dan Pena Multi millionaire says;
That is how to push the limit of comfort. The more the limits of comfort is being pushed in the wealthy direction, the more people find it easier to make a lot of money
Progress does not feel good most of the time. Dan Peña says when everything is going well and fine in a business, it is a sign that the business is not growing. If the business is not growing, it means the business is deteriorating.
Control comes from planning and focus
First of all this is in your hands and all I can give you is a few tools to ensure you have a small degree of certainty.
Your Block planner will do that for you and take you forward faster than anything else.
Fast Daily Planner Template and Easy Time Blocking Element set up.
How to set up a Block template
The structure can be used week to week by changing your inputs. I used a simple Excel spreadsheet, applied the days of the week and working times.
Next was to write down a list of activities that needed adding, including social and family.
The next step is to designate the time elements required and schedule a block.
I need to write about five thousand words a week for my blogging activity, a good typist can push this over in a short time but I am an old bloke that types two flingers so it takes me longer.
I also have a day business that requires attention and an exercise regime that must be added.
Finally I partition a time to address the 1% activities that will help me grow.
Apply some colour coding and the job is done.
Conclusion on time blocking
How you address your allocated working hours.is probably the best advise you will receive all year and it is really up to you to do it well.
Use time blocking, focus and extending your self to achieve far greater results than you could ever expect.
I missed my 1% time yesterday so I have doubled down today to make sure I accumulate the small percentages into the future. It reminded me of activities I have to do and are so easy to be forgotten.
Finally take the planning time to decrease the working time for extra results.
Fast Daily Planner Template and Easy Time Blocking Element by Peter Hanley
Certainly the future is in your hands.