The modern entrepreneur is managing a fast-paced, constantly evolving landscape, and if you’re not careful, you could easily find yourself caught in a whirlwind of tasks, deadlines, and commitments. For many, the elusive balance between work, personal growth, and leisure seems like an unattainable dream. That’s where time-blocking comes in—a powerful strategy that I swear by and one that I revisit every quarter to ensure I’m laser-focused and on task.

I time block like a boss. If it’s on the “to-do list” then it is on my time blocking sheet AND blocked time on my calendar.

What is Time-Blocking?

Time-blocking is the practice of allocating specific blocks of time for different activities throughout your day, week, or even month. Unlike a traditional to-do list that can be chaotic and overwhelming, time-blocking helps you organize your day to align with your priorities and goals. It gives you a structured framework to operate within, helping to minimize distractions and procrastination. My typical workday starts at 5 am, when I am most creative, but by 3:00 pm, I am useless, which is perfect because that’s when the kids get off the bus.

Why Every Quarter Do I Time-Block?

Quarterly planning aligns perfectly with most business cycles and gives you an ideal timeframe to assess past performance and set future goals. Every quarter, I take a step back to evaluate how well my previous time-blocks worked. Did I allocate too much time to meetings and too little to deep work? Was I realistic in my planning? Are their new gym schedules, class activities, and courses I am launching? Things change. This quarterly review allows me to adjust my time-blocks for the upcoming months, ensuring that I stay aligned with my long-term objectives.

How I Do It: The Quarterly Time-Blocking Exercise

  1. Review the Previous Quarter: Before setting up new time blocks, I review my calendar from the previous quarter to see where my time actually went. This retrospective view helps me understand if I’ve prioritized the right tasks. Here is my template you can customize and get started with. {You don’t have to start your day at 5 like me, change the hours to what works for you!}
  2. Identify Key Goals: What are the most important goals I want to accomplish in the upcoming quarter? These could be business objectives, personal growth milestones, or even work-life balance targets.
  3. Prioritize: I rank my tasks in terms of urgency and importance, then allocate time blocks based on these rankings. I need to do quiet work, video work, and client work. Some days I am camera-ready, other days, it’s a gym and make-up-free day in sweats.
  4. Schedule: I use my Apple calendar to lay out my time blocks, coding them for easy identification but marking ‘as available so it doesn’t block my open times on Acuity from showing. From deep work sessions and brainstorming to exercise and family time, everything gets a slot.
  5. Adjust and Optimize: This is an ongoing step. Life is unpredictable, and sticking rigidly to a time block might not always be feasible. The key is to adjust and reschedule blocks as needed without compromising on priorities.

Since adopting this quarterly time-blocking exercise, I’ve seen a dramatic increase in my productivity. Not only have I been able to accomplish more in less time, but I’ve also gained a clearer understanding of my work patterns and peak productivity periods. The best part? Time-blocking has freed up time for things that enrich my life outside of work—like spending quality time with family and pursuing hobbies like building wood furniture. Random, I know.

Time-blocking is not just another productivity hack; it’s a way of life that empowers you to take control of your time and, by extension, your life’s trajectory. By revisiting and adjusting your time blocks every quarter, you give yourself the flexibility to adapt to change while staying committed to what truly matters. So give it a try this quarter and experience the transformative power of strategic time management for yourself.