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Finding a good work/life balance is very difficult for many people. With more companies allowing employees to work from home or have more flexible schedules finding a good balance can prove to be even more of a challenge.

Time blocking is a technique used by many successful business people to retain focus on the most important tasks at work. The technique can also be used in your personal life promoting balance and energy. Many people have a list of habits that they would love to develop—if only there were enough time.

Finding the time may be easier than it looks on the surface. An easy way to start is by scheduling the time on a calendar. NOTE: Time blocking is not the same as scheduling. Scheduling is providing a set time for an activity. Time blocking is setting aside a specific amount of time for an activity, it might not happen at the same time every day.

The reason time blocking is well started with a schedule is because there are certain things that will be scheduled every day, most basically sleep and work.

Below is a sample time blocked schedule for a regular workday.

12:00 a.m. Sleep
12:30 a.m. Sleep
1:00 a.m. Sleep
1:30 a.m. Sleep
2:00 a.m. Sleep
2:30 a.m. Sleep
3:00 a.m. Sleep
3:30 a.m. Sleep
4:00 a.m. Sleep
4:30 a.m. Sleep
5:00 a.m. Wake
5:30 a.m. Exercise
6:00 a.m. Shower
6:30 a.m. Dress
7:00 a.m. Breakfast
7:30 a.m. Morning Chores
8:00 a.m. Work
8:30 a.m. Work
9:00 a.m. Work
9:30 a.m. Work
10:00 a.m. Work
10:30 a.m. Work
11:00 a.m. Work
11:30 a.m. Work
12:00 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Work
1:30 p.m. Work
2:00 p.m. Work
2:30 p.m. Work
3:00 p.m. Work
3:30 p.m. Work
4:00 p.m. Work
4:30 p.m. Work
5:00 p.m. Work
5:30 p.m. Work
6:00 p.m. Home
6:30 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Evening Chores
8:00 p.m. Free Time
8:30 p.m. Free Time
9:00 p.m. Read
9:30 p.m. Read
10:00 p.m. Sleep
10:30 p.m. Sleep
11:00 p.m. Sleep
11:30 p.m. Sleep

In this example the activities in red are the time blocked activities. They may not happen exactly the same way every day, but the goals are set. This illustration allows for 6-7 hours of sleep every night, an 8-9 hour work day (depending on commute), and an at least 8 hours of time for personal activities.

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Some of the time blocked activities must happen every day, such as getting dressed and eating meals, but they may not take the same amount of time every day. This is how time blocking is flexible. It’s like a to-do list, but with a sense of the maximum amount of time each activity should take in order to complete the list for the day. This allows for activities to be rearranged for unusual events such as going out to dinner or watching a movie instead of reading.

By taking the time to look at your average day and write out an ideal schedule you will easily be able to see what activities can be time blocked and begin your new habit. Of course not every day will be perfect, but by having a basic plan even if it goes awry one day the next day will be a new beginning alleviating the stresses of wondering how and when to complete the day’s necessary activities.


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