Gain control of workload with time blocking

Brian Fields, Senior Consultant -- Internal Practice Development

“You get to decide where your time goes. You can either spend it moving forward, or you can spend it putting out fires. You decide. And if you don’t decide, others will decide for you.” – Tony Morgan

You know the feeling. Work piles up. You get backlogged. Work days get longer, yet you can’t get ahead. It’s a fairly common scenario for business owners.

A number of years ago, a top advisor at Waddell & Reed found herself in the same situation. Her life became defined by her business, and she felt out of control and unhappy. The root cause? Time management. The solution resided somewhere between thoughtful and intentional scheduling and maintaining the ability to be nimble.

The practice of time blocking – aligning your to-do list with your calendar – was a useful tool for this advisor. With time blocking, you:

  • Identify key tasks, meetings and client appointments for an average week
  • Block specific hours each day to focus on key tasks
  • Block specific times to schedule appointments and meetings
  • Use remaining time for:
    • Preparation
    • Community involvement
    • Outreach calls
    • Flex time

The advisor quickly recognized the value of time blocking, as it helped her to:

  • Accomplish more by focusing on singular tasks
  • Be the master of her daily schedule
  • Insulate herself from interuptions, such as email and texting
  • Say no to time vampires in a socially acceptable way
  • Prevent procrastination
  • Focus on the deep, concentrated work that demanted her attention
  • Be realistic with her time
  • Gain clarity into team members' schedules

She soon felt less stress and more control, and her team is more efficient due to individual calendar transparency allowing for seamless schedule integration.

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