The Digital Glue Podcast

EP: 57 - Laser Focused Time Blocking Tips!

February 15, 2022 Episode 57
The Digital Glue Podcast
EP: 57 - Laser Focused Time Blocking Tips!
Show Notes Transcript

“If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want.” 

Welcome to Episode 57:Laser Focused Time Blocking Tips!

 I do my best to guard my time fiercely. Which may sound a bit extreme, but it’s honestly one of the simplest and most effective tactics for anyone to live by (especially entrepreneurs). 


Because the demands on our time are greater now than ever before. Especially for those of us who own a business. With information coming at us in each direction at a rate faster than we can digest it, responsibilities handed to us faster than the speed of light and trying to find as many ways as possible to get each daunting task into our day!

But there is a way to get more done of what you need and want with less distraction. And that’s what we want to share with you today.
Here's what we will be untangling in this episode ...

  • 6 “rule of thumb” time block tips
  • 5 steps to staying productive and laser focused
  • The low-down on time management woes
  • Making your dream a reality (review, new goals, and a plan)
  • Creating annual themes and time for self-care


Are you ready?
Pop in your awesome earbuds and let's dive in!

I do my best to guard my time fiercely. Which may sound a bit extreme, but it’s honestly one of the simplest and most effective tactics for anyone to live by (especially entrepreneurs). 


Because the demands on our time are greater now than ever before. Especially for those of us who own a business. With information coming at us in each direction at a rate faster than we can digest it, responsibilities handed to us faster than the speed of light and trying to find as many ways as possible to get each daunting task into our day!

But there is a way to get more done of what you need and want with less distraction. In short … you must schedule “stuff”. And no, not just meetings and appointments, but all the stuff that matters most to you and your business. You can do that by scheduling time blocks into your day. But, before we dive into the actual “structure” of building your time blocks, here are a few tips to consider …

  • Create lists.
  • Set the right priorities.
  • Block in planning time.
  • Be flexible.
  • Track time spent.
  • Schedule breaks.


Our rule of thumb, the number one key to time blocking success … use a timer.

 Okay. Now that we have the main tips narrowed down and your lists have been made. It’s time to start scheduling your time blocks and get you laser focused!

Here are the steps my “untangling” team and I suggest for helping you stay super productive, and laser focused …

Step 1:
Determine the hours you have available to work with in the upcoming weeks (both business and personal).
Step 2:
List absolutely everything you want to accomplish during each individual week. Consider this your priority or bucket list. This list should include projects, tasks, appointments, meetings, and goals.
Step 3:
On your calendar, block out your meetings and appointments -- or anything that must happen at a specific time, so you know what time you have left to work with.
Step 4:
Now that you know more of what kind of time you are working with because your meetings and appointments have been blocked out, it’s time to add in recurring tasks as well as other daily business routines (e.g. social scheduling, content research, etc.). Once those have been set in place, now take a bit of time to add in tasks related to your personal life. This will help break down your time into sections.
Step 5:
Take some time to fill in the rest of your time blocks with the tasks, projects and goals you want to accomplish.


I know at first this may seem like a lot of information for those of your who may feel as though you’re always running by the seat of your pants -- but in time, tips and tricks such as these will truly help you get laser focused and save you more time for doing other things that you love that have nothing to do with your business.

That being said, nothing kills productivity and focus faster than being distracted. 

So, kill those distractions!

This means doing things like … keeping your phone notifications on silent during certain time blocks, not leaving tabs open on your computer, only checking social media during a scheduled time or break, not keeping constant tabs on your email throughout the day and trying your best to work in an environment with as few distractions as possible.

Productivity is truly never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. 

This topic of time got me to thinking … I don’t know about you, but last year went by way too fast and this year is already repeating that pattern. I feel as though I barely blinked an eye and now here we are, already mid-February! 

And to be quite honest, that’s exactly why I chose today’s topic of time management. I know we talked a lot over the past handful of years on our blog and social spaces, but I can’t stress enough how important this is when running a business. Especially if your business is in the market of helping others run theirs.

It’s time for us to personally take care of the minutes, so that the hours will take care of themselves … I hate to admit this out loud (again!) -- but there certainly are a lot of “time wasters” in our daily lives which can sometimes have a negative impact on what we’re trying to accomplish. That’s why it’s so important to understand the low-down on time management -- which in reality can also be viewed in partnership with project management.

And there is truly no better way than with a quote by the founder of SuperMedium …
 “If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want.”

I thought it would be fun to get your hamster wheel turning, by asking you an important question … Do you constantly feel as though you’re searching for the “one and only” time management technique to cure all your time woes? 

It’s a difficult process to work through (especially in the beginning stages) and may be difficult to find just “the one”. So, instead of just one, how’s 12 sound? 

They are all truly great, especially when mixed together …

  1. Get enough sleep.
  2. Track your time and make every moment count.
  3. Take 5 minutes before each task to decide exactly what you want to achieve.
  4. Schedule time for interruptions.
  5. Don’t multitask. Ever!
  6. Use a good time tracking platform.
  7. Use a good project management platform.
  8. Plan your time. Every minute if you can.
  9. Only track important tasks.
  10. Block distractions when working.
  11. Avoid painfully useless meetings.
  12. Avoid fake work -- and fake people.

Now granted, we all procrastinate at one point or another in our lives. And we all get distracted by things easily within our reach (or view, as technology is literally shoved in our faces everywhere). But it’s truly time to start thinking about YOUR TIME as something that is palpable. If you don’t, you will unfortunately keep making the very same mistakes and end up wasting more and more time on tasks and projects that don’t bring any positive changes into your life as well as benefit your business (and those of your clients).

It’s not enough to be busy … The real question is: what are we busy about?

It’s just not possible to get everything done. Especially on your own. And sometimes you may feel that there just aren’t enough hours in the day for you to accomplish everything you set out to do. (Maybe even week.) But if you’re calm and work smarter -- not harder -- and follow some of the tips I just shared with you and some even bigger ones I’m about to share with you now … you might find that there are enough hours. And your bigger picture will become a reality a lot sooner than you thought.

However, there’s always the flipside …

If you’re feeling as though no matter what you do, you’re not getting ahead …. Time management isn’t making any sense or working to your advantage … You can’t finish off the items on your to-do list every single day ….

There’s another way to nudge things along …! 

Many of us start our new year planning stages thinking about what we would like to do differently. What worked, what didn’t, where there is room for improvement, and what did we not yet accomplish that we’d like to. You know … that business dream bucket list! So, if you haven’t already put some of your amazing plans in motion or didn’t have enough time over the holidays to really sit back, breathe and think about what you’d like to do differently this year … Now’s your chance!

Are you ready to make your dreams a reality?

Then, let’s get started … 


This past year was virtually wonderful, and I imagine you achieved a lot. So, if you haven’t already, take a moment and think about your journey, and ask yourself …

  • How do I feel about it all?
  • What worked? What didn’t? 
  • What goals and projects did I achieve?
  • What am I truly most proud of?



Now that you’ve thought about all your previous year’s successes, let’s move forward into the planning stages for the year to come by breaking your bigger picture down into a list of goals …

  • What are your top 5 goals for this year?
    • Write them down in order of their importance to you.
  • What do you want (or need) to do to accomplish those new goals?
  • Do you have an idea in mind of the timeline you’d like to tackle these by? And if so, what does your plan look like?
  • Do you have any new tools, programs or platforms that will help you succeed?

You don’t need to know exactly how you are going to get everything done, but you do need a plan of some sort so that your goals aren’t filled with overwhelm, and they don’t just stay on your wish list for the entire duration of your life as an entrepreneur.


Next up …


Alright, my favourite part cus as you all know, I’m a productivity and organization nerd … It’s time to make a plan!

In order to become the very best version of yourself this year, you’ll want to remember that the only way you are going to get where you want to be is to not procrastinate -- or let your own negative self-talk get in the way. 

So, find some quiet time (and space) and ask yourself the following questions …

  • Who do you feel YOU need to be to achieve all the things you want this year?
  • What are the things you feel get in your way and prevent you from doing so?
  • What distractions are in your life that you feel you need to get a better grip on?
  • What do you need to do to get -- and stay -- on track?
    • (e.g. new tools, a VA, an entire team, etc.)
  • What does your business name mean to you? 
  • Are your brand visuals and voice on point?
  • What is your business manifesto? 
    • If you haven’t yet created one, I suggest doing so.
  • What is going to be your theme for the new year? 
    • For this one … think business and personally.

Just for a fun sidebar, here are my themes for 2022 …

My personal theme for this year is to find true BALANCE.
I am the creator and leader in my life. And each day I will lead myself, my habits, my choices, my dreams and goals, and my relationships so that not only do I get to create a better, more well-rounded calmer version of myself -- but everyone around me will benefit from the balanced version as well.

My professional theme for this year is to SPARKLE and have COURAGE.

I want to preserve the spirit in which I started Virtually Untangled in the first place. I want to reconnect with our values and have true connections with my virtual tribe and clients. I don’t want my business to run on autopilot with the same boring things, but to build a truly extraordinary brand that replicates my personality -- one that truly inspires others and grows in a soulful, authentic way.


Sometimes we need to just breathe and remind ourselves, it’s not about working harder … it’s about working smarter while focusing on the things that will really drive our business in the direction of growth – whatever that means to YOU.

So, if you’re always feeling swamped with the day-to-day’s and just need some structure and support to create less stress …

Or maybe you’re just beginning to think about becoming an entrepreneur (full-time hustle or on the side) … 

Or you’re working harder than you need to be and feeling like you don’t have enough to show for your hard work … 

Or you feel as though life (in all forms) is getting in the way and preventing you from achieving true success … 

Well, it’s time to stop spinning your virtual wheels, stop those annoying pain points in their tracks, and use this next digital glue “untangling” section as a guide to plan your best year ever! 

We all dream big dreams! But you need more than just some fancy coloured post-it notes and flashy programs to make your goals a reality. You need a real plan to move you closer to your dream business every single day.

So, as 2022 ramps up, start thinking about implementing a few of those things into the year ahead. But remember, don’t try to do everything at once -- perhaps pick one item a month and focus on executing it before moving on to the next. You will more than likely realize that several of your goals go hand-in hand, and it will be easy to implement them at the same time. 

But pace yourself, it’s a marathon, not a sprint! 

And last up … how to add self-care into your laser focused time with …


This is usually the one we sometimes don’t put enough effort into … Self-care has been getting plenty of attention these past few years, and I believe it’s with HUGE merit. 

Basically, I translate self-care to mean keeping in check with your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. We all get busy (sometimes more than we want) and it can be hard to slow down and really take care of ourselves. So, that’s why I am ending today with this topic -- as it’s just as important as everything else!

In other words, it really should be a daily-priority and we should never EVER feel guilty about time blocking to take care of ourselves. We all can get stressed and overwhelmed from time-to-time so perhaps it’s time for things to change. So, here’s 3 easy-peasy ways to be prepared for those overwhelmingly hectic and stressful days …

1.    Un-plug from the tech world …
As an entrepreneur myself, I feel the almost constant pull of having to be “plugged-in” and monitoring every little thing going on in my business. And those of my clients’. The list is long and tiresome some days. And because of the long daily to-do lists that makes our business’ what they are, I recommend taking a break whenever you can. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes. 
 An easy way to accomplish this is by taking a break from technology (your laptop, your phone, Netflix, Spotify, podcasts, etc.) while eating your meals. Another way is by not starting or end your day with any devices. Thus, giving yourself that well-deserved chance to “check-out” so you don’t feel like you constantly need to be tied to the virtual world. 

2.    Be active for not only your mind …
This is something I tend to struggle with but truly hate to admit … I really think that being active can mean so many things. Maybe you are the type of person that enjoys working out. Or maybe you’re the opposite and you either do not enjoy typical exercise or find it hard to fit it into your schedule. Either way, being active can have many benefits especially if you spend most of your workday sitting at a desk or in your car.
 According to WebMD, sitting down too much can increase your chances of developing a variety of health risks from heart disease to dementia. In this case, you should consider getting up and moving around or stretching for a bit every single hour. Or if you can afford to do so, incorporate standing at your work area by getting yourself a desk that raises (or create your own). You could also try fitting in small stretching or dance party exercises into your day if you are feeling overwhelmed. Adding in a couple 5 to 10-minute stretch periods, walks, yoga, or other types of exercise seems a lot easier to accomplish than working out for a straight full hour. (And nope, napping doesn’t count, LOL!)

3.    Keep your stress level in check …
Having a stressful day from time-to-time is unavoidable. So, here are a few ideas in case you are thinking you could benefit from some tips on how to combat stress. Or at the very least, tailor a new reaction to it …

  • Consider meditation or deep-breathing exercises, also known as “finding your Zen”. Even if it is just for 5-minutes. Focus on your breathing and be mindful that you are exhaling completely as well.
  • Start journaling or writing down all the things on your mind. Doing this for a couple of minutes a day can help clear your mind and help you get on with the rest of your day.
  • Schedule some chat time with a close friend or like-minded individual; even if it’s just a quick meet up for coffee (virtual or in person).
  • Make sure you don’t let your hobbies fall to the wayside. And if for some reason you do not have one, consider finding an engaging level of fun that will give your mind a break and encourage you to be happy while focusing on something other than your work.

Self-care can mean something different from one person to the next. And sometimes it’s not easy to take time to focus on yourself when you are having a busy day, week, month, whatever ... However, sacrificing your health and well-being is NOT a precursor for your business to be successful. Self-care is easy to implement and manage when you allot time for it. So, go ahead and START TODAY! Especially if you are new to creating time for self-care … Block time for that too (no joke!) 10-minute meditation, 10-minute walk around the block, or a weekly time slot for your favorite hobby. 

The beginning of every new year is certainly a time that many of us start setting new goals, to-do lists, to-not-do lists or making those timeless resolutions. 

As entrepreneurs, it can sometimes be hard to find that switch to shut off our minds from our business, even if just for a few minutes as our personal lives tend to blend since technology allows us to be tied to our business 24/7. We often want to invest all the extra time we get our hands on back into our businesses. 

However, taking a balanced approach between managing your business along with your personal life is also very important. Afterall, you cannot run your business if your health is suffering, or you are lacking the energy to do so!

So, if you take some time to focus on taking care of both your business and yourself you will not be disappointed. Focusing just as much on your health, and your mental and emotional well-being, will only have positive effects on every aspect of your life. And your business -- and those around you -- will reap the benefits as well!