I like me a good schedule. Far from being hemmed in by it, I actually feel like it stops me feeling overwhelmed. This year feels particularly busy with trying to get my fledgeling business up and running, along with studying, writing and blogging…oh and homeschooling, YouTube-ing and being a wife and mother. Over September I tried to schedule a little bit of everything each day. But it really didn’t work. Over the past few weeks I’ve been block scheduling each day and it seems to be working really well.
What is Block Scheduling?
My girls block schedule their days. Mornings are maths and English. Afternoons are set aside for a specific subject. They schedule that block of time to focus on just one thing. They’ve been doing this for the past year or so and it has helped them to be far more productive.
I think it has been a game changer for me. I work between 9 and 12 hours a day. Focusing on my master’s for a whole day means I get through way more of the course than if I was just studying for, say, two hours a day. Also, the day flows much better. Read on and I’ll show you how this is so…
How I Block Schedule
I use my handy dandy academic planner. Each day is blocked off for one specific thing. Monday is set aside for running my small business. This is when I add a product onto Etsy, create new designs or put together a notebook for KDP. I also use this time to write an art related post for my blog. Mondays will probably be the time I film my art studio vlog for my very sparkling new and never before been used YouTube channel. It goes without saying that I thoroughly enjoy my Monday days 😊
On a Tuesday, I focus my attentions on my master’s studying. I work my way through that week’s assigned work. This usually includes watching a video and answering questions, reading the chapter of the book (and answering questions) and reading a research article (and yes, you guessed it, answering some questions!). I will also have extra reading to do (at least two more articles) and need to dedicate some of my time to my first assignment. The topics for study this year are a bit heavier than in my first year as they are all based around policy relating to children and young people. This requires a bit more concentration from me and I really do feel the block scheduling helps.
Blogging is my focus on a Wednesday. You may have noticed some changes I made Wednesday just gone? There is so much I want to do and putting aside a whole day is really helping me to make a dent in my blogging to-do list.
Thursday is my least favourite day. I’m not really sure why. I focus my time on the Mesopotamia Unit Study I am writing. It may be that I am getting a bit bored of all things Levant, but honestly boredom isn’t something I feel that often so I don’t think it is that. I think it is more that I simply don’t feel that productive. Often I am editing a video to go up on my Angelicscalliwagshomeschool YouTube channel. Honestly, given how rubbish I am at creating videos, you’d think it wouldn’t take so much time, but it does. Once I have finished editing the video, I then write a blog post to go with it. Once I’ve posted that, it’s the end of the day and all I’ve done is post a post!
Friday is my second favourite day. It is my catch up day. Anything I need to get done but haven’t I do here. However, it is also my ‘planning for the future’ day. This is very open ended and can incorporate watching YouTube videos to see how I can improve, writing or going for a long walk with Harvey and listen to a much coveted audio book. Or I might paint. Or create a (nother) YouTube channel/instagram account/tiktok (and I don’t even know what that last one is!). Basically, it’s a fun day, filled with whatever takes my fancy!
On a Saturday I focus on a homemaking task that I really need to do but keep putting off. The fact I have all day to do it means that I have no excuse! Do it I must! Last week I cleared under the stairs which was a massive job. This week I might paint under the stairs. We’ll see.
Sunday’s are spent in a very lazy way. Usually I spent the day curled up reading a good book or watching my saved list on YouTube with Gary snuggled up next to me. Cooking a roast is the hardest thing I have to do…
Obviously life never runs this smoothly. Becca, who is just learning to work independently, is in and out of my office all day long. The adult children are often milling about. And I frequently have to do printing for Abigail. I also post orders whenever they come in. Oh, and I do 30 minutes critical analysis of the article for my first assignment each day. But in the main, this is the rhythm of my days and how I use block scheduling in my week.
Advantages of Block Scheduling
Focusing on one subject/thing over a prolonged period of time means that you get more of that subject done than you would have done spread over the week. I think this is because of two reasons. The first is that you don’t waste time changing from one thing to another. The second, and this applies doubly to easily distracted children and adults (ahem), you don’t waste time settling down into the new thing to be focused on. You don’t need to put away certain books and items and get out an entirely different set.
How do you schedule your days?