Timeblocking/ Creating time

8 Replies

Hello everyone

I'm posting today looking for some advice. I have been trying to make better use of dividing my day into time blocks, this is recommended in alot of books I've read and is proven to be a very effective method of raising productivity. My problem is with my unpredictable work schedule which makes set time blocks very difficult to follow. I work in construction and I go to different jobs almost every single day, so depending on how far away the job site is and what time I need to be there, I wake up as early as 3:30 AM and get home as late as 9 PM. With such a random schedule and never really knowing when I'm going to get off work in the evening, is it even possible to use time blocking as an effective form of time management? Does anyone know of a time management method that is more suitable for this kind of schedule? Any other tips or time management advice would be awesome

I would really appreciate any advice on this.

Thanks for your time,

Jonny

I time block the night before because everyday is different for me, too. If the day changes as you go, I'd recommend having a list of critical tasks (5 or so) and make sure they're completed

Time management is crucial for a contractor. Keep a notepad with you at all times, write EVERYTHING down. I call this my bible. Everything I do is documented each day. When I get home, I review what I got done, what still needs done, etc...

I do maintenance service calls as well which can be quite chaotic on a schedule. But I make a daily home depot run to alleviate that.

My day starts at 7 a.m. with the home depot run. Then off to service calls from the day before. Then off to any major remodel I have going on. As service calls come in, I get them diagnosed at 4 p.m. ish and make a list for tomorrow hd run. 99% of all service calls can wait a day. I carry plumbing fittings to solve the problem until I can get back the next day. 

Any discussions with new customers, quotes, etc all goes in my bible. Then I review at end of day, and again in the morning I plan my route.

Time management works great, but you have to slow down and take a step back for it to happen. 

Time blocking requires a good chunk of time for deep work. It's not supposed to be 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there, 20 minutes somewhere else. It's typically four hours of absolute freedom to focus on your big things.

Why are you working 18 hour days? Any good coach will tell you that it's absolutely unnecessary unless you're working extra for a short period of time and a specific goal. It sounds like you need to get control of your work life. Work a 10-hour day and you'll have eight more hours to block off for whatever it is you're trying to accomplish.

Time blocking would only benefit you at your current job. Out of all those hours, if you time blocked for a couple hours at each job, then I can only imagine the biggest benefit would be to receive a raise a lot sooner (short term). Long term you are just sharpening your skill set and making your boss that much more money.

In my case, I work 7-430, and I time block when I get home and on weekends. I didn't notice what I was doing until I heard @Brandon Turner last podcast. I get home, put the phone on pandora, and get to work. No distractions, im in my "zone of genius". Its like a form of meditation, and the amount of work I get done in a short time is remarkable. 

 But, it is directly benefitting me, because it is my investment, not someone elses. 

It appears that you work a lot of hours with an unpredictable schedule.  You need more time. I would look at your daily schedule M-S and list the entire day of hours and fill in what activities you do. Work, eat, TV, etc. Then cut out the fat and create more time.  For me I cut out TV, I have gone cold turkey for about 2yrs now and I may watch a few hrs a month of the golf channel and that's it. I can tell you it created so much time for me and my production level has skyrocketed.  

But Frank, what about Game of Thrones, Stranger Things 3, etc. Yeah I know those are great shows but you know what's even better than those? Making money in the real world and changing your life.  Gotta sacrifice something in order to get something you don't have. 

Originally posted by @Frank Wong :

It appears that you work a lot of hours with an unpredictable schedule.  You need more time. I would look at your daily schedule M-S and list the entire day of hours and fill in what activities you do. Work, eat, TV, etc. Then cut out the fat and create more time.  For me I cut out TV, I have gone cold turkey for about 2yrs now and I may watch a few hrs a month of the golf channel and that's it. I can tell you it created so much time for me and my production level has skyrocketed.  

But Frank, what about Game of Thrones, Stranger Things 3, etc. Yeah I know those are great shows but you know what's even better than those? Making money in the real world and changing your life.  Gotta sacrifice something in order to get something you don't have. 

 Couldn't have said it better. Removing my cable bill was one of the best things I could have done years back. Getting rid of facebook was another big one for me.

Originally posted by @Hunter Ambos :

I time block the night before because everyday is different for me, too. If the day changes as you go, I'd recommend having a list of critical tasks (5 or so) and make sure they're completed

I'm with Hunter on this one - I've tried various time management strategies (and you should, too) and just having a to-do list always beats everything else out there.

Whenever you think of something you need to do, list it out as a task, but also separate higher priority tasks from the rest, and always focus on getting those ones down first.

Then it all comes down to discipline and actually following through with your tasks.

That's how I do it.

Hope this helps? 

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