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How to Time Block Your Whole Week (in just 30 minutes!)

how to time block your week

Is work/life balance difficult week to week? Do you find yourself getting to the end of the day Friday having only completed half the tasks you planned? What if I told you a new time management system using only blocks of time could save you?

Continue reading for my complete guide on how to time block your whole week (in just 30 minutes), plus get an already made weekly template to start time blocking today.

how to time block your week

If you want a PDF download of this post for $1, click here!

What is Time Blocking?

Time blocking, also known as calendar blocking, is a time management tool that helps you divide your day into, what we call, time blocks.

Each block designates a specific task or group of tasks. And only those specific tasks can be done in that block of time.

If you time block your days in advance, you won’t have to constantly decide what you need to focus on throughout the day. You’ll already have that planned out ahead of time.

Just follow your time blocked schedule. And if you find yourself getting off-task, just simple glance at your schedule and you’ll know exactly what you should be doing.

The Benefits of Time Blocking Your Weeks

Still not sure if time blocking is for you?

Here are some amazing benefits for time blocking your week:

1. Promotes focused work time

When you schedule a chunk of time to work on a particular project or task, your brain has an easier time concentrating on one thing. Hence less distraction and time wasted.

As you get the hang of time batching (another term for time blocking) your tasks, you’ll build the muscle memory required for more focused work time.

2. Makes you aware of how you spend your time

Believe it or not, most people aren’t that great at time management.

Human beings are terrible at estimating how much time we spend on different tasks. And we often think we have more time than we do.

As you get more comfortable time blocking your schedule, you’ll find yourself realizing some things take less time than you thought.

3. Helps You Follow Through on Your Goals

Many studies have shown that when people write down a specific place, date, and time for an activity, they are more likely to act on it fully.

Therefore, when you schedule tasks and goals, you’re more likely to follow through.

Time blocking allows you to make plans with yourself to ensure you are always working towards your goals.

Step-by-Step: How to Time Block Your Week

Now that we’ve talked about what time blocking is and the benefits, I’m gonna show you how to time block your week, one step at a time.

Also, be sure to grab the free weekly plan template so you can easily time block your week right inside google sheets.

Click here to subscribe

1. Plug in your non-negotiables

These non-negotiables would be your work or class schedule, any upcoming appointments, and schedule activities, like club meetings, music rehearsals, or soccer practice.

Basically, anything that you must go to or else there will be consequences.

2. Add 6-8 hours of sleep every night

Everyone needs to sleep so don’t ditch out on it. Make sure you schedule at least 6-8 hours of sleep depending on how much you need.

3. Schedule meal times

As weird as it sounds, make sure you schedule your mealtimes. Sometimes when you’re so focused on a particular task you work straight through lunch. Don’t let that happen again.

*And if you really need to, set an alarm to make sure you stop working to eat and refuel.

4. Morning and evening routines

I’ve mentioned it many times before, but creating morning and evening routines are crucial for increased productivity.

You become more prepared for each day when you know exactly how you’re starting and ending it.


How to Create a Morning Routine

10 Smart Things to Include in Your Bedtime Routine for an Easier Morning

5. Self-care time

Another thing I’ve said quite often on this blog is: self-care time is important.

You need to refuel your mind, body, and soul or you wouldn’t be able to take care of anything else.

Take time to take care of yourself first. It’s not selfish!

*Check out my blog post on self-care activities for ideas on what to do during your self-care time,

6. Time block your goals and tasks

Now that all the essentials are scheduled you can break down your days into different focused work time blocks. Decide when you’re going to work on particular goals and for how long.

Break them up into blocks of time throughout your day.

Here’s an example of what a general week looks like for me when it’s time blocked.

This setup is the example I included in the google sheets template you can grab for free down below.

time blocking in google sheets

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Some Common Time Blocking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Time blocking sounds pretty straightforward and for the most part, it is, but it can be hard to put into practice at first.

Here are some helpful tips to get started when learning how to time block:

Overestimate your time

You’ll get better at estimating how long it takes you to complete a particular task over time. But until you do, error on the side of blocking off too much time, rather than not enough.

Also including some “buffer time” or transition time in between tasks can help as well.

Don’t be too strict with your schedule

Things will come up and ruin your plans. That’s ok. Your time blocks are in place to help you focus your attention on particular tasks at a time. It’s not a binding contract.

It’s ok to edit your plans throughout the day if need be. Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t always stick to the schedule.

Don’t over-schedule your leisure time

You do not need to schedule everything down to 5-10 minute increments.

In fact, scheduling your leisure activities can have a damping effect on the actual enjoyment of the activity.

Instead, block out the time that you plan to disconnect and relax. Don’t set how you are going to spend that time, let that come to you in the moment.

For example, I don’t plan my Saturdays and Sundays really at all, because those are my leisure days. Minus the time I plan to prep meals, do laundry or do my weekly reviews, I don’t strictly plan my weekends much at all.

Final Thoughts on Time Blocking

Scheduling your whole day or week in advance can seem like a waste of time. But when you don’t have control of your calendar, distractions can take over much easier.

By doing the decision-making ahead of time, you’ll save time and mental energy during the workweek. Therefore, being more productive.

Try time blocking a couple of days at first. Then come next Sunday, time block your whole week and see how it affects your overall productivity that week.

After the first week that you time block, it will become easier. Take 15-30 minutes every Sunday to adjust your time blocks for the coming week and ta-da! You have your entire week planned in no time.

Have any more questions about using time blocks? Let me know in the comments below.

*Hey college students!

I made a special blog post just for you guys on How to Time Block Your College Schedule. Go ahead check it out!

Pin it so more people can enjoy ?

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If you want a PDF download of this post for $1, click here!

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How to Stop Wasting Your Time

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    Posted on 6 Comments

    How to Time Block Your College Schedule Using Google Calendar

    Figuring out how to time block my college schedule was the most impactful thing I could have learned.

    By scheduling my days ahead of time and putting everything I needed into a timeslot, my productivity skyrocketed.

    Now, it took me a while to get ahold of this concept, but now that I do, I have a step-by-step plan that can help you plan every week.

    It’s super easy. And taking the time to set it up now is the best decision you could make for the most productive semester yet.

    *Setting this up only took me about an hour

    Click here to subscribe

    How to Time Block Your College Schedule

    This article contains affiliate links. That means, if you click through and make a purchase using an affiliate link, I will earn a small compensation at no extra cost to you.

    My entire schedule is made in google calendar, so pull that up on your computer and let’s get started.

    1. Plug in your scheduled classes, labs, and work schedule ( + commute time)

    *This example schedule is my best friend’s college schedule. She is a nursing student so it may look different than yours but the concept is still the same.

    The easiest thing you can do right away is to plug in your already scheduled items. For example, you class schedule, labs, work schedule, club meetings, etc.

    The cool thing about using Google Calendar is that you can have items repeat weekly. This way you don’t have to set this up every week.

    Also, take advantage of color-coordinating everything. It makes it easier to navigate and it’s pretty. ?

    Pick one color for your classes, another color for work, and one for drive/commute time. (I’ve included the color of each item I add in the next steps to help you out)

    Put in commute time too. Give yourself enough time to walk across campus if you have too so you aren’t late.

    time block 1
    time block 2

    2. Schedule when to eat and sleep! (purple and light brown)

    Scheduling when you are going to eat may sound ridiculous, but trust me.

    Have you ever just been studying all day that you skipped lunch completely but had to get running to another class?

    The worst thing you can do in college is to be starving through a lecture. You’ll focus more on your stomach growling than your professor’s important lecture.

    Schedule at least 30-minute time blocks for each meal of the day.

    If you don’t have much time in the middle of the day for lunch, grab a protein bar or protein shake, plus some peanuts.

    Something is better than nothing at all.

    Next, plug in when you are going to sleep.

    Now, I know scheduling sleep may sound crazy but hear me out, sleep is important!

    I sound like your mom now don’t I..?

    Anyway, if you go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day, you’ll rewire your brain and be ready to go to sleep early every night and wake up at the same time every morning.

    Make sure you schedule enough sleep every night.

    Most people can’t survive on 5 hours of sleep every night. You may think you can for a few nights but don’t make that a habit.

    Most young adults need 6-8 hours of sleep every night. Here I’ve put about 7 to 7 1/2 hours.

    *notice I didn’t schedule sleep for Saturday to Sunday. Use the weekend to catch up on sleep if you need it. Or hey, you are a college student. Spend Saturday night with friends or whatever you want. However, try not to sleep until noon on Sunday, you’ll regret it Monday morning. I promise you.

    time block 3
    time block 4

    3. Schedule study/homework time for each class (dark green)

    Many studies have said that you should study for 2 hours per credit taken.

    So if you’re taking 16 credits, you should study close to 32 hours a week.

    Yep, that’s right. Studying is basically a full-time job, but you wanna pass your classes don’t you??

    Start with using a 2 hour per credit study schedule for the first few weeks of a new semester.

    After a while, you’ll figure out which classes may need more study time and which wouldn’t require much, if at all, study time. Make adjustments then.

    *take notice that I didn’t put any study time on the weekends or after dinner during the week. If you can help it, I recommend doing that. However some weeks will be harder than others. That’s why I try to keep my weekends open for overflow study time.

    time block 5
    time block 6

    4. Schedule time for morning and evening routines (pink)

    Your morning and evening routines don’t have to be that long.

    Just schedule some time for you to slowly wake up and get mentally ready for the day; and also some time to wind down before bed.

    *My next two blog posts are about setting up a college morning and evening routine for a successful semester. Check them out for help in making a routine just for you.

    morning routine added
    evening routine added

    5. Schedule some self-care time! (yellow)

    This one is important!

    You can’t just keep going and going and going all week. You’ll get run down really fast, I promise you.

    If you don’t have that much time left, just plug in a 30-minute block at the end of each day to do whatever you want or feel like doing. I call it “Me Time”!

    Self-care doesn’t have to be a bubble bath or spa day. You could read a book, watch an episode of your favorite show, or take a walk in the fresh air.

    Just find something you enjoy to take your mind off of school. You can even make self-care apart of your evening routine.

    Check out my other self-care related blog posts for more.

    me time added

    Review and revise your schedule in a few weeks

    After the first 2-3 weeks of the semester are over, take some time to review your schedule and make sure everything is still working for you.

    Maybe you need more time for a meal, or your commuting time is off.

    Whatever it is, fix it.

    I review my schedule every few weeks throughout the semester, too. This keeps me accountable for sticking to my schedule.

    Things I didn’t mention:

    Snack Time

    Sometimes you can’t make it from meal to meal without getting hungry.

    Keep some healthy snacks in your bag to munch on while you’re studying or in between classes.

    Make sure the snacks will refuel you and not bog you down. Try some granola bars, peanuts, or pretzels.

    Study Breaks:

    Make sure you take breaks during your longer study periods. I like to do 5-minute breaks for every 25 minutes of studying.

    Get up away from your desk for those 5 minutes and stop staring at the books and laptop.

    Do some stretches, grab a snack, and have a quick dance party to keep that blood flowing

    Buffer Time:

    You probably noticed there are 15-30 minute blank spots throughout the calendar. I call that buffer time.

    Sometimes you stay a little after class to chat with friends or ask your professor a question. Or maybe you just really need a break from school and want to call your mom quick.

    Make sure you aren’t scheduling back-to-back blocks all day every day. It’ll be harder to stick to the schedule if you do that.

    Final Thoughts

    Try to set up this time blocked college schedule either before the semester starts, or during syllabus week, or during the weekend after syllabus week.

    It may take a little bit to set up but it will save you so much time later on. You won’t waste time trying to figure out when to eat or what you should study at a given time.

    This is the best tip I can give any college student when they say they are struggling with time management.

    I hope this helps you have a successful semester as much as it has helped me.

    Stay strong and study hard! You’ve got this!

    how to time block your college schedule