How To Use Time Blocking To Ease Family Stress

Do you ever feel so overwhelmed by the things you need to do, that you don’t have time for what you want to do with your life?

We have enough to keep track of!

Then add to that your partner’s schedule, kids activities, and social events.

When do you find time for workouts and grocery shopping if you don’t schedule it?

We’ve all had hectic weeks, but with a bit of planning now you can be protective of your time going forward.

If you want your schedule to feel calm and unhurried, try Time Blocking.

Why Time Blocking will increase your happiness and Ease Family Stress

Using an organized family calendar helps prepare you for the week.

Use Time Blocking to schedule chunks of time to focus on your most important activities.

Take some time to think about what values are important to your family.

Is it stressful deciding what to eat for dinner each night? Then you can create blocks of time for grocery shopping and meal prep.

Time Blocking healthy activities into your week makes you far more likely to do them.

As an added bonus, Time Blocking makes it easier to say no to things you don’t want to do.

For many productive people, a morning routine is key to starting the day off right.

You could brew your coffee, do some joint-to-joint mobility, and then write in a journal.

Think about what your ideal morning routine would have, and block that time in your calendar.

You may need to get up earlier than usual to get uninterrupted time, but it means you will start your day with a win.

Here’s an example of what your weekly Time Blocking schedule might look like:

Time Blocking fills your schedule with what you want and need to do… and crowds out the things that aren’t a priority right now.

In this schedule you can see many elements of a Life By Design:

Power By Design: a weekly chiropractic check-up

Think By Design: a morning routine, planning time, reading, weekly review, clarifying values

Eat By Design: eating healthy, grocery shopping, family meal prep

Move By Design: morning mobility, walking during phone calls, swimming, Crossfit, family activities

categorizing your time blocks

Your Time Blocking activities will typically fall into one of three categories: FOCUS time, BUFFER time, and FREE time.

Focus time = time you’re working at making a living. If you typically work the same hours every week, this makes scheduling pretty easy. If your workday varies, you will need to enter your hours manually.

Buffer time = everything that supports your ability to make a living. Errands and cleaning would fall into this category.

Free time = this is for relaxation, gym, yoga, playing with the kids, riding bikes, and getting ice cream.

Try to keep your different categories of Time Blocking protected so they don’t bleed into each other… THIS IS WHERE THE MAGIC LIES.

In order for Time Blocking to be truly effective in increasing your happiness and easing your stress… you must protect the time you have scheduled.

This requires you to be insanely productive during your Focus time, performing the necessary tasks during your Buffer time and unapologetically enjoying your FREE TIME!

You can enjoy guilt-free Free Time because you know that your Focus and Buffer times are scheduled later.

Set Up Your Time Blocking Calendar

Creating a shared family calendar online using Time Blocking is a great way to see how you are spending your time, and how that time reflects your family values.

  • Create a shared calendar, like Google’s free online GCal
  • Build your ideal week using Time Blocking
  • Select “Repeat…” to choose the frequency of each block
  • Add in special blocks for less frequent events like dentist appointments and birthday parties
  • Move the blocks around to fit your week

At the end of the week review how your first week of Time Blocking went, and make some adjustments.

Did you need more time for errands, but less time for meal prep than you thought?

Colour-coding can be used to group similar items, like green for food-related activities.

You could also use colour-coding for locations, or for members of the family.

Try it out, and tweak your calendar to find what works to keep your family organized!


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Dr Brian Lanoue is a Life By Design Chiropractor, blogger and speaker on achieving extraordinary health. It is Brian’s passion and mission to empower you, your family and your community to live extraordinary lives. Brian co-owns The Powerhouse Chiropractic in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada with his partner Thea.