Create A Realistic Schedule With Colour Blocks
There are dozens of different time management apps and countless ways to slice and dice your tasks into manageable chunks. But one thing I truly believe in, you’ll always get more done if you incorporate your tasks into your calendar for the upcoming week.
The purpose of this article is to show you a strategy to help figure out your actual capacity to take on something new. With this, you will better understand your available time to perform certain tasks while also seeing the opportunity cost of your tasks should they conflict with daily life.
Let say, for example, you want to increase your social media presence by writing various posts online, produce photos to go with your posts and create YouTube videos and Podcasts. These tasks can easily become a full-time job if you let them, so it’s important to be realistic about your time in relation to the rest of your life. Let's move forward with this simple strategy to see how and where you have time to become a social media guru!
Create High-Level Tasks
The first part of the strategy is to create a high-level set of tasks you will do in order to accomplish your goal. You will also determine the amount of time you want to spend on each task per week:
Create Your Calendar Colour Blocks
In creating your calendar colour blocks, you want to think of your schedule during the week and when, for any average week, would be the best time to write, work on your computer, and create your recordings. Below is a calendar example of inserting these potential blocks of time. To explain, you may be able to write on your phone while taking the train or bus to work. You may be able to carve out computer time over lunch hour and a few spots during the week. Perhaps finding quiet recording time is difficult to find, so there’s less possible time spots for that. Click on the picture to enlarge it.
Combine Your Calendars To Assess
Now that you’ve entered your desired time on the calendar, the next step in the strategy is to compare against your real life calendar:
Let’s take the table from above and compare how much time you really have to work on social media:
After looking closely at the schedule, it looks like you are going to have less computer and recording time than you thought, and overall 2.5 hours less than desired. Will you still be able to accomplish the goal you’ve set out for yourself? If not, you can attempt to juggle your weekly tasks based on the priority and opportunity cost of your schedule.
It’s important to use formal methods like this if you need to see your schedule on a calendar. If you don’t require a visual layout, simply check your phone on Sunday to assess your upcoming week. When you set realistic expectations for yourself and of yourself, you’ll be less likely to blame yourself at the end of your week for not accomplishing an unrealistic goal. Set yourself up for success and have passion for your future self!