Save Time and Reduce Daily Stress with Block Scheduling
As a working homeschool mom, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the millions of tasks that have to be done every day. It’s also very tempting to multitask and to try and do all the things all the time. If this is you, then block scheduling could work for you!
What Exactly is Block Scheduling?
If you\’ve been a working mom who also homeschools for a while, you’ll probably have noticed that trying to do it all is not sustainable or effective. Yip, guilty as charged! I’ve been there! But I’m here to tell you that there’s a better way to manage your time so that you can be a happy and thriving working homeschool mom!
I have spoken to many working homeschool moms on the podcast who make balancing working and homeschool look manageable. I’m not going to say ‘easy’ because it can still be a challenge sometime and in certain seasons.
But what comes up time and time again, especially with the really experienced homeschoolers, is block scheduling. If you’re not familiar with this, then I hope that this post will give you some insight into what it is and how it can save you time and stress.
So as its name suggest, block scheduling is allocating blocks of time to certain activities throughout your day. This means that you have a set daily time within which to perform certain tasks like work, homeschooling or cleaning, Simple as that! So why is it so effective?
Why Block Scheduling Works
It sounds so simple and will probably also sound familiar. If you went to public school, you probably had a block schedule timetable. So you would do English from 8 to 9 and then Geography from 9 to 10, for example.
If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I’m not a big fan of rigid schedules and inflexibility. So even though this idea is prevalent in lots of public schools, it can work really well for homeschool. And for productive and effective work time too!
Block scheduling is effective because of a number of reasons.
- You group all the same types of activities together, which is know to be more effective than jumping from one type of task to another. Multitasking is actually really bad for us!
- Even though you are giving your day structure, you’re not being rigid and inflexible. You can do whatever you need to within your block of time. You can prioritize one thing over another, depending on deadlines and tasks. I like to prioritize 5 or so things a day so that it doesn’t become too overwhelming. Then I add those into their block of time.
- In terms of homeschooling, if you’ve blocked off a time for your kids, then you can be present for them. This makes the time together so much more valuable…better than if you were sitting on your phone checking emails. It’s also a good way to teach your kids to respect your work time.
- The same goes for work. If you have two hours to do the work you need to, then you know that you will have this time uninterrupted. It does take some getting used to, but once you’ve broken the multitasking habit, you’ll see how much you can actually get done in a much shorter time!
- Block scheduling is such a time saver because you don’t spend those precious minutes between tasks getting set up or going somewhere else. All the breaks and disruptions add up quicker than you think and eliminating them saves lots of time and stress.
- You also save stress because it’s easy to schedule things or to let people know when you’re available during the day. You could block off some time for appointments or socializing. And the same goes for working out. If you’ve blocked the time, then you’re more likely to work out. And we all know that working out is a fantastic stress buster!
How to Get Started with Block Scheduling
I would suggest first doing a simple time audit before you start with block scheduling. You can see exactly what you spend your time on, and how much time you spend on things that don’t serve you. You can then write a list of things you want to and have to do every day.
Once you have this list, you can group similar tasks together. This really helps so much with those transition periods that can really befuddle the brain and also waste time!
You could also spend some time seeing which times you are most awake, so that you can schedule in more brain-heavy activities here. The same goes for your kids and when they are most receptive to learning.
Next you need to use a planner or online calendar to create your schedule. Once you can see the blocks in front of you, you will also be able to tweak and make changes.
Making the Most of a Block Schedule
- It might take some time to get used to this type of working. Give it some time if it feels difficult in the beginning because I’m a firm believer that it could work for most people! It takes time to come to terms with change!
- Schedule in some time for things you usually don’t get to. A block schedule is a good way to spend a few hours a week cleaning those neglected parts of the house or doing that annoying paperwork.
- Don’t be married to your schedule but rather be open to changes and adjustments. You’ll find that as your children grow up, they might need less time from you. Or they might want to learn at a different time than before. I like to regroup every few months to see if things are still working. This working homeschool mom life is a journey, at the end of the day!
If you’re struggling with a crazy schedule, I hope this post has given you some ideas for managing time (and stress) more effectively. If you start using block scheduling, I would love to know how it works out for you! Drop me a DM on Instagram and let me know!