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What is TIME BLOCKING? 3 Easy Steps to Get More Done While Focusing on Your Priorities

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What is time blocking? I’m not only going to show you what it is, but why it is probably the most important strategy for you to get shizzy done and still have time for a life outside of your work.

In this video, I am going to be answering the question; what the heck is time blocking?

And why is Tara so obsessed with it?

(Spoiler alert, it’s probably because it’s the number one tool that I’ve helped hundreds of entrepreneurs use to get their biggest projects and goals done and also get back to having a life.)

You can watch me teach all about time blocking, or simply read through this post!

What is TIME BLOCKING? 3 Easy Steps to Get More Done While Focusing on Your Priorities Click To Tweet

But be sure to read to the very end because I’m going to share a few places that I see people getting stuck when it comes to this, as well as some mindsets or some perspectives that are really going to help you to get the most out of this strategy and out of your time.


So in order for you to really understand the concept of time blocking, I’m first going to tell you a little story.

So gather around, children.

This is going to be a good one and it’s going to stick with you.

One day a professor came into his class carrying a giant box.

And in that box were several jars, a whole assortment of rocks, sand, and water.

On the desk, he placed an empty jar. He took out several big rocks about the size of his fist and he put them inside the jar.

And he asked the room, “Is this full?”

And of course, they were like, “Yeah. Duh.”

Because that’s what you say when you’re 18.

Next, he took out a jar of smaller rocks like little tiny pebbles and he poured them in the jar of big rocks and he shook it around a little bit. And magically, they all slipped in the cracks and crevices.

And then he was like, “What about now? Is it full now?”

And they were like, “Yeah, okay. It’s full now.”

So then he took out a jar of sand and he did the same thing.

And then they were like, “We’re on to you, buddy. What do you got next for us?

So he took out a jar of water and he poured that in too.


The big rocks are the things that matter most; your health, your family, and your big goals and dreams in life. 

Those small pebbles, those are important too. Those are things like your hobbies, your friends, and maybe your work.

The sand is the small tasks that need to be done. Like your errands or your chores.

And the water is everything else that sucks your time dry – like binge-watching Netflix maybe or scrolling through social media?

“Can you see what would’ve happened if I had started with the sand or the water?”

This is exactly what most people do.

They spend their time on the little things and then wonder why they don’t have time for the big stuff.

And then 10 or 20 years go by and they wonder what the h*ll happened to their life.

Full jars

Time blocking is a way to get a handle on this right now.

It’s a way to make sure that your goals, your priorities, your big dreams, the most important big rocks in your life are getting handled, are getting nurtured on a day to day basis instead of neglected.


Time blocking is a way to structure your days and your weeks – the actual hours on your calendar – in order to prioritize those big rocks first and then everything else second.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are spending more time on your big rocks than you are all the other things in your life.

It just means that the time you are spending is enough.

Everything in your life is getting the time that it needs because you’ve really prioritized how you’re spending your days.

By time blocking, this means that you’re actually blocking out chunks of time on your calendar – whether you’re doing that digital or old school doesn’t matter – and then, you’re actually using that calendar on a day to day basis to dictate what you’re doing.

So let me give you an example of what time blocking actually looks like in practice.

(Watch the video for a visual example of this!)

Empty calendar
Full calendar

Your first step is to always identify your big rocks first.

This should always include your health and wellbeing, your family or significant other, and your big goals and dreams. These are the things that are the most likely to be neglected or to be pushed to the back burner or to be taken for granted.

So let’s say for you that that looks like exercising and eating well, spending quality time with your family, and let’s say writing that book.


Step two is to block those things into your calendar first before anything else.

And that means before appointments or any other tasks, and definitely before you let yourself get on Facebook.

So looking at this list, you can see that probably you need to find four or five times a week where you can do 30 minutes of yoga or 60 minutes once a week to meal plan so that you’re not eating out. Or maybe a few hours each week for quality time with your family.

And then maybe you decide to sit down and you’re going to write for three hours at a time. So you schedule that in once or twice a week depending on the week.


After you’ve scheduled those big rocks, your next step is to fill in everything else.

All the other tasks, errands, or chores that need to be done;  just fill it in and make sure it all fits and that you’re looking at your week in a very realistic way.

Doing your own weekly plan in this way through these steps ensures that you are creating time every single week to nurture the things that are going to matter. Not next week or next month, but 10 years from now. Those are the things that are so easy to be ignored or to be taken for granted. And that’s not what I want you to be doing.

Now let’s talk about where you might get stuck and the mindset that you need to adopt to really make this work for you.


Many people get stuck by not protecting their priorities.

If you had a plane to catch, you wouldn’t cancel that flight because a client or a customer asked to schedule with you during that time.

You would tell them, “I’m sorry. I’m not available here. But here’s where I am available.”

And yet, we do this exact same thing all the time with the appointments that we make with ourselves and with the most important people in our lives.




That habit is coming from a scarcity mindset telling you that you’re going to miss out on something more important than you or the people that you love.

That doesn’t make any sense, does it?

No, it doesn’t. So we’re going to just stop that right now.

I want you to remind yourself that you and the people that you love are the most important things and when those things are nurtured and healthy, everything else will take care of itself.

You and the people that you love are the most important things and when those things are nurtured and healthy, everything else will take care of itself. Click To Tweet

The second way that people get stuck is by thinking that they won’t have time for everything.

Look, I get it. I totally get it. I have been there.

But it is simply just not true.

What I want to encourage you to do is just test this out for yourself.

What you’re going to find is the same thing that all of my clients have found: that I have found is that the small stuff, the sand, and the water and the pebbles, they have a way of fitting in around the big stuff.

So don’t worry about it. Give this is a try, see how it goes. You will be surprised.


The third place people get stuck is really just that they quit too soon.

They’re not giving themselves enough time to really learn and master how to implement these strategies.

Time blocking, though, is not a one and done process.

It’s really important that you stick with this; that you learn how to fine tune and figure out exactly what’s going to work for you by experiencing the challenges that are going to come up in the first few weeks or even months of doing this.

With every challenge that comes up, it’s going to help you to fine tune your process and get better and better and better at time blocking it. So the mindset to adopt here is,

“I am resilient, persistent, and consistent in prioritizing the things that truly matter to myself, and to the people that I love.”

I would also recommend that you start telling yourself over and over again,

“I can do hard things. Duh. I do hard things all the time.” #thatswhatshesaid


To really help you solve that last one, I’m going to have another blog and video for you next week on my 7 best strategies for time blocking that are going to really help you to master this super, super fast.

It’s also going to come with a little workbook or guidebook to help you to do this even better. Click here to learn 7 strategies for time blocking or grab it by clicking the button below.


Do you already time block? And if so, to what degree?

Or if you are looking to start time blocking, what are the big rocks that you are excited/scared to start prioritizing in your week right now? What are you hoping to start getting done in your life and in your business?

Leave you answers and any questions you have on time blocking in the comments below.


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*This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclaimer here.


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Tara Wagner

I’m Tara Wagner, creator of the Breakthrough Boss®. I help small biz owners overcome burnout and create part-time schedules with full-time profits. Not with some new marketing strategy, but with a holistic approach to how you operate.
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How To Upgrade Your Business
So It Doesn't Burn You Out

(3 Mistakes to Correct Right Now)

How to Upgrade Your Business So It Doesn't Burn You Out (3 Mistakes to Correct Right Now)

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