Stephanie Powell

Stephanie Powell

Word nerd, tea enthusiast and owner of By The Way Creative.


As the ‘Creative’ in your family or friendship group, you’re probably known for being a little… how do I say this… well, scatty! 

You’re not alone! Creatives, artists, writers etc. all find it difficult to be tethered down. Sometimes this can make it especially hard to see tasks through to the end or smash long-term goals. You can’t force yourself into tasks when it doesn’t feel natural – but you can trick your brain into focusing, enjoying tasks and seeking constant completion. BOOM… can you smell the productivity?

This, ladies and gentlemen, is my ultimate life hack. I have 121 things going through my brain at any one moment and, if I’m not enjoying a task, I can be easily distracted from it. This single, life-changing tip has enabled me to almost double my productivity, gain clarity and (crucially) relax.

What on earth is Schedule Blocking?

First things first, you need a diary with hours in. For example, Passion Planner, Moleskin and The Happiness Planner are all popular options. I have a Passion Planner (my second one) and I love it.

Every night, before I go to sleep, I write a to-do list. It helps me sleep knowing that as soon as I get up, I’m going to be told exactly what I need to do. When I wake up, I grab that to-do list and start adding it into my diary.

Start by looking at the tasks you need to complete and pick the worst one first. Draw a box to signify that time you’ll take to complete that task (i.e from 9am-10.30am). Write the task in the box and move on to the next one. Before you know it, your whole day will be scheduled.

BONUS: Buy some nice pens and colour code those tasks (i.e red for working out, yellow for accounts, green for blogging etc etc.)

Schedule your breaks!

I like to leave a half hour slot in the morning, a half hour lunch slot and a half hour afternoon slot. This allows for any overflow, gives me time to stretch, put a few washes on… you know the drill.

Include phone calls and personal tasks in the schedule too – this will put a cap on potential procrastination type activities.

How does it work?

By giving yourself alloted time slots in which to complete things, you’ll find that your brain is constantly pushing to reach the bar. Once you’ve smashed the first couple of tasks, you can’t stop! It’s like trying to beat the Sat-Navs estimated ETA… you want to get there sooner.

Without really realising it, you’ve tricked yourself into being super productive. 

I couldn’t live without schedule blocking now. It helps me to formulate my day and ensures that I attribute time to working on my business, as well as in it.

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