Business Owners - How to grow your business with time blocking

How time blocking and daily rituals can you grow your business

We all know that without sales our business will rapidly die. As a business owner, our attention is pulled in multiple directions and our focus is weakened by a multitude of distractions. This undermines our business building efforts.

The solution to this is time blocking.

What is time blocking?

Simply put: blocking-off calendar time and undisturbed space to make room for focused business building activity.

Slightly woo-woo idea: Your ability to focus is the engine of intention.

What is business building activity?

A fancy name for sales and marketing activities.

Why does time blocking work?

  • Business building activity requires time and focus. 
  • Distractions are the enemy of focus. 
  • Time blocking removes distractions.

To super-charge time blocking, you need a practical strategy.

✔ Decide how much daily time you want to give to business building activity. This must be a non-negotiable daily target. This is your 100% which you must reach every day. You need to protect this time from all distractions.

✔ Define 2 or 3 business building activities that you will do each day.

✔ Every day, work on one activity at a time.

✔ Record the time spent and make notes about you activity.

✔ Keep working until you reach the daily time.

✔ Review weekly, preferably with an accountability partner.

✔ After 30 working days, think about your business building activity. Do you need to try something else? Or adapt your approach?

"Doing it is doing it"

It takes discipline to set aside time every day to focus on business building activity. It's easy to get distracted or too busy. Outbound marketing and sales activity can be tough, inbound can take a lot of time (e.g. creating content).

If you are finding it difficult to consistently do this daily, say the following quote from Jim Rohn to yourself:

"Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practised very day."

Tips on Killing Distractions

  • Do all you can to preserve your focus. Again: Your ability to focus is the engine of your intention.
  • Research has indicated that interruptions cause stress, when they are outside of the context of the thing you are working on.
  • Do not squander your focus – it will cost you time and eventually undermine all your efforts. 
  • Your focus will be greatly undermined by distractions. They will drain your mental energy and waste valuable time that could be spent on business building activity. Therefore, if you want to change your situation you must eliminate distractions. 
  • At first, try to eliminate distractions during your 60 minutes focussed time. Eventually and as soon as possible, eliminate those distractions from the whole working day.


✔ You own your phone

✔ You own your social media accounts

✔ You own your email

✔ They do not own you.

✔ Here are some ideas:

Social Media

Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, forums – unless it is specifically for looking for clients or other opportunities, avoid them. 

When using Social Media for non-work activity, limit yourself to a maximum amount of time per day, e.g. 20 minutes.

During work hours do not get engaged in discussions, chatting, reacting, commenting, liking or posting photos or any other activities that are not specifically about developing your business in some way. 

Especially avoid engaging in anything that burns emotional energy, such as debates around religion and politics. You, as a business builder, cannot afford the mental cost of this sort of activity.


You can waste as much as a third of your day on email.

The choice is simple: Either keep your email software open all day OR do focused work that will help you grow your business.


Have a set time or times when you read and respond to email. Do not open your email software outside of these times.

Spend time un-subscribing from email lists. Judge your email from lists like this:

If you rarely read their email, or

If the email content is not absolutely core to your current central focus

Unsubscribe from it.

You absolutely cannot afford to waste the time or mental energy dealing with non-essential email. 

Added benefit: When you go through an unsubscribe exercise you tend to feel relief.


Have your email software open all the time. 

When you read email, do not click links e.g. to open sales pages, video etc. You will be taken on a magical mystery tour into someone else’s world – none of us have time for that.

Your Phone

Simply put your phone on silent when you want to do focused work.

Turn-off notifications

Obviously, this does not apply to you if you use your phone for business building work. However, if you notice that your old pal has sent you a message on WhatsApp, you are going to want to read that message – this will distract you and it will take a surprisingly long time before you are mentally back into the work zone and being effective. 

So, keep your phone off during your focused business building activity.

Software / Courses / Various Shiny Objects

Do not buy software or invest in courses or other services that do not immediately benefit your business. I have found to my cost that this can be a huge waste of time and money.

Do buy books that address specific business needs that contain actionable content (just remember to look for them outside of working hours). If you can learn one actionable thing that helps your business from a book, then it is probably worth the money you paid for it.  

Time Blocking is a Series of Daily Rituals

Proactive's Daily Rituals feature is an easy-to-use time blocking tool. 

We call the daily building building activities 'Rituals'. 

Daily Rituals are simple to create.

They are displayed each day in a simple grid where you can record time and notes. Proactive will record your time for you or you can add the time manually.

Check your progress

In Proactive, progress bars provide feedback on how much time you work (the green bar) and how many of your target activities you do (the yellow bar).

You need to hit 100% every day

Your 100% is the number of hours per day that you dedicate to business building activity. This is your target, your goal. When you reach that number you will know, for this day, that you have done all you can to give your business the best possibly chance of being a success.

How much time?

The specific number of hours depends on your situation. A rule of thumb would be that a minimum of 50% of your time should be spent on business building activity.  

Whatever number of hours you choose - that is your 100%. To give your business the best chance of success, you absolutely must achieve your 100% every day. Time blocking / Daily Rituals will ensure you get there.


Further Information

"Work on one activity at a time" This prevents multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is the myth that we can effectively do more than one thing at a time - the task switching burns mental energy. Single-tasking can improve productivity by as much as 80%.

"Decide how much time per day you want to give to business building activity." As mentioned above, this very much depends on your situation. If your are responsible for generating business in your organisation, a good start would be to allocate 50% of your time on sales activity, according to this YouTube video by Kyle Milan

More info on time blocking here.

I found Cal Newport's book Deep Work really helpful when thinking about Daily Rituals. Newport defines deep work as "Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task."

"Distractions can cause stress" - Discussion and conclusions section in

"You can waste a third of your time on email"

Published: 16/01/2022 | Last updated: 16/01/2022

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