Time blocking is the technique of segmenting and fully optimizing the 24 hours you have on hand efficiently and effectively. We show you how to time block today.
WHAT IS TIME BLOCKING?
Time blocking is a time management technique that divides your day into various time blocks. For instance, completing a single activity or a series of tasks is assigned solely to one block. Each day, you’ll begin with a specific timetable that lays out what and when you will work.
Time blocking is superior to a to-do list as it doesn’t focus on setting up an endless to-do list and attempting to complete them when you get the time. In other words, while a traditional to-do list informs you what you should do, time blocking tells you when you should do it.
HOW DOES A TIME BLOCK WORK?
1. DOCUMENT ALL TASKS AND PRIORITIES
Before you can start time blocking, you must figure out why you’re doing it in the first place. Understand why you’re adopting this productivity strategy, whether it’s to reduce the amount of time you spend on emails, free up more time for deep work, or never leave work on time. Creating all of the things you need to do and knowing your high-level priorities will dictate what makes it onto your daily plan and how you time block your day.
2. ALLOT TIME FOR DEEP WORK
The attractiveness of time blocking for most people is the ability to set aside extended periods for performing a focused activity. These in-depth work sessions where you’re focusing on anything that requires a lot of concentration, such as writing, designing, or creating. These sessions are a few hours long, and you do not need to spend your entire day focusing on that one thing. It’s all about striking a balance instead.
For instance, you are an early riser. Begin each day with an hour of deep work, followed by some basic tasks, before spending time with his family and catching up on work. You can schedule a time to check social media and do physical activity or meditation.
3. INCORPORATE DAY THEMING
Day theme is a type of time blocking but on steroids. You not only group minor chores but additionally build a theme for the entire day. Categorizing your day allots more time to concentrate on more critical aspects of your business.
For example, if you’re an executive, you can spend Mondays dealing with sales and marketing tasks. Then on Tuesdays, you can concentrate on accounting and Wednesdays on paperwork and administrative activities.
Say you are working on a larger project, you might want to set out one day per week to focus solely on project chores. Furthermore, you can set up your regular tasks for another day.
4. BLOCK TIME FOR REACTIVE TASKS
Don’t get carried away with your optimism about how much time you have left. Instead, be realistic and overestimate the time it will take you to finish the activities. Ensure to include blocks for reactive work, such as responding to last-minute emails, texts, DMs, calls, or meeting invitations.
5. BLOCK TIME FOR PERSONAL WORK
You are beyond your business or job. Time blocking isn’t about scheduling work duties; it’s also for scheduling your downtime every day.
Making a time block for personal interests will help you stick to them. Allocate yourself quick pauses for private time, everyday activities, or any other daily tasks you need to get done. For example, you are picking up your kids from school or working out in the early afternoon and scheduling lunch.
FOUR BENEFITS OF TIME BLOCKING
Time blocking works because it is for you to focus on one thing at a time. By planning every hour of your day, you can avoid distractions while increasing your focus.
1. AVOID MULTITASKING
Single-tasking, or focusing on one activity at a time, can increase your productivity by up to 80% compared to multitasking. Plus, if you know you’ll have time later to check emails- you’ll be less likely to have FOMO.
2. IDENTIFY YOUR PRODUCTIVITY PEAK
Everyone works differently. Everyone’s peak productivity timings also vary. You could be the most productive first thing in the morning, or you may get a productivity spike only at noon or at night. By identifying this about yourself, you can schedule your tasks and time block accordingly, which will get you better work results.
3. COUNTERS PERFECTIONISM
Perfectionists despise unclear timelines.There’s always room for things to be adjusted and moved. It might be tough to
determine when an open-ended project is complete, particularly when striving for perfection. You must be able to say, “I have done my best here,” and move on. You can do so by placing time constraints on your tasks with time boxing. Set a hard time limit for completing the activity and stick to it if you tend to procrastinate by attempting to get everything perfect.
4. INCREASES AWARENESS OF TIME SPEND
As people, we have the tendency to overcommit our future selves since we are bad at forecasting how long tasks will take. Time blocking pushes you to address your current priorities and responsibilities, forcing you to become more deliberate about how you use your limited time. You compel yourself to find space on your calendar for each new engagement you accept.
To take on a new engagement, you should compel yourself you check your availability on your calendar. You see the opportunity cost of saying “yes” to projects and responsibilities, and as a result, telling “no” becomes easy.
FOUR FREE TIME BLOCKING APPLICATIONS
- plan a free time-blocking program that works with Google and Outlook.
- Google Calendar: One of the most popular calendar apps is Google Calendar. It’s a tool used worldwide that allows you to time block with great flexibility.
- Asana: You can give each time block (task) a name, a due date, a colour, a category, a priority, and the time it will take to complete.
- Tick tick: It combines the functions of a standard to-do list, checklist, and task scheduler into one application. You can use it to schedule daily duties, appointments, critical tasks, housekeeping, meals, etc.
TIPS FOR THE ADEQUATE TIME BLOCKING
- To begin, make a list of everything you need to complete so that you can see all of your tasks and decide what to prioritize.
- Firstly, schedule time blocking once a week and gradually expand.
- Don’t give up if you don’t complete all of the planned blocks; it’s OK not to complete all chores on schedule!
- Create a buffer time window in your schedule to accommodate unforeseen activities.
- Reflect on your methods to ensure that you focus on the essential tasks and create a flawless schedule.
- Use task batching to combine related operations, such as making phone calls and responding to emails.
- Track your time to understand better distractions and what is robbing you of your time.
Once you manage to time block successfully, you take control throughout your day by working on your essential priorities while saving yourself from falling into the cycle of procrastination.
While finding the time blocking approach that works best for you may take some trial and error, you’ll realize that you’re more productive, successful, and on top of your deadlines. Time blocking enables you to act as a role model to your team. It establishes a strong precedent for the business to see in others.
Getting People Right (GPR) is an educational website providing professionals from all types of businesses with practical education in human resources and leadership. To keep evolving your leadership toolkit, additional GPR resources below will be useful:
Time Management Strategies to Buy You More Time
Self Management: The Secret to Getting Work Done.
11 High-Income Skills You Can Learn Without A College Education