A Guide to Time Blocking
Time blocking is a time management method to help you organise not only your work day but your home, family and even social life into specific blocks of time to boost your productivity and manage your schedule & to-do list tasks.
Before you start time blocking your life, identify what your priorities and responsibilities are. Block those times in and work around them for eg. at work do you have certain deadlines or meetings to attend, at home do you want to prioritise a morning routine or family time.
Understanding what you want to get done and what NEEDS to get done is also important. Breaking bigger tasks into smaller ones and also working on your big or challenging tasks when you know your productivity is at its highest. If it takes an hour or two for you to get into a flow when you start your day then timeblock the first 2 hours for admin tasks for e.g. before moving on to tackle one of your MIT’s (Most Important Tasks).
Time blocking is a visual tool, grab your diary or notebook or open your digital calendar and section out your day in time blocks - alongside your to-do list, you’ll start each day with a concrete schedule that lays out what you’ll work on and when. Each block is dedicated to completing a specific task, with the intention that you focus on only that task during that time to get it completed without getting distracted. Although multi-tasking can have its benefits, you're more productive when single-tasking compared to splitting your attention across multiple tasks.
Depending how you like to work, another great way to set out your time blocking is with dedicated days ie. one full day of strategy, design or study - you can then break up the day into smaller tasks dedicated to achieving the larger responsibility. This allows you to focus on this one overarching area for one solid day which works really well for some people.
Some tips for time blocking
- Set alarms or reminders on your phone. Our founder Beck is a big user of this method, setting reminders 15 - 30 mins before the next time block starts to gives you time to wrap up and be ready to move onto the next task.
- Include time blocks for your admin tasks like responding to calls, messages and emails. You’ll be less likely to check your inbox when you know you have scheduled in time to do so later.
- Allow a time buffer, it’s near impossible to calculate exactly how long a task will take. Overestimating your time will better allow for you to complete the task with time to reset before moving onto the next.
- Schedule in breaks and down time, this is just as important as your productive time - whether it be as simple as a coffee or lunch break, morning journaling or screen free time in the evening with loved ones.
- Review & reassess as needed. Be self aware and honest when things need tweaking and adjust your time blocks for a more productive following week.