Learn how to use time blocking to manage your day with Time Blocking 101. You will learn how to increase your productivity and get the most from your day. There is also a sample time blocking schedule in this post, to help you get started with time blocking.
The Purpose of Time Blocking
Do you feel like your tasks are not being prioritized in a way that they can be completed? Are you making to-do lists and your tasks still aren’t done? There is a solution for you! In this post you will learn all about time blocking and what it can do to dramatically improve your plan for each day.
Time blocking is a time management technique that helps you schedule and organize your day into specific time slots for specific tasks. The purpose of time blocking is to help you know and complete exactly what you need to do during a specific time frame. As a result, you will be productive, organized and save time.
Why Time Block?
Why would you want to use time blocking? The method of time blocking or day blocking is more effective than a simple to-do list because you are managing your time. You are giving the task or activity a specific time to be completed within. By giving the task a time-frame to be completed in, you increase your chances of completing that task. Blocking out your time can be used in your professional or personal life to get activities and tasks done. I highly recommend time blocking for getting tasks done.
Another benefit to time blocking is not multi-tasking. If you try to do too many tasks at once, you can lose track easily. By using time blocking, you give your total time and attention to a specific task that is needing to be completed.
Time Blocking 101
Step 1: Plan
Before you plan your time blocks you will need to make a list of what you are wanting to accomplish. Be specific when writing down everything you need to accomplish. You can use a note taking app, if you prefer. My suggestion is to look at a week or a month at a time. Only write down those tasks that can be accomplished during that time-frame. For example, I normally look at the month as a whole and make a reasonable list to start. Then, I break it down into weekly and daily tasks.
Step 2: Prioritize
After you have your list ready to go, it’s time to prioritize your tasks. I suggest putting the most important task first. Prioritizing the list in order of importance is crucial. Why? Because it’s best to accomplish the most important tasks before less important tasks.
When you prioritize your most important tasks first, you ensure that they will get done prior to your less important tasks.
Step 3: Schedule
Now that you have prioritized your list, it’s time to schedule the items on your list. By doing this, you are assigning a time commitment to the task. Do what works for you. For example, I do all of my time blocking in the afternoon for the next day. Why do I do it in the afternoon? Because, at that time I know what I want to accomplish for the next day. This might or might not work for you. Find what works for you.
The sample schedule below is an example of blocking your professional tasks. You can also time block your personal tasks.
Here is a sample daily schedule to give you an idea:
• 6:00 a.m. – 6:30 a.m.: Morning ritual
• 6:30 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.: Breakfast
• 7:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.: Check email
• 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.: Commute to work
• 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Project work
• 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: Break
• 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Project Work
• 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Lunch
• 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Meetings/Planning
• 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Break
• 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Wrap up tasks, meetings
• 5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Commute home
• 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.: Dinner
• 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.: Spend time with family
• 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: Night ritual
Step 4: Take a Break
The schedule above is not meant to intimidate you. Give yourself time to adjust to time blocking. Also, give yourself breaks throughout the day, as needed. I don’t know anyone that can produce all day long with no breaks. Do you? That’s why it’s very important to take breaks so that you can recharge yourself for the other tasks you are wanting to accomplish. You can do this!
Step 5: Revisit
Unexpected events and obligations are well known for creeping into our schedules. When you aren’t able to get a task done, revisit it and reschedule it.
When you implement time blocking into your day you can focus one one task at at time. My process and examples in this post show you how to get the desired results you are wanting.
Don’t expect miracles overnight! Take time blocking one step at a time and you will be a pro over time.
Check out these planning blog posts for more planning inspiration.