How to be more Productive with Time Blocking And Time Management Technique
Everyone today seems to have a recipe for a successful, deadline-crushing workday. Normally, these include specific daily routines, practices, and countless apps. However, sometimes the simplest techniques can take us the farthest. Specifically, time blocking can turn you into a productivity master.
What is time blocking?
Time-blocking is a time management technique where you define the amount of time needed to finish a specific task or activity and then schedule it into your calendar.
This way of organizing your schedule is widely acknowledged and praised by some of the most successful people across all industry spheres.
What makes time blocking so effective?
“Whether you decide to use a time blocking app, write in a calendar, or use a planner, its main advantage is the self-discipline it imposes. When you have a time constraint such as:”
10:30 AM – 11:00 AM: Reply to email.
You know that there’s half an hour for that particular task. No more, no less. If you happen to finish sooner, great! That’s buffer time you can spend making coffee, checking messages, or prepping for the next task. Time blocking makes a great framework that you have to adapt to, leaving little room for slacking. In a way, it becomes a rigorous master of your time that actually turns you into a productivity powerhouse.
“How to Employ Time Blocking”
This time management technique follows three straightforward steps:
Write out all of your tasks for the day, week, month, etc.
Sort your tasks within the schedule or a template, assigning times along the way.
Work on your tasks within the time block, aiming to complete them before the next one starts.
And that’s the beauty of time blocking. Not only is it easy to pick up, but it’s also forgiving for those trying it out for the first time, and a formula for absolute success in the hands of professionals.
Luckily for us, time blocking isn’t just a glorified time tracker in your schedule. No two time blocking variants are identical. The one used by a lifestyle blogger will differ vastly from a journalist, even though they’re in the same industry. Some people use bulleted lists, others employ their online calendars, while another group prefers a colorful time blocking app.
With a few tweaks here and there, the schedule can be turned into a personalized guide to your every workday.
Steps for Starting Time Blocking
Here are some starting tips if you want to try time blocking:
Spend time in the planning stage.
“Have themed days.”
Reserve empty time slots.
Use apps for greater efficiency.
1. Spend time in the planning stage.
To make the most of time blocking, you’ll have to spend some time getting used to the technique. If it takes half an hour the night before to plan out your schedule for the next day, so be it. Get your finger on the pulse of the workday and try to make time estimates.
With that being said, you’ll want to avoid the so-called “optimism bias,” a situation in which you underestimate how long it will take you to finish tasks or overestimate your skills. It will almost certainly kill your motivation and throw off the schedule. This results in the infamous “planning fallacy,” which you can recover from by simply refining your time blocks with each new day.
2. Have themed days.
Another good variation of the time-blocking schedule is themed days. Some people with multiple roles in a business have found it easier to create schedules around a specific aspect of the job or a project.
For example, on Mondays, they’ll focus on emails, client and shareholder meetings, calls, and tracking overall project performance. On Tuesdays, their schedule might revolve around the QA department, solving issues with customer service, and so on.
So, if you have the kind of job that allows you to devote an entire day (or just the morning or afternoon) to one particular aspect of it, consider doing that. It could help you focus better and ultimately get more done if all of the assignments are within the same spectrum.
3. Reserve empty time slots.
Most of the time, keeping a few empty time blocks within the day is a godsend.
When has a day at work gone exactly the way anyone planned? Issues and unplanned tasks will crop up, and with a jam-packed schedule, you’ll have to cut something out to accommodate an urgent matter.
That is why you’ll want to leave a time block or two per morning and afternoon. Being able to easily switch between assignments keeps you more adaptable and prepared for unexpected situations.
4. Use apps for greater efficiency.
You’ll be wondering how you managed your days before them.
Clockify is a time tracker and time-blocking app that integrates perfectly with many other productivity tools. Once you make a time block within the calendar, you’re able to start the timer from the browser and let it do its work. The moment you’re done, just stop the timer and voila – task finished!
The bonus with this app is that it enables you to track how the time blocking is going through weekly reports on the tasks you did and the time spent on them. This can help with perfecting your planning skills for the future and avoiding the planning fallacy.
Google Calendar is a well-known app of choice for millions of users worldwide. Its layout is straightforward, easy on the eyes, and very customizable. With a few clicks, you can note down any task, set a time block, and color-code it to your liking. You can set it to a daily, monthly, or weekly view, add tasks, reservations, and events directly from Gmail, as well as add personalized goals (e.g., write five reviews this week).
There is so much to be said about time blocking. It is not only an invaluable time management technique but also an important tool for learning self-discipline and becoming more productive. With a three-step formula – writing out tasks, setting time blocks for them, and filling out your schedule – it can do wonders for anyone’s workday. Through a medium of your choice, and with the help of apps, you can quickly become a task-solving machine without even realizing it.
How it works