How do the most productive people become so productive?
While there’s obviously more than one variable to their success, time blocking is a common habit among high performers.
But what exactly is time blocking? And how does it help you become more productive?
Let’s break down what time blocking is, why it’s important, and how you can start this method today.
Time blocking is a time management system of breaking down your day into smaller blocks of time.
During that time, you’re focused on one specific task, or a group of similar tasks.
Unlike a to-do list, time blocking not only tells you what to do but when to do it.
For example, I usually block my mornings off from 6-8 am to prep for work. This is when I get all my lesson plans and other school-related tasks done.
I also schedule exercise around 5 pm during the week, but what I do within that time is called time boxing.
Here's my schedule for the week (see below).
I use a combination of Google Calendar and my notebook.
This is mostly set in stone but will change from time to time based on holidays, vacations, or other random life occurrences.
If you're wondering what my free time is, it's time I spend doing anything I want such as walking my dog, eating, reading, making music, meditating, working, etc. there's really no limit to what I can do, but it's meant to be a recharge period in my schedule.
Time boxing is scheduling tasks at certain times, but it’s within a time block.
For example, I might be working out from 5-7 pm, but if we break that down into smaller time boxes, it would look like this:
5:00-5:20 Drive to gym
5:20-5:40 Dynamic warmups
6:40-7:00 Drive home
You can use this strategy to better manage your attention and focus.
As Parkinson’s Law states, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” so time blocking is a great way to take back control of your calendar and intentionally schedule work.
Time blocking is particularly useful if:
As you get started with time blocking, think of each block as an uninterrupted chunk of work where you can tackle critical projects and get into deep work.
Time blocking is important because it can help you take control of your life, time, and agenda.
It requires dedicated time to schedule and prioritize tasks.
It also helps you focus and concentrate for longer periods of time.
In a world where everybody thinks they can multitask, the true power of productivity comes from the ability to single-task and focus on one thing at a time.
It takes a while to develop a positive habit of staying focused on one thing at a time, but over time you will get better at it and build that muscle stronger. I’m still learning and practicing myself, and I will continue to do my best to develop my skills even more.
There are both short-term and long-term benefits. Such as, tasks will be completed faster and with more attention to detail, or time blocking will help you develop a greater understanding of just how long completing certain tasks actually takes.
Instead of dividing your attention among many tasks at once, that’s draining you of energy, you can stay focused on one important task at a time, and dive deeper into it.
Other time blocking benefits include:
Not everyone is a fan of time blocking. There are times when it’s just not practical and not everyone has the flexibility to block out their schedule this way (although it’s still possible for everyone because it’s a simple concept).
If anything in the list below sounds familiar, time blocking may be a good way to take back control of your schedule:
Let’s face it, we’re busy.
We all have a million things going on, but the better you can manage your calendar, the better you can manage your life.
Time blocking is a great strategy and solution for you if you’re looking for greater control, creativity, and peace of mind.
If you're having trouble managing what matters most in life or work, I can help.
Book a free strategy session to get the clarity and confidence you need to take your productivity to the next level.