How To Plan Your Day With Time Blocking

We live in a world where we all get distracted by things like emails and meetings. If you find yourself struggling to find time to focus on important tasks because of the constant distractions, then you should check out time blocking.

Personally, I have found that this is a very effective solution to taking back control of my day.

What Is Time Blocking?

Time blocking is a time management approach where you divide your activities and tasks into blocks of time throughout the day.

The key difference between a to-do list and time blocking is that the to-do list only tells you what you need to do, not when.

This is why time blocking is so effective. It makes you aware of how you spend your time throughout the day. By putting your time under a magnifying glass, it helps you to cut out time wasters or over-committing yourself.

Benefits Of Time Blocking

Awareness Of How You Spend Your Time

Let’s face it, most people are terrible at estimating how much time tasks will take. We often try to cram way too much into a day and then feel dejected when we don’t get through the entire to-do list. This is before we even factor in our energy throughout the day!

Time blocking forces you to analyze your priorities and become intentional about how you spend your time. You’re forced to actually find time in your calendar for every new task and commitment you take on board. I have found that it’s easier to say “no” to new things when I know I already have a very full diary.

Remember, your time is a finite resource as well!

Helps Tackle Procrastination

As you become more intentional with your time, you will find it is easier to tackle procrastination. You will get cracking right away if you know you only have 30 minutes to complete a task.

Studies have shown that when you write down a specific date, time, and palace for a task, you’re more likely to follow through with it. Time blocking forces you to do this.

According to Alice Boyes, you should limit yourself to short work periods.

When a task is important or we’ve been putting it off, we often believe we need marathon work sessions to get it done. In most cases, this thinking stems from self-criticism sparked by guilt over lost productivity. But the prospect of slogging away on a challenging task all day tends to trigger more procrastination.

Alice Boyes

Counteracts Perfectionism

Perfectionism can decrease your productivity because you will always find something to tinker with. A diagram here, a word there – it can become a huge time drain.

As time blocking sets a finishing deadline for the task, it helps avoid endless iterations. It will be much easier to put in “good enough” and move on.

If you’re worried about that then think about the Pareto Principle. Typically 20% of your activities and tasks contribute to 80% of the total success of your work.

How Do I Create A Time Block Schedule?

So how do you get started? It can be as simple as pen and paper.

Write down time blocks in 30 or 60-minute increments (depending on how precise you want to be) and then allocate your tasks and activities. This now provides you with a visual cue of what your day looks like. This should help you focus on the task at hand.

Pen and paper time blocking

When you first start doing this you’ll find you’re underestimating tasks. However, this in itself is good feedback and will help you avoid taking on too much every day.

If you prefer to use technology, any calendar app, Notion or Excel can do the job as well!

Thanks for reading and I hope you found this helpful!

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