Squeeze more from your busy schedules: Time blocking
Have you ever come across a question, what are the things ultra-productive people do differently in their life?
This article explains everything about Time Blocking, Time-blocking Mindset, and how to do it correctly to Squeeze more from your busy Schedules. And how it is different from Time-boxing?
What is Time blocking?
Time blocking is a time management technique in which you split your day into time blocks. Each block is committed to doing a single activity, and just that one task. You set up certain amounts of time for specific activities ahead of time so that you can get through your workday without being interrupted or diverted. Rather than just establishing a to-do list and working through it, time blocking creates regulated gaps to ensure that each activity is completed.
Work expands so as to fill time available for its completion.
Time blocking is a time management method used by well-known and successful people to achieve their objectives. And the greatest part is that it is quite simple to apply on your own. Rather than creating open-ended to-do lists, you have to focus on making a concrete schedule for each day that lays out what types of activities you’re going to do and within which time frame.
For this, you divide your day into different time blocks, and in every time block, you need to complete one task strictly. For example, in spite of multitasking, allot a specific time for every important single task for a limited time. Now, this is up to you, how you decide your tasks.
Let say, if you feel super active in the morning and as time passes, your productivity degrades. Then, allot the most important task to early morning blocks in which more mental or physical power is required. Give a relatively bigger block as required to complete the task. Then, in the later (midday) you can set for rest or lunchtime and so on.
There are 3 variations to follow time blocking. These are:-
Task batching, day theming, and timeboxing is three relative terms of time blocking that are worth examining.
Day Theming: Instead of setting aside time blocks for each area of responsibility each day, day theming dedicates a full day each week to each responsibility. Broadly, you can use day theming in one of three ways: 1. Devote a single day to an important project: 2. Pick daily themes to organize your weekly tasks 3. Choose different days to work different jobs.
Time Boxing: Timeboxing asks you to impose a limit on how much time you’ll dedicate to a specific task. Time blocking includes dedicating certain blocks of time to a specific work or activity. Timeboxing, on the other hand, requires you to set a limit on how much time you’ll devote to a given work. Time Blocking: “I will study my chapter 1 from 9 am to 11 am tomorrow.” Time Boxing: “I will complete my chapter 1 between 9 am and 11 am tomorrow.”
Task Batching: The process of batching similar activities together and completing them all at once, rather than handling them randomly throughout the day, is termed task batching. Example: You can batch replying on different social media(email, Instagram, research, Networking) in a single 20–25 minute block.
Set your time blocking plan last night or in the early morning.
Tip:- Do only 1 or 2 tasks in a day to squeeze the best out of your time and efforts.
Aim less but complete.
Time blocking Mindset
For any new change in the routine and behaviour, there is a need for change in Mindset. And the correct Mindset for managing your time require these four focuses.
- Maintain single focus: Probably you have a list of tasks that you need to complete. But always aim to maintain a single focus in the one-time block. Multitasking may possibly be compulsory in some cases but never productive. So if it is possible, focus on a single task.
- Determine your essentials: When you look at your to-do list, it might be very vast. To actually cover everything, you need to prioritize them according to their importance and urgency. This way of prioritization is done with the help of the Eisenhower matrix method. This is a powerful tool for time management. “Focus on what matters most.”
- Achieve more by doing less: When you focus on a single task at a time with high productivity, you achieve more. For this, The Pomodoro technique proves to be really worth using. You can learn what is it in 4min on the link.
- Plan to Recharge: Your body and mind need rest periodically to work on their peak. So give space of your time for rest for enhancing productivity.
Time blocking methods
Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.
Macro-Blocking: Micro time management is all about making tactical use of time and getting things done efficiently. Micro time management focuses on efficiency rather than effectiveness.
Micro-Blocking: Macro time management is all about making the best use of your time and doing the correct things. The emphasis is on efficacy rather than efficiency.
Why is time blocking so effective?
1. It promotes focused “deep work”:
Deep work involved focusing on a single job. It’s simpler to stay concentrated when you learn how to carry out a particular activity.
2. It helps you knock out “shallow work” more efficiently
Shallow work refers to work that is urgent but not significant to accomplishing long-term objectives. You may minimise the amount of time you spend on these shallow job activities by setting out time for them.
3. It makes you aware of how you spend your time
We have a bad habit of overcommitting our future counterparts since we are bad at guessing how long things will take. Time blocking requires you to address your present priorities and responsibilities, forcing you to become more deliberate about how you use your limited time.
4. It counteracts perfectionism
Benefits of Time blocking
It locks your concentration and minimises disruptive context switching by devoting a certain amount of time to one subject.
This method of planning your day also guarantees that unqualified new chores do not sneak into your agenda.
Research says that 41% of to-do items are never completed. Time blocking ensures to complete the to-do list.
We obtain a sense of control and stability over our workload when we organise our duties against established dates and time constraints.
Is time blocking right for you?
If any of the following apply to you, time blocking may be a smart method to reclaim control of your schedule.
- Time and mental space are difficult to come by.
- Balance a series of projects and responsibilities
- Over the day, you’ll have to deal with numerous distractions.
Common time blocking mistakes
- Underestimating time
- Forgetting about breaks:- For best efficiency, you should also take rests between jobs.
- Always sticking to your schedule:- Time blocking isn’t designed to be a rigorous method; rather, it’s meant to help you be more productive and progressive. Unscheduled relaxation is always required to perform at your best.
- Not scheduling everything: Don’t only set a schedule for a major project. You should also set out time for daily matters such as responding to emails. Even basic tasks like surfing through social media come to mind or even eating etc.
Time blocking is a time management strategy in which you divide your day into time blocks and do not allow yourself to be interrupted or sidetracked. Three relevant terms of time blocking worth studying are task batching, day theming, and time boxing.
Maintaining a single focus, determining your necessities, achieving more by doing less, and planning to recharge are all parts to set a time-blocking mindset.
Time blocking encourages concentrated deep work and efficient completion of short tasks. It focuses your attention and reduces distractions.
I use a combination of time blocking and time-boxing to manage my time.
How do you schedule your tasks? Do you face any problems in achieving tasks on your to-do list?
You are invited to share in the comments.
Thanks for Reading.