Using Time Blocking or Calendar Purging to Supercharge your Day

Time blocking is like having your very own personal assistant, except this assistant lives inside your head and helps you get stuff done! If your calendar looks something like this hopefully this post will help you achieve more.


Start by prioritizing your goals! This can be a challenging but important task, as it helps to ensure that you are focusing your time and energy on the things that are most important to you.

Here are a few steps you can take to prioritize your goals:

  1. Write down all of your goals: Start by making a list of all of the goals that you want to achieve. This could include short-term goals, such as completing a project at work, and long-term goals, such as saving for retirement.

Now that you have a plan let’s talk about how to turn that plan into a reality.

Effective Time Blocking

With time blocking, you divide your day into blocks of time and assign specific tasks or activities to each block. This helps you stay focused and increases your productivity, so you can achieve your goals more effectively.

This of it this way: if you have a goal of conducting 120x customer calls in Q1–2023, you could block off an hour each day to get this done. This dedicated time allows you to focus solely on writing and helps you make progress towards your goal. Plus, when you see your progress on the calendar, it can be super satisfying and motivating.

But don’t worry, time blocking isn’t inflexible. If something comes up or a task takes longer than expected, you can adjust your schedule accordingly. The key is to be consistent and stick to your blocks as much as possible.

Google Calendar is a powerful tool that can help you effectively time block your day. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Create events for each task or activity: In Google Calendar, create an event for each task or activity you want to complete. Be sure to include the start and end times and a brief description of the task.

There are also a couple of strategies to consider for doing this effectively:

Context Switching

Context switching refers to the act of switching back and forth between different tasks or projects. When you context switch, you are essentially changing your focus from one task or project to another. Some people are really good at this and others struggle.

If you are looking to do time blocking with context switching your calendar probably will look like this.

In this example we really need to be ruthless with our time to achieve intended tasks for a given day. There is essentially 3 hours in the day to work on goals between meetings.

If you can’t move meetings around this a great way to ensure that you make some progress towards your goals. Each day you’ll need to be ruthless with how you use the open blocks of time with your calendar and have rules to follow to make sure you remain distraction free during those blocks of time.

In the next example we’ll talk through a more dramatic change that can super charge your production.

Cull and Purge

The cull and purge strategy is a large shift where you effectively create large blocks of uninterrupted time on your calendar. But if you’re like many people, your calendar is probably filled with a never-ending stream of meetings, conference calls, and other obligations. It can be hard to find the time and space you need to really focus and get things done.

That’s where culling and purging comes in. By carefully reviewing your calendar and eliminating unnecessary or unproductive meetings, you can create more time and space for focused, deep work. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

That’s where culling and purging comes in. By carefully reviewing your calendar and eliminating unnecessary or unproductive meetings, you can create more time and space for focused, deep work. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

New Meetings

Be selective about the meetings you schedule. Before you add a new meeting to your calendar, ask yourself whether it’s really necessary. Is it a meeting that will add value and produce meaningful results, or is it just a time-wasting exercise? Be ruthless in your assessment and only schedule the meetings that are truly necessary.

Prioritize and Purge

One way to help cull and purge your calendar of unwanted meetings is to use a scoring mechanism. This method can help you prioritize your meetings and determine which ones are most important and which ones can be eliminated.

  1. Rate the importance of the meeting on a scale of 1 to 10. This can help you determine how essential the meeting is to your work and whether it’s worth keeping on your calendar.

At this point you have some sense of your perspective. Before you go ahead and cull I’d recommend reviewing it with a peer or group of folks, if you can get in the habit of having your team score meetings to help make a decision.

a) You can change course on the meeting, perhaps it’s being more focused with the time, perhaps it’s audio only — there are many ways to improve meetings just remember your time is valuable.

b) You can cull the meeting, but just be respectful of others you are meeing with. Perhaps they find the meeting very valuable and you do not. It’s critical to communicate the why when making a decision like this.


Finally the purge can begin of unnecessary meetings in your calendar. Take a close look at your calendar and the meeting prioritization framework and identify any meetings that are no longer necessary or productive.

As mentioned above communication is key. If you feel particularly uncomfortable with getting rid of a slew of 1:1s, office hours are particularly easy way to help you be ruthless with your time and give others options.

By culling and purging your calendar of unwanted meetings, you can create more time and space for focused, deep work. This can be especially important if you’re working on a complex or challenging project that requires sustained focus and attention. By eliminating distractions and disruptions, you can increase your productivity and get more done in less time. So, take control of your calendar and start creating more time and space for deep work today!

Now that you have the purge complete it’s time to take control of your time and space to enable deep actionable work today!



Group Product Manager @Twilio - Part-Time Crossfit Athlete.

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