Don’t plan too ahead. Time-blocking is not for greater creative productivity
Plan for the moment, possibly not more than a couple of hours. sporadically plan your day. Don’t get me wrong. List your tasks/set of tasks/projects for the day to work. But don’t put them in a box. Don’t plan strictly. You can never predict when the inspiration hits or when an interrupt arises. I know the feeling of not being able to do the work as I planned. That makes me feel bad (irritating) and I often end up showing my irritation on others or by spoiling the remaining day. I often fall into the trap of pessimistically time-blocking for a task especially if it is postponed more than twice.
Even after a decade I couldn’t exactly (or near to exact) predict the time needed for a particular piece of work. 8 out of 10 times I fail to fix the right duration for a task or fail to execute it within it for many unpredictable reasons. I wonder how others cope with this time-blocking strategy.
I love the concept of time boxing. Maybe I don’t understand the term right. I like setting a time in my calendar to work on similar kinds of tasks. More or less similar to task bunching but with time specificity. Not duration specific (maybe yes, but at least not all the time).
I strongly believe in keeping your mind free to flow is the key ingredient of greater creativity (thus true productivity).
I heard it many times, and it is probably the best advice. Try to manage your attention instead of managing your time. It is hard to get your attention to one work and keep it in the ring for a certain period of time. That is where the work is getting done.
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Originally published at https://www.alvistor.com on February 27, 2022.