Time blocking is a time management technique that increases productivity and focus. It involves breaking your day into blocks of time, each dedicated to a specific task or activity. This is a highly effective productivity tool that helps people to manage their time more efficiently and increase focus. In the following paragraphs, we’ll discuss the benefits of time blocking, steps to success, and provide 2 examples of time blocking.
The first known user of time blocking was Benjamin Franklin. So, yeah, the technique has been around for a while. More recent adopters of this technique include Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, Richard Branson, and honestly, any successful person you can think of. They protect their calendar and focus.
Benefits of Time Blocking
One of the primary benefits of time blocking is that it allows you to prioritize your tasks and allocate time accordingly. By setting aside specific blocks of time for each task, you can ensure that you give each task the attention it deserves, without getting sidetracked or distracted by other things.
In addition, time blocking can help to reduce decision fatigue. When you have a clear plan for your day and know exactly what you need to do at each point, you can avoid spending precious mental energy on deciding what to do next.
Critical thinking is a key component of making good decisions. If you’d like to learn more about critical thinking, check out this article: How to Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills.
Time blocking can also help to increase productivity by creating a sense of urgency. When you know that you only have a set amount of time to complete a task, you are more likely to focus and work efficiently to get it done.
How to Get Started
- Start by identifying your most important tasks. These are the tasks that have the biggest impact on your work or life and should be given top priority.
- Create a schedule that is realistic and achievable. Don’t try to cram too much into one day, or you’ll risk feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.
- Use a calendar or planner to block out specific chunks of time for each task. Be sure to include breaks and transition time between tasks to avoid burnout.
- Stick to your schedule as much as possible, but be flexible if unexpected things come up. You may need to adjust your schedule on the fly, but having a plan in place will make it easier to stay on track.
- Review your schedule at the end of each day and make adjustments as needed for the next day. This will help you to stay organized and prepared.
Bonus Tip: When thinking about identifying your most important tasks, ask yourself the question, “What is the 1 Thing I can do at work today that will change the trajectory of my career or have the greatest impact?” Ask that same question regarding your personal life, family, etc. This will help you to focus on what’s really important as opposed to what appears to be urgent. To learn more about this concept, you might like the book, “The One Thing” by Gary Keller.
If you’d like other tips on time management, you might also be interested in this article: Time Management for Busy People
Let’s take a look at a couple of time-blocking examples, one for a traditional 9-5 job and one for a self-employed person.
Time Blocking Example #1: Standard Work Day
Following is an example of time blocking for someone that works a traditional 9-5 job. You can set your blocks for any time frame that works for you. I think Elon Musk uses five-minute time blocks. The key is to not let other things distract from whatever block you have set.
7:00am – 8:00am: Workout
8:00am – 9:00am: Morning routine (shower, breakfast, etc.)
9:00am – 10:00am: Respond to urgent emails
10:00am – 11:00am: Work on project A
11:00am – 12:00pm: Attend team meeting
12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch break
1:00pm – 2:00pm: Work on project B
2:00pm – 3:00pm: Phone calls
3:00pm – 4:00pm: Work on project C
4:00pm – 5:00pm: Wrap up loose ends and plan for the next day
6:00pm – 8:00pm: Family time
Time Blocking Example #2: The Entrepreneur
As an entrepreneur or freelancer, your day may look much different. My personal time blocks look more like this:
5:00am – 6:00am: Drink coffee, meditate, and read
6:00am – 11:00am: Blog writing
11:00am – 4:00pm: Hiking, Bike ride (I’m training for two 500-mile rides this summer), errands, personal time.
5:00pm – 7:00pm: Blog editing, Content creation, Marketing
7:00pm – 10:00pm: Social time, stretching, reading
Example #3: Day 21 of My Personal Transformation
Time blocking is a highly effective tool for managing your time, increasing focus, and improving productivity. By breaking your day into blocks of time and dedicating each block to a specific task, you can ensure that you make the most of your time and achieve your goals. With a little planning and discipline, anyone can use time blocking to maximize their productivity and achieve success in their work and personal lives.