Do you ever feel like you have more things on your to-do list than minutes in a day? Time-blocking can help you take control of your schedule and live each day with more purpose.
What is time-blocking?
The practice of time-blocking means scheduling time during your day to get things done. These days, everyone multitasks, leading to higher stress levels and decreased productivity. Setting aside a time to specifically work on one thing will bring a sense of purpose to that block of time and help you be more effective.
Life is full of distractions that make it hard to focus and get your work done. Time-blocking your schedule gives your brain “permission” to ignore distractions and focus on the task at hand.
How to time-block like a boss.
- Start with a notebook, a calendar, or a template like the one below.
- Figure out your priorities or must-haves and block that time off your calendar first. Do you have a meeting tomorrow at 11? Block it off. Is a report that needs most of your attention due in a few days? Block off time to finish it. Make sure to schedule time for the important/necessary things before seeing what else you can fit in.
- Tasks are often bigger than we originally thought, or changes come up we have to take care of. Over-scheduling blocks can allow for this by creating buffer time between tasks.
- If you frequently get interrupted with “urgent” things that really aren’t quite that pressing, block off time for “office hours.” If something “urgent” does come up, you can say, “I’ll handle that, but in my scheduled time between 1-2 p.m.” If nothing unexpected comes up, you’ll have buffer time to get things done.
- If you are more productive during certain parts of the day, block off those times for your most intensive work. Are you only creative after your morning coffee and before lunch? Be sure to block that time for writing and creating.
- Learn and adapt. Pay attention to how well you’re blocking your time and revise your future schedule. Does something consistently take longer than the time you’ve allowed? It happens, but make sure you create longer blocks for it in the future. Are you on top of emails so they now don’t take as long? Shorten the email block and give yourself more time to focus on a bigger project.
The most important tip for getting things done: FOLLOW THE SCHEDULE!!!!!!!!!! It will be a transition that takes some getting used to. You are taking back your life and taking control of your time.
If you feel you don’t have enough time to block your schedule, you are exactly the person who needs it. Get organized, take control of your time, and prove to yourself how productive you can be.