Time Blocking: Process of Arranging your Tasks
Does it feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done? Do you feel like you’re running around all day without actually achieving anything? Are you tired of spreading yourself too thin? Time blocking, also known as calendar clocking, is a time management tool that might be the answer.
The main difference between people who get lots done, and those who don’t isn’t their level of genius or in their genetics — more a mindset and understanding of the value of time and finding an effective time management method that suits them. Time blocking is an example of a time management tool.
Some of the world’s most successful and productive people swear by this method of allocating time. Elon Musk is a keen user of this method and the person who promoted it as an important time management technique. This article is going to fill you in on the details so you can decide whether it might work for you.
What is Time Blocking?
It is a time management tool that involves dividing up your day into blocks of time. You give each block of time a specific task or purpose. It’s a concrete schedule that you stick to during the day. You plan out every moment of your day in advance and you dedicate specific blocks of time for certain responsibilities and tasks.
How Does Time Blocking Work?
The main aim of this tool is to give focus, planning out every moment of the day in advance. Allocating specific time “blocks” for certain tasks.
It’s common knowledge that we need guardrails. If we haven’t got them work tends to expand to fill the time available for its completion. We know this concept as Parkinson’s Law.
Calendar blocking prevents this from happening. You schedule every minute of your day, which means less distraction and more focus. Focusing on just one task at a time can increase your productivity by as much as 80%, compared with splitting your attention across several tasks. Knowing that you’ve got time set aside for doing other tasks also means you’re less likely to give into distractions such as checking your emails, catching up on your Facebook feed, or taking part in Slack conversations.
Why is it So Effective?
The key to this method being so effective is prioritising your task list in advance.
Productivity is an important element in business it can be so exciting marking items off your to-do list, or emptying your inbox can make you feel you’re being ultra productive but are you getting the right work done?
It’s a very simple technique, and there are several reasons why it works so effectively.
Time Blocking Effectivity Checklist
It Focuses on “Deep Work”
Deep work is concentrating on one specific task and giving it all your focus for a long period of time, without distractions or interruptions. When you learn how to do a single task, it makes it easier to stay focused.
Shallow Work is Eradicated
Shallow work is a term used for work that’s urgent but not important for achieving long-term goals. A few examples are replying to many of your emails and some of your paperwork. Setting aside time for these shallow work tasks means you limit the time you spend on them. Batching your shallow tasks together also means you’ll get them done quicker and free up time for more deep work.
You Find it Easier to Say No
Most of us are pretty bad at time management. We’re also not very good at estimating the time it takes for individual tasks. This means we often over commit. If you plan out your day and set aside time for tasks, you’re forced to find a gap in your schedule for any new tasks. Not having the space makes it easier to say no.
You Learn to Reign in Your Need for Perfection
Are you the kind of person who is never happy and always looking for perfection in every project you undertake? There comes a time when you have to say what you’ve done is good enough and move on. Scheduling your time helps you do this because you’re imposing limits on each of your projects.
You Follow Through On Goals You’ve Set
With a concrete plan in place you’re more likely to follow through on your goals. Writing things down, specifying a place, date, and time, makes it more likely that you’ll act on your intentions.
Reflect on Priorities
Identify how you actually spend your time.
This time reflecting can help you identify better plans for the future ensuring that you set enough time aside for your highest-priority tasks.
If you like the sound of time blocking, why not try it for a week and see if it works for you? It can be a very powerful tool that allows you to take back control of your time and attention.
Learn to understand the value of time and control it because once lost, we can never get back.