“A 40 hour time-blocked work week, I estimate, produces the same amount of output as a 60+ hour work week pursued without structure.”— Cal Newport, Author of Deep Work
In a previous post, I wrote about the importance of setting priorities.
In this post I explained how it is possible to work all day but feel unfulfilled at the end of the day. I also wrote that this is why it is important to write down your goals so you can set out your priorities from them.
Why am I reiterating all these?
Because we will be talking about time blocking in this article.
I once shared a quick summary of what time blocking is in one of my posts, but this post will give you a well detailed understanding of what time blocking is.
What is Time Blocking?
Time-blocking is setting out a particular time of the day to do a particular task and only that task without distractions and sometimes without pause.
Time blocking is essential because it helps you focus on one task and it is a highly productive method.
How does Time Blocking work?
Time blocking has helped me focus the most when I’m struggling with how to finish a task and I will show you how.
If you have four tasks on your todo list like:
Writing a blog post
Installing a new computer program
You will take each of these tasks and set a time frame to it. You will do this task (and only this task) in the allotted time.
Example: (Time blocking)
Write a blog post from 10am – 12pm
Wash dishes from 1pm – 1:30pm
Cook dinner from 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Install a new computer program from 3:00pm – 5pm
You will realize after you are done that you were able to get more work done than when you share ‘write a blog post’ into two or three times a day.
E.g. (the wrong method)
Write a blog post by 12pm
Wash dishes by 1pm
Install a new computer program by 1:30pm
Write a blog post by 2pm
Finish installing computer program by 4pm
If you have tried these two methods, you will see that one works better than the other.
The one that works is the first, obviously!!
Time blocking helps you accomplish work easily and without distractions.
Because little distractions can cause you not to achieve your goals or complete your task.
More on the blog: Short Attention Span: How to stay focused without distractions
Tips for Time Blocking
- Get a time blocking tool like Freedom: Freedom has helped me complete more tasks with time blocking.
What I do is set a particular time I would like to work without distractions. And then I work through the time.
When the time is up, the app alerts me.
And by the time I check how much work I’ve done, I’m usually pleased with myself.
You can use freedom on your phone or PC.
- Give yourself a break
One major yet uncommon technique to time blocking is inserting a few minutes break in between.
It helps you get more done without exerting yourself.
It works like this:
If you want to work for one hour, work for the first 20 minutes, take a 10 minutes break, then work for the next 30 minutes.
If you want to work for 5 hours, also take breaks in between.
You will realize how much work you can get done by taking breaks.
During your breaks, you can take a short walk, take a quick nap (if you won’t sleep longer than the allotted time), or watch a short video.
Taking breaks also helps you free your mind from the boredom of work or stressful chores. It allows you to focus more and enjoy what you’re doing more by the time you get back to work.
- Work and Play
When blocking your time, don’t only plan the serious stuff or the work tasks.
Block time for your personal life too. Block time for your fun time and also for other tasks you enjoy.
That way you will not get bored of your tasks or wear yourself out.
Time Blocking is an essential method of getting tasks done.
If you have been struggling with completing your tasks, then you should try time blocking today and see if it works for you.
I’m sure it would!
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