Time Blocking is one of the most effective ways to ensure getting work done. It is the greatest enemy of procrastination and the best-est friend of an efficient outcome.
- are feeling stuck in one place
- think that you are making a slow progress
- want a skeleton where you can fill in the information according to your requirements, then read further.
I have been following Analogue Time Blocking system suggested by Cal Newport which looks something like this:
If I am traveling or my diary is not around, my second resort is Google Calendar.
As there are thousands of free software that we can use, sticking to one or two might be the best strategy. Because that can get real messy quickly. Your to-dos are all around the internet, and it becomes difficult to follow up on the tasks.
But wait, Why Even is There a Need to Block Time?
It is because we fail to understand Time. Failing to Understand Time can be the most significant challenge that you can face while time management. This problem persists because there are a lot of misinterpretations about the concept of Time.
You often give yourself a pep talk ''I have plenty of time to get the work done when the deadline is a week away.
You tend to overestimate Time. You fail to realize that unless you don't act, the task is never going to happen.
Many of us resist changing this habit because instant gratification always wins as far as long-term gains are concerned.
While the deadline is in its do-or-die stage, that is when you take action. But what comes with last-minute effort is anxiety and stress built up from the past week!
Tell me which of the two options looks better:
- Enjoy watching YouTube now; work one day before a deadline with lots of tension built up.
- Start working on the project spread across the deadline. Or if the deadline is too extended, get done with it, and later, enjoy the YouTube and Netflix Saga?
You know the answer!
While some people may argue that working last minute gives us a competitive advantage, it may not be a sustainable strategy that always works.
As Cal-Newport, the author of the famous book Deep Work rightly said,
"A 40-hour time-blocked work week, I estimate, produces the same amount of output as a 60+ hour work week pursued without structure."
3 Best Actionable Time Blocking Techniques
Now that we know how time mismanagement can cause us, ''I should've started this before'' trauma.
Here are three best Time Blocking techniques-slash-practices that will help you to block the Time and get your work done...well before the deadline
Hourly Time Blocking
This technique is for someone who works in a flexible, open-end environment.
If you assume 1 hour = 1 unit, you have 24 units/day.
- 8 units -> Sleep
- 2 Units -> Exercise
- 1 Unit -> Read
- 5 Units -> Deep Work
- 3 Units -> Admin
- 5 Units -> Family, friends Off time.
Now, take these units to fill blocks on your calendar for the particular day. Sometimes, things don't go as you planned. It is essential to know that it is okay to miss, break and reschedule the Time if you are unavailable in the worst-case scenario.
Fixed Task Time Blocking
This technique is mainly for people who have a daily routine.
- Block away your wake time, coffee time, breakfast time, and workout time
- Set another block for your sleep time
- Later, fill out the fixed events and meetings as you plan to do during the day
- Don'tDon't over plan
In this way, you know where your time is being invested.
I am the most creative person at night. So I have a fixed writing routine from 10 pm till up to 2 am.
Then, I block two in-depth work sessions of 90 minutes and two slots for shallow work for the next day before sleeping. I fill in my calendar for other important events and meetings if required.
This technique is helpful if you want to focus on the most critical task. In this way, you can batch similar functions under that particular category and get it done for the week.
If you are a content creator, you may know how overwhelming things may become quickly.
Tim Denning, a famous Australian blogger, writes only on Thursdays and Sundays. Edits on Mondays and Tuesdays. Research from Tuesday onwards till Thursday.
By batching all of your writing into two days, you get the benefit of not having to deal with task-switching. – Tim Denning
This means less distraction; more output! He manages to create ten high-quality articles a week! Isn'tIsn't that amazing?
As Time is our most important asset, it passes minute by minute, whether you like it or not.
The primary benefit of Time Blocking is that you learn to prioritize your work and block the most important tasks on your calendar. You certainly don't have to be rigid with the planning. But, you also may know how else you will compensate for the missed Time working by putting it in a different time slot.
I would love to know your views and feedback on how you consciously manage your Time!
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