What is Time Blocking
Time blocking or time blocking (also known as time chunking) is a productivity technique for personal time management where a period—typically a day or week—is divided into smaller segments or blocks for specific tasks or to-dos. It integrates the function of a calendar with that of a to-do list. It is a method of scheduling.
When done properly, time blocking can help eliminate distractions and discourage unproductive multitasking.
Time Blocking as a Time Management Strategy
Time blocking is a great time management skill that can level the playing field for anyone from entrepreneur to busy stay-at-home mom. As you know, managing your time well can increase your quality of life and can have side benefits that include enhanced wellness, better sleep, and lowered stress. Time blocking, although commonly overlooked is an amazing time management strategy that can increase your productivity and allow you to reap the great physical, mental and emotional rewards, including reaching your goals and improving your peace of mind.
Time Blocking Can Reduce Multi tasking and Overwhelm and Feeling Scattered
The research is clear on the dangers of multi-tasking which includes everything from decreased focus to increased anxiety. This is also true when we keep requiring it to focus on the same task for hours at a time. When we constantly push our brain to keep thinking, focusing, and creating hour after hour? It can shut down.
Neuroscience now tells us that changing tasks regularly, taking consistent breaks, and blocking out our time keeps our brain more engaged when it is working so that we get more done in less time.
Time Blocking is not a New Concept
So, let’s look at blocking time. This is not a new concept. But it’s one we don’t use often enough to maintain our enthusiasm and focus, not to mention our mental and emotional health. Blocking time is a way to schedule your work hours in a way that sets up a dedicated time for a particular task. And then, when that time is up, you take a short break and switch to a new task.
But why you may ask, is this important to performance and productivity? Time blocking:
- Keeps your brain from getting bored (aka, low motivation)
- Mentally prepares you for the tasks ahead
- Lowers stress because you see work getting done in different areas
- Ensures no multitasking occurs
- Improves self-confidence in your ability to succeed
Use Time Blocking To Stay Motivated and Reach Your Goals
So, how should you go about blocking your time? Usually, it’s recommended to work in 2-3 hour work chunks at a time, while allowing a short 5-10 minute break every 30-45 minutes. However, this is merely a suggestion. You can experiment with this to see what works better for you.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Decide how you will block your time. There are many ways to do this, including various apps and email calendars. Google Calendar is a great way to get started because it’s easy to use and readily available. If you’re old school, you may prefer to use a physical daily planner.
- Chose the date and time for your task. Remember to keep it to 2-3 hrs if possible.
- Decide where you will complete the task.
- Include any details you need to remember before performing the task in the memo area. This will make it faster to get started when you get to that time block.
- Set reminders so you know when it’s time to switch tasks. You can get a reminder via email, pop-up, or app notifications. You could set a timer on your phone or use the Pomodoro method and timer. (I swear by this one.)
Using time blocks keeps your motivation high for all the reasons stated above, and also because it allows you to use several of your skill sets each day. It allows you to move forward on multiple goals a little each day. It breaks up the monotony of doing the same task all day long.
Just like most strategies in life, it’s not for everyone. However, if you are looking for ways to boost your productivity and get more stuff done, I highly suggest that you experiment with this technique. It can significantly boost your productivity and save you time and frustration.
It’s what all the smart kids do. 🙂
Be well and prosper,
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