When this blog post goes live, we’ll be right at the start of January 2019! A new year brings with it a sense of a fresh start and an opportunity to get more organized and deliberate with our time.
Finding productivity hacks that can make this happen is a great place to start. We’re all up for getting more done in less time, am I right?
I’ve written about the Pomodoro Method, finding your most productive time, and beating the afternoon slump, so for this post, we’ll be talking about something new: how to create and use a time block schedule.
This is an amazing way to use your calendar to keep you focused on the right things, without distractions.
What is a Time Block Schedule?
Time blocking is all about blocking off time in your calendar or planner to work on specific thing. It’s done deliberately and ahead of time so that it aligns with your broader goals, versus being a last-minute impulse decision.
By scheduling out your tasks or projects in advance, you’re incorporating them into your schedule and increasing your chances of actually getting them done.
How do You Create One?
Identify Your Goals
The very first thing to do when creating a schedule of any type, is getting clear on your objectives. What are the most critical goals or tasks for a given time period? What needs to be prioritized? My posts How to Write Goals You Can Actually Achieve and How to Create a 12 Week Plan That Will Rock Your Goals can help. This step is all around getting clear on what you need to accomplish in a given week.
Block Time Accordingly
Once you’ve gotten clear on what needs to be done, it’s time to start blocking time in your calendar to get these things done. Based on how long each task will take and when it has to get done, block the time in your calendar.
For example, if you have to work on a PowerPoint presentation for a Wednesday meeting and it normally takes you about two hours, block two or two and a half hours in your calendar on Monday or Tuesday so that you have ample time to get it done.
Consider Using Other Tools
Depending on how you work and process information, consider using other tools to make your calendar even more functional. This can include colour-coding tasks by type or project. Or, adding in reminders and notes in your calendar about specifics to keep in mind.
For example, you may want to set reminders to start working on each task 15 minutes before it starts. (Outlook often does this automatically!) Or you may want to add notes to each scheduled block about what specifics you should be focusing on during that time.
Get to Work!
Each day, use your time blocked schedule to guide your work. You can adjust the times up and down depending on how long things take, and you can move them around as priorities change. The beauty of time blocking is that it provides a visual cue as to how long things take to complete, so you can have visibility to what’s coming up and what time to set aside.
Happy time blocking! I hope these tips help you tap into the power of this productivity tool. Do you use productivity hacks like this to get more done? Let us know in the Comments below!