HOW TO TIME BLOCK TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
Updated: Aug 13, 2020
Are you looking for a way to organize your time that will help keep you on task and more productive?
Have you ever heard of the concept of time blocking? Think about when you were in school and you had different classes. During chemistry you worked on chemistry, during math you worked on math so why not do that same concept with our daily lives?
In this post I will walk you through how to establish a time block schedule that will work to keep you on task and more productive. I have create a free printable block schedule template for you to use for this exercise.
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You need to think about your typical day and write down everything that you do every day. For example in the morning you get ready for the day, you might work out or do school drop off. At work you might respond to emails, make phone calls or have meetings out of the office. Write it all out!!
Next look at everything that you wrote down in your brain dump and start grouping them by category. So for example if there are certain things that you do every morning as a part of a morning routine group those together. Group all of your cleaning tasks together. Do you write social media posts for work, group that work together etc.
I have provided 9 category sections for this, you do not need to use them all but try to keep what you have in each category to a limit of 5 things. These categories are going to turn into your time blocks so you don't want to set yourself up for failure by having to many tasks within the block.
ESTABLISH YOUR TIME BLOCKS
Once your categories are established it is time to set up your blocks. In the template you will see there are 9 blocks. Each block should represent 2-3 hours (with the exception maybe of your lunch hour). You can completely customize your blocks but it might be helpful to think of the top row as morning, middle as afternoon and bottom as evening.
ASSIGN YOUR TASKS TO YOUR BLOCKS
Once you have your time blocks set next start assigning your categories to those time blocks. The idea is that you are assigning each task a specified time block to get it done in. With grouping the tasks in like minded categories it allows you to stay on task better as you will not be jumping from a phone call to a meeting outside the office to rush back for an in office meeting etc. Instead you will group all of your phone calling in one block, then all of your out of office meetings in another so you are using your time efficiently.
STOP "SHOULDING" YOURSELF
We need to get away from the "I should do this" or "I should do that" mindset and actually take those to do's and assign them to a specified time to get them done! So stop "shoulding" yourself and get it done!
To give you an example I have included my time blocks below. If you look at my block 3 you will see this is my work time. Now I have 3 tasks within that block however I will not try to work on all of these at one time. Instead I will pick one task to focus on so for example instead of just recording one video I will record several. By batching your tasks together it helps you stay focused and on task and get more done instead of jumping from task to task.
Now please keep in mind that this is meant to be a guideline, planning your time is never going to be perfect. We are striving for progress and not perfection!
To keep you focused and on task try setting timers. I utilize timers to signify the start/end of a time block. This is especially helpful for our morning routines to keep us focused and get us out the door on time for school.
I also like to use timers to get me motivated so for example when I'm working on social media posts I will set a timer for a specified time and see how many I can get done. There is something about trying to beat the clock that keeps you focused and on task. Try setting a timer and see how much you can get done!!
Do you find yourself getting distracted by the constant dinging and notifications on your phone? Try turning your phone on silent or turn on do not disturb. Muting the constant dinging will help to keep you focused.
You can also download the Google Chrome extension StayFocusd. This extension can block a website for a specified time to help keep you focused.
ADD YOUR BLOCKS TO YOUR CALENDAR
To take this one step further you can actually put these time blocks on your calendar. You can do this on your paper or electronic calendar. Below you will see how I have my blocks on my Google calendar. Within each of these blocks I have the categorized tasks listed out. You can also have timers within your time blocks to help signify when the next block is starting so you can wrap up what you are doing and move onto the next block.
Don't forget to download your free printable to get started!!