Time blocking has proved invaluable in getting things done.
Time blocking is an effective technique for getting things done. If you are like me, or how I used to be, you would spend each day frustrated. You never got to the end of your ‘to do’ list.
I used to have a never-ending list. It was enormous. I felt so pleased with myself when I collected all my post it notes and lists and added them into one very long spread sheet. I had planned to categorise, and then I realised the insanity.
Yes – there may be many things I want to do. But what do I need to do? Right now ? For the next month or so? What is both important and urgent and will make a big impact.
So, following on from the approach that Warren Buffet suggests, I have my 3 big goals, each divided into smaller tasks.
And I’m completing these using time blocking, and it’s working for me.
How to use time blocking
With time blocking, I estimate how long a task will date and add it into my day and week planner. If it’s a big task I may break it down into sub tasks that can be done in blocks of 2 hours max.
I have a list of key things I want to achieve and schedule them into my diary. This includes client meetings, writing assignments and even thinking time. Plus, I give myself breaks for meals and walking too. And a couple of buffer slots each day. Just in case something urgent crops up or a job takes longer than I thought.
I first came across this approach via Cal Newport. He was one of the guest speakers at The World Domination Summit in Portland in 2012. He’s a Georgetown University professor author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.
This means I’ll now focus on reviewing emails in 2 slots during the day. Rather than responding to the ping of ‘you’ve got mail’.
I also take account of how my body clock works. I’m best doing complex writing work early morning. I leave easy tasks (such as going through my reading emails) till early evening.
Why not try this, and let me know if time blocking works for you.