Optimizing Productivity via Time Blocking

Time Management through Time Blocking is the Way to Optimizing Productivity

How’s your typical workday?

Here’s what my workday used to look like before. Getting up to start running my business on time has never been a problem, but what happened during that time was more than work.

Most try their best to focus and get their work done but at the end of the day, their accomplishments can’t be equated to the hours they have been at my work seat. Endless unproductive meetings, colleagues popping up for a so-called “quick chat”, constant emails, multiple coffee breaks, constantly peeking at social media to catch the latest trends/what others had been up to, oh, let’s not forget personal phone calls.  

That’s very similar to what I had going on too.

Well, that was me before I discovered time blocking. I had to find an efficient way to run my business by managing my time so I can give more time to my family. 

What is Time blocking?

Time blocking is a time management strategy involving scheduling each moment of your day. The art of time blocking means breaking down your day and dedicating time slots for particular tasks. At the end of each day, you are able to account for the hours spent through accomplishments. An example would be like this: I started with exercise, checked emails, worked on a project milestone, took a coffee break,  and brainstormed on a new book idea.

Time blocking is a time management strategy that helps you reclaim your day. It helps you focus on where you should be at any given time 

Does it work?

Does time blocking sound like one chaotic-looking calendar filled up with unnecessary detail blocks? Well, it may look like it but at the end of the day, you end up with tangible accomplishments and the feeling that you have made so much progress. 

I know we all love multitasking thinking it is the only way to get so much done in a day. However, what multitasking does in a work environment is slow you down and turn you less productive. How? 

Well, for starters, your attention is divided which will mean poor performance. How then will your business prosper with poor performance?

Basically, what time blocking does is it helps you protect 2 items that you cannot put a price on, your time and focus. It eliminates numerous distractions that come up each day and helps you stay on course to use your time and brain wisely.

No time wasted on distractions means you easily end your day on a high with a sense of accomplishment rather than end a day fatigued because you were all over the place and with little or no sense of accomplishment. Time blocking does eliminate the bits in your life that ruin your concentration thus end up wasting your time. It acts as your brain’s guard rails keeping it focused rather than splitting your attention and giving a task a fraction of the attention it should get. 

How can I adopt Time Blocking?

Changing your routine from what it has always been like to time blocking won’t necessarily be easy. You may have questions on how to allocate time for the minor things that need to get done in a day as well as wonder if the time-blocking art in itself won’t be consuming your time and energy in planning. 

Well, I anticipated this and prepared a step-by-step guide that will help you ease into this routine. 

1. Identify and prioritize your daily tasks: Identify all the tasks that you need to be accomplished in a day and list them down. With a completed list, prioritize the tasks in order from most to least important. 

2. Approximate the amount of time each task requires: Allocate each task the time needed to accomplish it. If you are unsure and have often wasted time during these tasks, practice the use of a time tracker during the task to know how much time you need for it

3. Breaks are important: Do not forget to schedule your breaks. Lunch, coffee, a brief walk, or a stretch session to energize. Let us remember, we are humans and not programmed machines.

4. Use your favorite calendar or reminder apps: Set up your tasks in your app of choice to stay on track. If you find using your calendar daunting, you can set daily alerts or alarms to help you stay on track with tasks. 

5. Consider wiggle time to be allotted in your schedule: You want to have room for flexibility in your time blocking plans. This time allows for miscellaneous tasks/ responsibilities that come screaming “I need to be taken care of NOW”

6. Do not forget to add buffers to your time blocks: Time buffers could be about 10 to 15 minutes between tasks. These are important to help you transition to the next task. Remember, we are not button-controlled to just switch drastically from one task to another. These buffer times will play a crucial role in transitioning between tasks

7. Review and revise: Do not forget to check how you have been faring. Review at the end of the week how you have been doing and make changes in areas you feel have not been working out well for you. 

Time blocking needs personalization to work well for anyone in managing their time, focus, and productivity. Following the tips above will help you set your time blocking to work for you rather than control you. 

Did you find this article helpful? Let me know what more you would like to know about time blocking in the comment section below.

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