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Time blocking is an essential part of boosted productivity and effective time management. This is because the more you know yourself and your productivity patterns, the better chances you have of optimizing them.
Not only that, but it’s a feedback loop – you get better use of your time as you get better at time blocking which results in better use of your time…
This is a simple yet effective method that will help you identify productivity areas to improve as well as start making more realistic time estimates for your projects. The benefits are wide ranging and include better completion of projects, less disrupted deep work periods, and better accountability to yourself and others.
If you want to know more about time blocking and learn the best ways to use it in your framework, keep reading.
How to Use Time Blocking for Best Results
Time blocking may seem pretty straightforward — simply break down your workdays into time blocks of 15 to 30 minutes each and track all your activities.
However, it is easy to forget every detail of your day and you may end up spending more time writing down your tasks than actually completing them.
That is why I broke down my time blocking process into 4 simple steps that you can follow right now.
- Choose your productivity tool. It can be as simple as pen and paper or you can decide to trust your favorite time blocking app. I personally use Google Calendar and my Best Self Journal. Experiment with different tools in the beginning to see what works best for you.
- Set yourself a reminder. This is extremely important. Set a reminder every one or two hours in order to make sure that you write down your activities. It’s normal not to remember the tiniest details of your day — things like checking your emails, looking up a business address, setting up a new office supply order list — 8 hours or even one week later. This is why you need to complete time blocking sessions for all your tasks and events almost as soon as they happen.
- Keep it simple. Making sure that you complete all your time blocking sessions doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of time on them. One or two minutes should be enough, and one line for each activity is plenty — think of something like “social media: 15 minutes” and “answered phone call: 8 minutes”.
- Be honest. The whole point of time blocking is to understand your time habits. Nobody will see your time blocking journal but you… really be honest with yourself as you monitor and record your activities. If you logged into LinkedIn to look up a business-related person but ended up reading 3 articles and spending 30 minutes online, write it down!
Why You Should Start Using Time Blocking Now
The question you need to ask yourself as your record your activities is: what am I actually spending my time on? Once you answer it, you will start seeing your time-spending patterns and identify problematic areas you can work on.
By recognizing a pattern, you will be able to take effective, customized measures to boost your productivity. From distraction blockers to realistic project planning, your new productivity strategies will be tailored to your personal habits and therefore nearly guaranteed to succeed.
It will become easier for you to hit deadlines and become more accountable for yourself and others.