LEARN | TWELVE, APRIL 2019
You know the what and the how, but do you know the when?
Like most professionals, you’re probably a planner. You have your “to do” lists and your carefully laid out directions on what to do and how to do it. But do you plan when to do those things? If not, you may often find yourself jumping from task to task, maybe feeling a little overwhelmed by your “to do” lists and not getting as much accomplished in a day as you’d originally intended. Have no fear, time blocking is here to help! Elon Musk does it, so does Bill Gates, you’ll be in good company!
Time blocking is the practice of setting aside blocks of time for specific activities and only those activities. By organizing your day into a series of time slots and devoting yourself entirely to one activity within that time period, whether it’s email, phone calls, creative tasks etc., you can focus on just one thing at a time, stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
To start, think of how you typically work, for example when are your most energetic times. Are you a morning person or an afternoon person? This can help you determine when to slot activities that require your highest energy level. If you are consistent in feeling an afternoon slump, maybe that’s not the best time to schedule activities that require intense focus or creativity. Set up your calendar with these time blocks as scheduled events, and note what you want to be doing within each block. Allow yourself a brief buffer between slots to have a little time to recharge and change gears before the next activity. If you'd like to learn more, check out our Case Study that focuses on how we helped another client effectively implement the Strategic Coach® Entrepreneurial Time System:
You don’t need to break your day down into 5-minute increments like Elon Musk, just give yourself a practical amount of time for each segment. You can adjust accordingly if you find yourself always running behind. One side effect of time blocking is that you will start to see exactly how long certain tasks take to complete. This is a positive since you can now use that information to plan your day more accurately.
To make time blocking work, you need to consider these calendar events as meetings with yourself, promises to yourself that you will accomplish the scheduled items within that time period and will not procrastinate. Using the time blocking technique you will soon find yourself tackling more and ending your day with a greater sense of accomplishment.
Contributed by our Team Member, Beth