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Time blocking sounds quite fancy, but it is honestly just creating blocks of time to get things done. Sound simple? Yes, it really is that simple!
I first started time blocking when I was at university. I studied Graphic Arts and I loved doing anything creative. However, when it came to having to write essays I struggled as I didn’t find it interesting. I used to try and write an essay but would constantly be distracted by other things. This is why I started time blocking, it seriously helped to boost my productivity.
For example, if I was writing an essay; I would set a block of time (usually 30 minutes) and in those 30 minutes I would write as many words as I could with no distractions. I would move my phone to the other side of the room so I wasn’t tempted to start browsing social media. Setting a timer on my phone for 30 minutes allowed me to keep track of the time and once the timer went off I would allow myself a 10-minute break to do something else. It’s amazing how setting a timer can completely shift your mindset and help you get things done.
How to make time blocking work
- Focus on smaller blocks of time – I usually find 30-minute blocks work best. If you don’t finish the task you can always take a 10-minute break and then set another time block to continue.
- Reward yourself with breaks – A lot of the time you will use time blocking for those more boring tasks like cleaning the kitchen and hoovering the house. Allowing yourself 10-15 minutes between time blocks gives you something to work towards and will help increase your productivity.
- Plan your time blocking in advance – At the start of the week or the day before, write a list of what you need to get done and allocate time blocks. Having a structure to your week will keep you on track for getting everything done.
- Prioritise tasks – Some tasks are urgent but others aren’t. Make sure you’re prioritising those important tasks to get them done.
- You don’t have to time block every hour of the day! – Remember use time blocking in a way that works for you. I don’t feel the need to block out every hour of my day. I may just block out 2 hours (4 x 30-minute slots) to get 4 tasks done. The rest of the day I’ll just take as it comes.
- You can always time block treats as well – As I said, I only use time blocking for boring chores and also for things that I really need to focus on (such as writing blog posts). However, if you want to time block your whole day that’s ok. Why not block out 30 minutes for reading a book and 30 minutes for a pamper evening! Treat yourself, you deserve it!
What tasks do you like to time block? Let me know in the comments below.