In today’s fast-paced business, one thing that you can’t dispense without is the never-ending to-do list. If you feel that you are being swamped and your to-do list has become an absolute chaos, there is a solution.
In the modern workplace, if you don’t control your schedule, it will end up controlling you. Meetings, team chat, email, work in general are necessary evils. How do you balance it all and still have the leeway to focus your time for other things you truly care about?
Being a digital hermit is certainly not an option for most of us. We need a solid and concrete strategy to keep our focus in a world that seems to be designed to keep us distracted.
Bill Gates and Elon Musk are known for having high levels of productivity, along with being known with the ability to maximise each minute of the day. What’s their secret, you might ask?
This is where time blocking comes in. But just what is time blocking, and how can it help improve with your productivity? Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Time blocking is essentially a method or technique of time management that has become increasingly popular. While it’s true that most of us places blocks of time in our calendars, we often do not fully understand the details why this productivity method is so effective.
With time blocking, individuals organise their workday into specific blocks of time, with each block dedicated to completing specific tasks. The intention is for you to keep focused on a task exclusively.
Instead of having an open-ended to-do-list, time blocking allows you to focus on a concrete schedule, so there will be no delineation as to what you should prioritise each working day. Unlike a to-do-list, time blocking not only tells you what to do, but when to do it.
To create your time blocks, you’d have to create your task list in advance and ensure your own weekly review prior to the week ahead. This way you know what’s coming up, adjust if there is a need to, and do what needs to get done.
The Importance of Time Blocking.
One obvious importance of time blocking is that it helps you to stay on top of your tasks. By allocating parts of your day to focus on a specific task, you would be able to manage a high workload.
Time blocking help in gaining your daily routine goals in more convenient and managed way by providing you the following:
● Stick to your schedule
Let’s face it, you get messed up and start thinking of your tasks as a chore when you don’t have a proper schedule for carrying out these tasks. You’ll end up getting distracted and start neglecting the most important jobs you must complete on time.
● Become more productive
When you start managing your time, you’ll notice you’rel getting more done. If you are a stickler with following your schedule, you’ll find that you’ll get free time that you may be able to block doing something else.
● Work on time
Were you assigned a task but were not able to complete it on time? The culprit would most likely be that you failed to manage your time and forgot you left something undone. You thought you would complete the task later, but never got around to find time to finish it.
With time blocking, you will have a time slot for every single task. You will then be able to manage your schedule and manage to complete tasks in their specific time slots.
With a properly blocked daily schedule, you’ll know how your time went in performing every single activity on time. This time management brings a sense of satisfaction to your mind. This satisfaction, in turn, removes work related stress from your mind, and you’ll be able to manage work more effectively.
How Can Time Blocking Increase Productivity?
Note that time blocking is kind of the opposite of multitasking. Multitasking does not mean you are being productive, on the contrary, it’s quite the opposite. Studies show that multitasking reduces productivity by as much as 40%.
When done right, blocking your time helps you in managing your work and input more effectively. By dedicating specific times to complete a task, you lock your focus and thus minimise context switching, which is both disruptive and distracting.
Time blocking can help you increase productivity by:
1. Encourages you to set your task priorities.
Time blocking gives you a chance to renew your commitment to task priorities and making decisions over what matters most.
Once you begin following a blocked schedule, you can better reflect how you spend your time, and this allows you to plan better, plan your schedule, and fill your calendar with meaningful tasks.
2. Eliminates procrastination and perfectionism.
The two above are the biggest enemies of time management. By employing the time block method, you can eliminate both these adversaries.
With a blocking method, you are encouraged to schedule your calendar with the most difficult tasks first. In this manner, your willpower and energy are conserved.
3. You get to master over disruptions.
Scheduling a block of your time to work on a particular task, helps you in avoiding distractions and context switching and promotes focused deep work.
When you “single task,” you strengthen your mental muscles that you will need to do deep work. This in turn makes it easier for you to stay focused.
4. It discourages multitasking.
If you group similar tasks together into time blocks, you can be more efficient and can apply skills to the task. By contrast, when you don’t time block, you’ll be spending time switching between dissimilar tasks.
While today’s workforce is so used to multitasking, one cannot escape reality that it is damaging to productivity. By constantly switching between tasks, your attention is likewise divided, thus you will not be able to give your best for anything that you are working on.
5. It helps you follow through on your goals.
Having a concrete plan helps people see their intention through. By scheduling your tasks and setting goals, there is a higher chance of you following through with your intentions.
By blocking time in your calendar, you will be forced to make concrete plans. This also has the added benefit of not having you work towards your goal vaguely.
Using time blocking effectively can help you organise your day, focus your attention, and ward off procrastination. Creating a blueprint that works for you may take a little trial and error, but with a little practice and a bit of patience, you will be a pro in no time.
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