As you can tell by the title, I have just started time blocking the shit out of my schedule and damn, it’s been life-changing. We recorded with Lex Niko on CWC + Friends who basically inspired me to take my daily schedule to the next level.
I think working from home has changed everyone’s working style, by force. WFH life has made it easier to spend a lot longer on tasks that would have never taken you that long pre-pandemic. Pre-pandemic sounds like it was a whole world ago but just like everything else, we will get through it.
I’ve been time blocking for just under a month and I’ve noticed the days where I stick to my allotted schedule, I more often than not get a lot more done in a shorter period of time. Time blocking is essentially allocating x amount of minutes to one task and focusing on that one task for the allotted time, then moving onto the next “time slot”.
This practice also allows me to identify priorities and not shift from those like I typically would on a day where “things come up” and people reach out to me via call/text/email. I mean that naturally happens because #life but it happens less when time blocking. It’s also nice following a time blocked schedule versus just an unprioritized “to-do list”.
Todoist has a really great article breaking down the art of time blocking, they included this little diagram and it makes sense visually.
For me, I can’t only have one section of my day dedicated to emails because I get a lot of emails throughout the day that need responding to but what I did experiment with is having my phone on do not disturb and not responding within the minute I receive an email notification because I’m focused on completing said task with minimal distractions. Also, remove the expectation that people need to be responded to within two minutes because that’s just unrealistic. That little DND tactic has really helped me! Try it out and let me know what you think in the comment section below.
What I find with time blocking is, I really need to dedicate myself to that schedule, that day. My schedule is different every day so I need to map out what that looks like from an hourly standpoint. Some days, I just have so many different things on-the-go that I just go through it via to-do list, versus timing each task out.
As for tools and resources, Lex recommended this miracle “timer cube” that is such an effective physical reminder as opposed to just using your phone timer/alarm which is great to differentiate sounds and alerts. There are free printable templates, accessible here (scroll through them to see which version works best for you), and if you like to write things down, I love this physical “to do planner” from ban.dō. Then, I just physically write out my timing for each task every day.
My reco is to start with time blocking for just one full day, then add on from there depending on your success. If you are a very distracted person, this will take time to adjust to! Even one full day of time blocking seems overwhelming at first but just like anything else, once it becomes a habit you’ll never look back, especially as this WFH lifestyle persists. Try kicking your first week of April off by time blocking each day, if it’s too much to wrap your head around right this minute.
Tell us about your experience with time blocking by commenting down below or tagging us here.