Using Time Blocking for Improved Productivity

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Have you ever found yourself procrastinating just to do your work well and efficiently at the last
minute? You’re not alone. Parkinson’s Law states: “Work expands to fill the time available for its
completion.”

This is a critical realization: you don’t need more time, you simply need to be more strategic with
the time you have. Since time is your most valuable resource you have to protect it, structure it
and be intentional with it. This is where time blocking comes in.

Structuring Your Time Blocks

1. Identify your priority.

Look at your goals for the week and identify the most important. Then, set aside your largest
block of time for specifically working towards that goal. Keep in mind time constraints or
deadlines as you define your priority. Until this main goal is met, everything else is merely a
distraction.

2. Plan for other goals

Next, categorize your activities and create blocks of time to accomplish the rest of your list.
Group common tasks together. For example, try these groupings: (1) client work, (2) marketing,
(3) business development, (4) sales activities, (5) goal-setting and new initiative planning, (6)
personal tasks.

 

3. Make a framework.

Schedule these blocks as recurring appointments on your calendar so that the structure remains
the same week after week. It is crucial that you are organized going into your time blocks or
they will not be effective. The key here is to honor your calendar as you start working with the
process.
Using Your Blocks Efficiently
Once you’ve set up your blocks of time, try these tips.

4. Structure Within The Block

Batch the tasks that need to be completed within each individual block to give yourself
additional structure. For example, if you are working in a “client work” time block, complete all
the work for one client before moving to the next, rather than jumping around from client to
client.

5. Use a task management tool that can categorize by context to match the time blocks on your
calendar. (ed note: Peter, I’m not sure what you mean by this one… could you elaborate/clarify)

6. Track your time.

When you start on a new block, start your timer. Try Toggl for simple but robust time tracking.
This helps hold you accountable and respect the blocks of time, and also lets you see how your
time was spent through the week. This is very useful information to have as you look for ways to
improve your time management.

Setting a few boundaries, blocking your time and figuring out what time of day you do your best
work can help set you up for success each and every day.

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