How To "time Block" (and Why It's The Best Productivity Hack You Should Use)

A a commitment that you’ve made to yourself and finally it creates a record of how you’ve spent your time I think this is quite nice it’s quite useful to be able to look back at the end of the week and see how did I spend my time this week and I think the more we understand about where our time is being spent whether it’s being effective whether we’re being effective or not the better quality decisions and.

Plans we can make in the future so let’s get.

Into actually how to time blog so here I have a to-do list now this is very basic to-do list I actually manage my tasks and to dues in asana you could may use some other app maybe even you use a good old notebook or pen and paper I’m.

Just using the Notes app here so here are three tasks that I need to complete now what I’m gonna do is well firstly I actually complete my the bulk of my time blocking on a Friday afternoon I like doing it on a Friday I like planning my upcoming week you.

Could do yours on a Monday morning but I think it is quite good doing it at the end of the week.

So that you can then start the new week hit the ground running and get straight into your work with no delay but yeah even though you’re going to be sitting down to plan.

Your week at one point in time this is not a concrete plan it will change it is a flexible.

System which I’ll get to later so don’t worry too much.

Plan in fact it’s very likely to change so um yeah just you’ll be doing this probably at the end of the week so we’re.
Gonna take the first task here let’s say I want.

To do this on a Monday I’m gonna then switch over to my calendar and block out time to do this on the Monday so actually what I might do is just copy that text and.

The exact same title so there we go whoops I’m going to prepare sales presentation done I’ve got a block in and I’ve thought about how long it’s going to take me I think it might take an.

Know I can plan more time for this maybe it’s an hour and a half and I’ve put that on my calendar now let’s get the second task so I’m.

Gonna send out some client invoices that should be pretty quick I maybe only need half an hour to do that I’ll do that on Tuesday and now this third thing here write a blog post about time blocking it was something I G already done but just as an example this is a this is a task that might actually take a few days to complete maybe I’ll start it on.

Wednesday I’ll spend an hour and a half on it on Wednesday and now maybe I’m gonna spend another hour finishing up on Thursday and I use this example to.

Highlight a point which is that you could have blocks multiple blocks on your calendar to represent the same task so if this is a task that’s due.

On Thursday I could actually start it on Wednesday and then finish it on Thursday so you can’t you don’t have to complete.

The task in one sitting in one block you might actually have multiple blocks representing the same task so the first step is to really go through.

Your to-do list look at what you need to do and then plan when you’re going to do them during the week and put these blocks on then we can actually start the work so we’re going to get into work Monday morning I can start working on these tasks obviously when I complete this task here this sales presentation.

I can mark this is done on my calendar and you will then have to update this calendar as you.

Go because it’s very unlikely that you’re going.

To stick to your plan urgent work is going to come up more important tasks or fires the need putting out you’re going to need to make changes to this plan there’s also going to be the chance as well that maybe this task doesn’t take an hour and a half maybe it only takes an.

Hour or maybe it takes two hours so I’m gonna make those changes as I go as well so let’s say I get into my on a start Monday I start this task but it only takes me an hour then what I would do is adjust this appointment to show how long it actually took so there it is.

I’ve changed it to only show an hour and then my next task you know obviously assume I.

Have some other things in here the next task I would move to then start now actually cancel that the next task I can I can change.

It and say right I’m going to start that now alternatively let’s say this was an hour and a half I might then pull it out to two hours because it actually took.

Longer than I expected and it.

Might mean that I have to then push some tasks cut back to be completed later in the day because I’m having to adjust.

Finish this and I have to work on this tomorrow so what I might do is copy this and paste it to.

Tomorrow and say you know what I’m gonna do that in the morning and.

Then I’ll come to those invoices later in the day so actually maybe I’ll drag that down there and you can see what I’m doing is I’m very much like updating my plan dragging blocks around creating new pot.

Fly as I go out as I as I progress through my week in fact you know maybe an urgent task comes up and I think ah you.

Know what I can’t get that done we’ll actually we’ll move that to later in the week and I now have to work on this urgent task here which is you know paying paying employee salaries or something I don’t know so we’ll put that on so this is a flexible system it can’t seem.

A little bit rigid and kind of strict in the beginning but you.

Can move things around a lot in fact I move my cap my tasks around all the time to really take advantage of time blocking you probably want to keep your calendar open on your computer.

Regularly throughout the day and be constantly tweaking it and tuning it as you as you go now just some time blocking tips firstly I generally recommend only blocking out tasks that take maybe 30 minutes or longer or maybe 1530 minutes or longer for those quick 5.

10-minute tasks generally I don’t bother blocking out time for those I might have a block which is half an hour and I might just call that miscellaneous tasks and all of those five 10-minute tasks I’ll tackle in that one block but generally I’ll only block out tasks that take maybe 30.

Minutes or longer another tip is to block out more time than you think you need so in general.