What is time blocking?
Time blocking is one of many productivity methods out there that promises to help increase your focus. Put simply, it involves dividing your day into blocks of time, during which you focus on specific tasks or activities. You do not multitask!
The idea is to structure your day in a way that allows you to be productive and focused, rather than constantly switching between tasks or being distracted by interruptions.
How do we time block?
To start time blocking, you first need to create a schedule for the day that outlines what you need to accomplish and when. This might include things like meetings, calls, deadlines, and other important tasks.
Once you have a schedule, you can then divide your day into blocks of time, each dedicated to a specific task or activity. For example, you might block out the first hour of the day for email and admin tasks, the next hour for a meeting, and so on.
Why time block?
There are many reasons why time blocking is such a popular productivity method:
- Increased productivity: Time blocking encourages you to focus on one task at a time, which can increase productivity and reduce distractions. By dedicating specific blocks of time to specific tasks, you can work more efficiently and get more done in less time.
- Better prioritization: Time blocking helps you to prioritize tasks by allocating specific blocks of time for the most important and time-sensitive activities. This can help you to stay on top of deadlines and ensure that you're working on the most important tasks at the right time.
- Improved organization: Time blocking allows you to organize your day in a structured way, which can make it easier to manage your time and stay on top of your to-do list.
- Reduced stress: With time blocking, you can plan your day in advance and have a clear idea of what needs to be done, which can reduce stress and anxiety.
- Increased focus: By breaking down your day into smaller blocks of time, you can maintain focus and concentration for longer periods, which can lead to better productivity.
- Flexibility: Time blocking allows you to adjust your schedule as needed and to allocate more or less time to specific tasks depending on their priority.
- Better use of time: By organizing your day into blocks of time, you can make better use of your time, and avoid wasting time on unimportant tasks or distractions.
- Track progress: By using Time blocking, you can track your progress and measure your productivity throughout the day.
The potential downsides?
But time boxing isn't for everyone.
If you're trying it out and not seeing what the buzz is all about, it could be due to:
- Inflexibility: Time blocking requires a certain level of discipline and structure, which can be difficult to maintain if your schedule is constantly changing or if you're dealing with unexpected interruptions. It can also be difficult to adjust to unexpected events, such as a meeting running longer than expected, which can throw off your entire schedule for the day.
- Over-scheduling: If you're not careful, time blocking can lead to over-scheduling, where you try to fit too many tasks into too little time. This can cause stress and burnout, and can make it difficult to accomplish anything. Llama Life has an End Time and List Time feature which tells you the expected time of completion for your entire list.
- Lack of spontaneity: Time blocking can be rigid, and if you follow it too strictly, you may find that you have little time for spontaneous activities or for taking breaks during the day.
- Underestimating time: Time blocking can be less effective if you are not accurate in estimating the time required for each task, as it could lead to feeling overwhelmed, frustrated or falling behind schedule. When using Llama Life , you will be able to use a simple report which shows you what you've completed and how much time each task took, to help you improve your understanding of where you're spending your time.
- Inflexibility of the task: Some tasks may require a more flexible approach, and time blocking may not be the best solution. For example, creative work or problem solving may require a more open-ended approach and may not fit well within the structure of time blocking.
Image credit: Janis Ozolins
Is time blocking for you?
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to productivity methods, and, even once you find a method that works, it may not be the right method for you all of the time.
We recommend trying out a few methods and grabbing from each what worked well for you. Good luck!