Time blocking 101: A step-by-step guide to mastering your daily schedule - Deepstash

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Time blocking

Time blocking

It's the practice of planning out every moment of your day in advance and dedicating specific time “blocks” for certain tasks and responsibilities.

When you fill your calendar with the tasks and things you want to do, it’s harder for others to steal your time.

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Time blocking and focus

Time blocking and focus

By scheduling every minute of your day you not only guard against distraction but also multiply your focus.

Also, focusing on one task at a time can make you up to 80% more productive than splitting your attention across multiple tasks.

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Cons of the time blocking practice

  • It takes a lot of time and effort.
  • Few of us (if any) have the same schedule every day.
  • We’re bad at estimating how long tasks will take to do.
  • Constant interruptions and “urgent” tasks can destroy your system.
  • Flexibility is key in most workplaces.
  • You can lose sight of the bigger picture if you focus just on each day.

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Time blocking your schedule

  1. Know your high-level priorities and goals.
  2. Start creating blocks for your time outside of work (morning routines, time with family/friends etc.)
  3. Schedule your most meaningful work for when your energy and attention naturally peak.
  4. Add blocks for reactive tasks each day (emails, calls, meetings).
  5. Write down your daily to-do list (for work, home, and family/social) and fill it in.

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Tips from time blocking experts

  • Place buffers in between tasks.
  • Schedule your breaks too. 
  • Use the right daily time management strategies to stay on track. 
  • Overestimate how long things will take (at least to start). 
  • Put in time for downtime, relaxation, and learning. 
  • Make sure the people around you understand what you’re working on.
  • Revise as needed.

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