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

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

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

https://blog.rescuetime.com/time-blocking-101/

blog.rescuetime.com

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Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Scheduling your day

A good daily schedule is a blueprint for a successful life. 

Knowing what we’re doing and when empowers us with a sense of purpose, meaning, and focus.

Scheduling styles
When it comes to our daily schedule, most people fall into one of two camps:
  • The Overscheduler: Their days are determined from the moment they wake up to their evening routine.
  • The Minimalist: They’ve got one or two recurring events, but a whole lot of white space so they’re “free” (at least on paper) for long stretches of work.
Your most important work

The most successful people consistently get their most important work done first.

Build recurring time for your most important work in the morning, before you start anything else. Your energy levels are naturally higher in the morning, but completing a meaningful task first thing has also a domino effect that pushes you through the day.

4 more ideas

There is no perfect method for everyone

There is no "one size fits all schedule" for maximum productivity.

Because we all have particular strengths and weaknesses when it comes to time management and productivity, what works...

The Time Blocking Method

It involves planning out your day in advance and dedicating specific hours to accomplish specific tasks. 

It’s important to block out both proactive blocks (when you focus on important tasks) and reactive blocks (when you allow time for requests and interruptions).

The Most Important Task Method (MIT)

Instead of writing a big to-do list and trying to get it all done, determine the 1-3 tasks that are absolutely essential and then focus on those tasks during the day. 

You don’t do anything else until you’ve completed the three essential tasks.

2 more ideas

The 2 kinds of work :
  • Deep work”: using your skills to create something of value. It takes thought, energy, time and concentration.
  • Shallow work”: all the little administrative and logist...
Cal Newport
Cal Newport

"The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive. "

Cal Newport on time management
  • Don’t schedule distractions. Schedule deep work.
  • Keep a scoreboard for deep work: The point is to shame yourself if you’re not up to snuff.
  • Stop saying “yes” to unimportant stuff;
  • Have a “Deep Work Ritual”: Hiding in a conference room and throwing your phone into an abyss is a good one.
  • Ask your boss how much time they want you spending on deep vs shallow work: If they say “100% shallow”, feel free to ignore everything above.