Time Management Tips :: Block It

Time. We never seem to find enough of it. Like many my activities and tacks vary from day to day. Writing, administrative work, on-site consulting, as well as exercising, volunteering and taking care of a busy family are just some of the things I fit into a busy week. Juggling too many activities without boundaries can lead to missed appointments, unhappy customers and frustrated family members. Incorporating time management is something I’ve embraced over the years and have learned many valuable lessons. The number one lesson in time management is to “time block.”


Pink and Orange Apple Clock by Jonathan Adler


{image courtesy of Jonathan Adler}

What is time blocking? Blocking time is essentially setting specific time slots for each activity. It sounds simple, but so many don’t block time for every activity and thus get overwhelmed, distracted and wind up not completing tasks.

Erin Condren Daily Planner 2013 {image via  Erin Condren}

To get started, first you need to pick a unified calendar either online {MS Outlook, Yahoo, Google, etc.} or a traditional {here are my top ten daily planners for 2013}. You can use different colors or buckets for work or life, but one calendar ensures that your obligations don’t get overlooked. If you want your weekends to be time off from work, you should block it into your schedule. Otherwise there is the risk that your work will creep into your personal time. In addition, you should be as specific as you can with your time block schedule.

Still Time to Change the Road You're On
{image via Amy Rice Art}

A benefit from time blocking is it eliminates toggling between tasks. The less we switch tasks, the more focused and efficient our brains can work. Our productivity also improves. It’s important that when you block out time for tasks you remain focused without interruptions {i.e. avoid taking phone calls, etc.}.

Another benefit to time blocking is it stops you from procrastinating. Many of my clients have projects and clutter that is so overwhelming they can’t bring themselves to even start. Instead of tackling the project all at once, it’s best to break the project into smaller, more manageable tasks. Then assign time slots for each task. Remember to assign times during the day that are best for the task and least likely get distracted {i.e. in the morning when the kids are at school, on the weekend when a friend can help, etc.} It’s important that when you block out time for tasks you remain focused without interruptions such as phone calls.

Time Management Quote

Is it time for you to try time blocking?

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