Are you looking for a simple way to organize your day for optimal productivity? Try time blocking.
I originally learned about time blocking through Abby’s highly informative post on http://www.justagirlandherblog.com and it completely changed my mindset about productivity.
What is timeblocking?
Time blocking is a relatively simple, yet highly effective way of scheduling and putting time aside for certain events. Basically, you take your to-do list and schedule a fixed amount of time for each task. You literally plan out your entire day by the hour, and although it may seem counter-intuitive, time blocking can help keep procrastination, time-consuming distractions, and futile multi-tasking at bay. Rather than flitting between different tasks, time blocking allows you to focus on a specific task with the peace of mind that you will have time to complete the other tasks.
Time blocking allows you to power through a short period of time knowing a break will follow soon afterward. Knowing that there will be breaks often helps you push all distractions from your mind and allows you to work harder at the task, which allows more work to get done.
How can I start using this technique?
When I first started time blocking, I would plan out every single little thing in the day, including my meals. Although this looked productive, it was honestly not the best method for me as my days often contain spontaneous events. My absolute favorite part about time blocking is how flexible it is. There’s honestly no set way to time block, and there’s so much room to explore and figure out what works for you. After some tweaking, I stumbled upon the Pomodoro Method of time blocking, which was what ended up working for me and my lifestyle.
Although originally created for students, the Pomodoro Method consists of 25 minutes of work time (called a Pomodoro) followed by 5 minutes of break time. Every four “pomodoros” are then followed by a longer break – around 25-30 minutes. Sometimes I switch tasks during the Pomodoro, and that’s alright, as long as I’m getting productive work done.
If you want your hands on a set of free schedule printables that I legit swear by, then click the button below and grab ’em (for free!) This is the printable that I personally use to schedule my time-blocking sessions, and it really does help improve focus!
I also like to use time-blocking apps. The one I currently use is Forest App and I highly recommend it. Within the app, you can choose the amount of ‘work/Pomodoro’ time and once you start the timer, a tree gets planted. If you leave the app before the timer is up, your tree dies. Once you earn a certain amount of coins, you can also ‘buy’ a real tree to be planted! (Not sponsored, I promise! I just really love it!) Other popular apps include Focus Now and Pomodoro Timer.
Tips for timeblocking
Like I said, time blocking is super flexible, which is a great thing if your daily schedule and tasks change constantly. My schedule is always changing, too. However, there are a couple things that I almost always schedule in. No matter what.
- My daily workout (about half an hour) – studies show that sticking in a workout during your day can greatly boost your energy levels which can also boost your productivity levels!
- My number one task of the day – every day, I give myself at least one goal to complete. That way I always have an end result in mind and I have something to work towards.
- Extra time: Unfortunately, I’m sure we’ve all learned that things don’t always go as planned, so be sure to allocate extra time just in case. Don’t try to jam-pack your schedule!
Planning out your days:
The reason why time blocking works is that it’s just so flexible, and that includes how you plan out your days. Sometimes I plan in my agenda, sometimes I do it all on my calendars app. However, I often will revert back to old-school style by hand-scheduling everything in. I feel like having to write everything down makes me so much more aware of my daily tasks.
And don’t forget to pick up your freebie since you’ve read through the whole post and are ready to slay your day, am I right!? Click the button below to grab it (absolutely free!)