What is Time Blocking or Time Chunking?Apr 01, 2022
•Time blocking/chunking, also known as timeboxing, is a time management technique that helps you organize, prioritize and schedule all your tasks and activities using blocks. You can plan for a whole day, week, or even month with this technique.
•These blocks implement the idea of time limits and are quite flexible in terms of deadlines, meaning you can always re-evaluate your tasks.
Why is this Important?
> You become realistic about your working potential; and you can plan better for future tasks
Those who’s just stepped on a path of productive time management usually make the same mistake: they overestimate their capabilities. This means that they try to accomplish all the tasks in one day without realizing the real workload, possible distractors, or contingencies.
> You make your brain work better
Our minds need time intervals to focus and complete a task. For productive and concentrated work, our brain usually takes us about 30 mins to tune into it. Time blocking employs effective time management techniques for that purpose. It also minimizes the risk of distraction by telling you that it’s time to work right now. Your brain knows that in a certain period of time there will be that desired break and becomes more focused on the task at hand.
How to Effectively Time Block
1. Plan and prioritize
2. Unite your tasks into time blocks
3. It's time to act! Try it out
4. Revise, re-plan and re-plan
> 1. Plan and prioritize
•At this step, you gather and prioritize all of your tasks. The following tips will help you do it more effectively.
•Think of and write down all the tasks you need to do on a piece of paper. Now, you have a great to-do list. But don’t stop here.
•After you’ve gathered all of your tasks, it’s time to prioritize. For this, take another piece of paper and write out the most important tasks. They can be the ones you have to do daily. For example, answer emails, and communicate with your work team or clients. Then add those that have close deadlines. After filling in those that have distant deadlines. Finally, add all the rest.
•Don’t try to put all the tasks in one day; it’s better to shorten your schedule to a maximum of 5 tasks a day. Otherwise, you’ll slip into multitasking, which is never good for your productivity or accuracy.
> 2. Unite your tasks into time blocks
•This stage is important as you assign time intervals to your tasks.
•Define the most productive part of your day, when you are the most concentrated, energetic, and creative. Considering your circadian rhythms or naturally awake times can help you analyze your working day and understand how you allocate your time.
•Schedule your most important or unpleasant tasks for the morning, the faster you complete them, the better you’ll feel during the day. This can give you the power to handle all the rest of the tasks faster.
•Set your time intervals wisely. In the beginning, this activity may seem tough as different tasks require different time intervals. You can start with standard 60 mins for every task and then track the time for each completed task to become more precise in the future.
•If your tasks are too big, it’s worth dividing them into smaller ones. This will keep you from becoming demotivated when you are not able to finish everything on time.
•Finally, as you’ve set the start and end time for each task, add them to your time blocking calendar and move on to the next step.
> 3. It’s time to act!
•You’ve drawn up your first time blocking schedule. Now, it’s time to try it out.
•Start your work at the 1st blocked task at a set time and finish it accordingly. If you’ve not managed to meet your self-set deadlines, don’t panic! The next step will have all the instructions in case this happens.
•Keep tracking time for every block you work on, for now, you need statistics. Analyze which tasks take you more time and less time. You can keep it on a piece of paper, using a free time card calculator, or with an integrated time tracker.
• The time tracker that I use: Timeflip2 Time Tracker Interactive Cube
> 4. Revise, plan and re-plan
•This step makes your time blocking schedule more adaptable to unforeseen circumstances and flexible with burned deadlines.
•You’ll never define the length of your time blocks with 100% accuracy. This is because of many reasons, such as unexpected work errors, various delays, or just simple tiredness. That’s why there is the opportunity to revise all your planned tasks and put them in a new set of blocks.
•Revise and re-plan your schedule when you have part of your tasks completed. Throughout the day the priority of your tasks can change and you should be prepared for it. Especially if you work in a fast-paced industry.
•Some people will find it's easier to use special apps for schedule revision. Others like myself, find using a planner made on a piece of paper, where I can cross out parts and add others in, more efficient. Either way, blocking time is an excellent way to stay on track and dedicate the proper time to the highest priorities.