Time blocking can help you get more done, more importantly it helps you get the right stuff done! Even the most organised of people can struggle getting the most out of their day, especially dealing with all the little jobs (and emails) that keep piling up. Time blocking is a great way to improve your time management. Here’s how to use time blocking to help your productivity.
Time Management is impossible
You can’t manage time, but you can manage yourself. The bad news is that time management in the medium and long term is about discipline and effort, there is no magic button.
Time blocking tips
Many people plan a large amount of their day, but come unstuck when dealing with the myriad of little tasks – these can range from odd jobs, miscellaneous emails, non urgent letters, phone calls etc.
- Be clear on what your key strategic three or four activity areas are. Separate from these the collection of the miscellaneous odd bits.
- Allocate an amount of time to spend on those 3-4 strategic areas, allocated in percentage terms of your week e.g. Marketing might need to be 25% of your time. In each of those blocks ONLY focus on those activities.
- Allocate an fixed block of time each day (or week) to spend on the miscellaneous items. Emails that don’t relate to strategic activities should only be read or dealt with in one of these two time blocks. NEVER exceed the amount of time spent on tasks in these categories. Split this time block in two, one giving two categories of time blocks “Other” and “Basket”.
- The “other” items are non strategic items that will take more than ten minutes to complete. The “Basket” is the collection of short “odds and sods”. Decide in advance how long each of these blocks is, and don’t exceed it – ever.
- The time allocated to your basket is spent on the emails, letters and other tasks that can done quickly; less than 5-10 minutes on each. If an item is going to take longer than that, allocate it some specific time in your “other” block of time. Work steadily through your basket, in chronological order, stop as soon as the time is up. These are not key strategic items not doing them all today today will not cause your business to fail, but not achieving your key strategic items could do. Never ever spend time on your basket of odds and sods that you’ve allocated to your key strategic activities.
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