Try This Life Changing Productivity Hack

This one productivity hack has saved my career more than once!

 
Do you want to be more productive? This productivity Tip will GUARANTEE that you get more done.  This post is loaded with a super helpful productivity hack to help you conquer your day and get more done. Don't miss out on becoming more productive! #productivity
 

It's not about being busy, it's about being productive. The productivity hack everyone NEEDS!

One question I commonly get asked?

 "How can I possibly work on a blog when I am already too tired to do anything after work?"

Friend, you aren't the only one! Trust me, I've been there! My best advice? Set a timer and START

As simple as it may seem, it's actually coined time blocking. It's simply an organizational method to help keep you accountable and focused. Stick through this short article and you'll learn:

  • Why time blocking is important.
  • How to schedule your day around time blocking.
  • A list of INCREDIBLE apps to help you!

Considering some sources say we don't have more than a 10-minute concentration window, utilizing time blocking the right way can do wonders for our day!   

ARE WE GIVING OURSELVES ADHD?

I've heard this statement before! However, it's not exactly the case...

With electronics, fast pace careers, and modern media, we have things fighting for our attention at a constant rate. I encourage you to time yourself once. The amount of time you spend mindlessly browsing your devices will surprise you. 

This happens to make a lot of us feel like we can't focus on well anything. 

TIME YOURSELF TO SEE JUST HOW MUCH TIME YOU SPEND BROWSING YOUR MOBILE DEVICES

TIME YOURSELF TO SEE JUST HOW MUCH TIME YOU SPEND BROWSING YOUR MOBILE DEVICES

SO HOW DO WE BECOME FOCUSED?

By setting limits, practicing self-discipline, and starting.

Or more simply put, use a timer! 

The most productive individuals organize their days in periods of full concentration. Some block off hours of the day, while others go as far as long-term blocking off tasks, vacations, etc.. months in advance.

If you still aren't convinced, check these additional benefits.

BENEFITS OF TIME BLOCKING

  • It adds structure and organization to your week.
  • Allows you to set small and achievable goals to help drive motivation.
  • Provides accountability for you and your work. 
  • Eliminates distraction.
  • Allows you to identify your priorities. 
  • Allows for efficient reflection of work. 
  • Less stress.
  • Increased productivity (reaching the end goal!)

I have found even blocking 15 minutes for house chores every day really makes cleaning a much easier task throughout the week (and who doesn't have 15 minutes to spare?)

time blocking

HOW DO YOU START?

Find Your Most Important Task and Block it Off

  • Determine which projects are the most time sensitive and set your day around accomplishing it. If it needs to get done on the same day you'll be time blocking until it's finished. 
  • Build your day REALISTICALLY around that task. 
    • For example - I have an article that needs to be written by 4. My schedule may reflect hourly intervals from 10 until 4 on that single task with intermittent breaks. 
      • 10 - 10:45 Article
      • 10:45 - 11:00 Take care of bills
      • 11:00 - 11:45 Article
      • 11:45 - 1:00 - Walk/Gym/Me Time
      • 1:00 - 1:45 Article
      • etc..
    • I set a timer for every 45 minute time period (use whichever time interval you prefer)
    • If I get the article done early, I brainstorm for the next one. If no article is due, I set that time aside for social media, etc...
    • On days when no articles are due, I can set the interval blocks with varying tasks. 

Set a Timer

Find your preferred timing device (whether it be an app, stopwatch, or clock). 

Personally, I find blocking off minutes rather than hours or days, to be the most beneficial. For example, I have found my concentration is relatively limited to a 45 minute period when dealing with reading, writing, or any sedentary task.  I strongly benefit, both mentally and physically, from getting up and moving every hour.  Yes.. 45 minutes to an hour may seem too short to get things done; but, I usually always block off time at the end of the day to work on projects that are unfinished to compensate for this. 

I track all of this with a timer. 

Eliminate Distractions

Put away that phone, close your Facebook page, and don't be distracted! Time blocking doesn't work if you are breaking every five minutes to respond to a text or check your Facebook. 

Stay Consistent

The key to successfully using time blocking for time management is to be consistent.   Details aside, it really comes down to assuring that we better use the time. This also means taking time to plan out priorities.

Organization Goes a Long Ways

The more organized your day is the more productive time blocking will be.

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TIME BLOCKING TIPS

MAKE TIME BLOCKS REALISTIC 

A.K.A. know your limits.  I'm not going to block off something for 3 hours because I simply can't stay focused for that long of period... therefore I'd already be setting myself up for failure. I'm also not going to set up a block for a single day that consists of 30 different things. 

BE CONSISTENT

 It takes time for a habit to form.  Make small variations when necessary but try to be consistent.

USE THE RIGHT TOOLS

Find an app, planner, or notebook to keep you organized and accountable.

Awesome apps you can use include:

  • Trello: My FAVORITE organizational desktop and mobile app.  It's the most beautiful sticky notes you'll ever see! 
  • Wunderlist: Another great 'to-do list' tool that allows you to set deadlines and check off accomplishments!
  • CoSchedule: Article, blog post, and social media organization all in one.  Not as simple as Trello, but has many more features.
  • Focus Keeper: Keeps track of 25 minute work intervals for you!
  • Asana: A lot like CoSchedule - an all-in-one organizational tool.
  • Brain.FM: Interval music to help you focus!

 

CONCLUSION

Time Blocking is a great way to force yourself to work.  It helps to keep you focused, prioritized, and productive.  However, It's what you make it.  If you aren't going to put away distractions and stick to your schedule, it won't work as well for you.

At the very minimum, I recommend you set at least a 15 minute timer when you are struggling for motivation. It's not only a great way to test the method, but also kick starts your work period and keeps you accountable. It's also the first step in time blocking your entire day.

Which time management strategies do you use? Have you tried time blogging? Does it work for you?

 
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