Are you in need of a productivity boost? Do you want to become more focused and organized with your work?
Do you want to feel extremely successful at the end of the day?
Then maybe you should try time blocking... a work organizational method which has improved my efficiency tremendously.
Traditionally I've always been a "work as long as I can focus then switch gears" type of person. But recently I found myself switching gears so often I wasn't even beginning to focus. The more on my plate... the less productive I became. I often stayed busy without getting anything done.
And I'm not alone.
Numerous Research articles and psychology professionals have agreed that we are now living in a society where we are losing our ability to focus.
Because of this, many people resort to feeling as if they have some degree of attention deficit disorder ...but in reality most of these people do not. In actuality, we all are suffering from something much more pandemic.
And its called modern society.
With electronics, fast pace careers, and modern media , we have things fighting for our attention at a constant rate. For instance, think about how much time a person spends on their phone or on social media during a given day. I encourage you to time yourself once. The amount of time you spend mindlessly browsing your devices will surprise you.
As beneficial as technology is to our productivity and convenience... it is destroying our ability to focus.
So how do we resolve this?
We train ourselves to do so.
This is called discipline, but it isn't easy.
Many of the world's most elite and successful individuals utilize some sort of time block method. Simply put, they 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.
Personally, I find blocking off minutes rather then 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 to 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.
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 that we have and that we put effort into planning and our priorities.
Organization goes a long ways.
Below are some of the many benefits of blocking off time for increased productivity.
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 to you and your work.
Allows you to identify your priorities.
Allows for efficient reflection of work.
Increased Productivity (reaching the end goal!)
Now, I'm not afraid to say that time block management isn't for everyone... especially if you follow a strict routine. However, I have found even blocking 15 minutes for house chores everyday really makes cleaning a much easier task throughout the week(and who doesn't have 15 minutes to spare?)
What are some 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 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.
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.
Find an Accountability Partner
It is always nice to have someone keep you accountable.
For example, my day looks like such:
EARLY AM Workout (4:30 AM workout): Weightlifting (interested in becoming a morning person? Click the image on the right).
Shower/Dress/Makeup: 1 Hour
30 min. to an 1 hour to plan out my day and catch up on office gossip (I like to call this catch up with coworkers social hours)
Then I start actually time blocking. I set an alarm on my phone and shoot for 45 minutes of no interruption including no phone breaks, no social breaks, no social media... only my scheduled task. Most of the time this requires me to put my phone away! These periods are highly productive.
Not too mention when I check off one the to do list boxes below, I always get a high from feeling like a was productive!
I love using Wunderlist (both desktop and app)... and below is a screen shot of my to-do list.
Followed by 15 Minutes of house work - designating a different duty each week.
Simple yet effective.
Which time management strategies do you use?