How to Use Time Blocking

Time blocking example

I got introduced to the idea of time blocking while reading Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller, so I am researching more.

The following is from JORY MACKA’s .
The following is all from them, nothing from me.

The simple reason why time blocking works is that it’s designed for focus. The human brain needs guardrails at work. Otherwise, we fall into what’s known as Parkinson’s Law: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”

Single-tasking—focusing on one task at a time—can make you up to 80% more productive than splitting your attention across multiple tasks.

Here is the system:

  1. Start with your high-level priorities
  2. Create a “bookend template” for your day.
    1. Look at your natural productivity cycles throughout the day
      Block out your best time for productive and meaningful work
  3. Set aside time for both Deep & Shallow tasks
    1. This is what Y Combinator founder Paul Graham calls “Maker Time”—sessions where you’re working on deep focus work like writing, designing, or coding. However, you can’t spend all day on Maker Time. Instead, it’s all about finding a balance.
  4. Add blocks for reactive tasks each day
    1. Email and requests from colleagues – set 1,2 hours per day
  5. Write down your daily to-do list (for work, home, and family/social) and fill it in
Example of blocking off time for busy-work, meaningful work, and personal time

Other interesting links on JORY MACKAY ‘s page that I plan to read later are:

When to work: How to optimize your daily schedule for energy, motivation, and focus
For successful collaboration, stop being “always on” and start working in “bursts

Color-coding different time blocks may add visual focus to the flow of the day

Now jumping to for more tips. The following is all from them, nothing from me.

An article quoting Kevin Kruse, author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, recommends time blocks instead of to-do lists “because of the discipline and order it applies to your tasks.”

Why does time blocking work?

  • 1. It makes your work a priority
  • 2. It helps you work distraction-free
  • 3. It minimizes the mental burden of switching tasks

Organizing your schedule instead of making a to-do list takes productivity one step further. Because you’re dedicating specific windows of time to your work, everything finds its place. Tasks aren’t floating around in your mind.

When you create a calendar event, it’s likely something important for yourself, or a commitment you made to someone else. Time blocking does the same thing, but for all of your tasks. It elevates your work — especially the highest priority projects — to an immovable event.

Paul Minors explained time blocking this way, “You’re making a promise to turn up at 10am and work on that presentation. This self-commitment helps you to turn good intention (the tasks on your task list) into a plan of action (a commitment about when you’re going to get the work done).”

If your workplace sounds like the title of Celeste Ng’s 2017 novel, Little Fires Everywhere, you’re going to want to try time blocking. You may have heard the phrase “deep work” or “flow.” In short, deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. Once you’ve learned this skill, you can think through complex situations and produce better results much faster. Time blocking + deep work = a productivity dream.

We need creative work to move our largest and most strategic projects forward

Step 1. Determine your most and least productive times of the day
Action item: Decide on a 60-minute block of time that is your most productive.

Step 2: Schedule it and stick to it
Action item: Book the 60 minutes on your calendar for each of the next 7 days
Do not let anyone, under any circumstances, disturb you during your productive time. This is YOUR time, and despite the current thoughts you may have, it’s not too much to ask.

Step 3: Put the most important tasks in your 60-minute slot
Action item: Place one important task on each calendar item.

From Elena: This is it dor for now. Speaking of time blocking, my time for researching time blocking is over by 1 minute, and I need to run. Catch you all later