Time blocking techniques

Time management is the essence of leading a productive life. Often, we get burdened with the endless amount of work that keeps piling up, which leads to stress and low work quality. Managing our schedule is key to ensuring that we give importance to every task and put our best foot forward. To deal with the issue of time management, we have several methods. One such method is Time Blocking.

Time blocking is a time management practice that involves dividing our time into smaller blocks and delegating a fixed period of time for each task. It is a simple yet effective strategy to control your time. Maintaining a work-life balance is essential to maintaining a productive lifestyle and a good quality work output. Time blocking is a great technique to apply in certain situations such as;

a) When your schedule is filled with tasks, and you are overwhelmed by the amount of work.

b) When you are procrastinating on tasks constantly.

c) When you are struggling to complete tasks before deadlines

The time management strategies which can help are;

  1. Time Blocking

This method allows you to divide the day into smaller blocks of time delegated to the completion of specific tasks. Instead of approaching tasks in an open-ended fashion, designating appropriate time limits for each task is a better approach. The way to implement this methodology is to plan your tasks way beforehand. A weekly schedule that would entail what each day has in store would help navigate efficiently through the day.

Reviewing each day’s progress at the end of the day is also an essential part of this. This allows you to be in control of your schedule and to adjust the time blocks accordingly. This method also counteracts procrastination and distraction effectively since when a planned schedule is with us, we tend to follow the routine and complete tasks on hand.

To help track your time, learn more about the Pomodoro technique here: The Pomodoro tracker technique.

2. Task Batching

As the term suggests, this method involves putting similar tasks together in a group. The tasks are usually small and grouped together to be done in a specific time block. Thus, in that time frame, tasks with similar context can be covered together.

This significantly helps in focusing and saving mental space. Instead of shifting from one different task to another, it is easier to concentrate and finish similar tasks in a given period of time.

Activities like reading, writing, working out, responding to emails can be grouped and finished at one go which would also give you the satisfaction of being done with the work.

3. Time Boxing

This strategy differs from time blocking slightly. Time blocking is more flexible in terms that it sets a specific time in which you focus on a task. For example; From 9 am to 12 pm, I will complete my essay.

However, timeboxing is slightly stricter. It imposes a specific time slot for each task in which the task has to be completed. For example; Between 9 am to 12 pm, I will complete my essay. The limited time frame motivates you to procrastinate less and get the work done in the decided time. The self-imposed time limits actually can end up saving more time in the day and also increase productivity.

4. Day Theming

This method is particularly helpful for professionals who have to deal with multiple areas of work. Dealing with HR, sales, marketing etc. together can be overwhelming. So, in this technique, each area of work is given an entire day. Dedicating the day to only one theme at a time significantly reduces the cognitive load that happens during context shifting. It offers more clarity of thought and less pressure throughout the day.

So, why is time blocking so effective?

  • It helps you complete your goals on time. Deadlines are essential to adhere to and time blocking allows you to meet them without any stress.

Read about why implementing smart work is so important in our lives: Smart work is the new hard work.

Don’t lose sight of your goals, and manage your time accordingly. Time management is a skill, and applying it to your life is sure to reap you many benefits. Try these techniques and see which one suits you best!!

-Anushka Das, content writer

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