What is time-blocking, and how can it help you increase your productivity? Time-blocking is a method in which you arrange the tasks that you need to do, and assign them on a certain block of hours when you need to do them. Doing this can help you gain maximum productivity.
The first thing you need to do to achieve successful time-blocking is to conduct a time study, which is a controlled process of monitoring and calculating the time it takes you to finish a certain task. This way, you will be able to arrange for a proper time-blocking.
Conducting a Time Study
You will need a stopwatch or timer to record the time that you can finish a particular task. You may jot down all the things or tasks that you usually do every day. List them in chronological order. Leave a space next to each task where you jot down the time you start doing that task and the time you finish it.
Time your performance and jot it down. You may need to conduct a time study for a week. You need to do the same set of tasks every day and jot down your time. You need to get the average time that you can spend in accomplishing each task.
The time study can also help you streamline the process that you usually follow and increase your productivity further. It is up to you if you want to immediately apply the changes, which you think can make you more productive, or do them later on.
Getting Ready to Time Block
You have set your daily tasks, and you know how long it usually takes to finish a certain task. Time-blocking works wonders for you, especially if you work online and do lots of things in-between. It’s inevitable to get interrupted while working. You may need to make some adjustments every now and then – depending on your needs or current situation.
Whether you admit or not, you don’t always feel like working non-stop from start to finish. There are certain hours when you slow down because you are feeling idle, lazy, or too tired. You need to take a rest to recharge your energy. You also need to eat.
Time-blocking allows you to use your most productive hours of the day to solely dedicate your mind and body to the tasks at hand. Here’s how you do time-blocking and feel free to adjust according to your needs:
Determine your least and most productive hours in a day.
Not everyone has the same productive hours of the day. Some may feel rejuvenated and lively in the morning that they seem to get their tasks finished before lunchtime. Some people start slow and feel energized after taking their lunch.
Determine the hours when you are most productive and assign the tasks that you need to do during those hours. Your productive hours could be 7 to 9 am, 10 to 11 am, and 2 to 4 pm. You delegate the tasks within the said hours to finish everything on time.
Assign the tasks to the appropriate hours and stick to them.
You already know how much time it takes to finish a certain task based on your time study. You already determined your most productive hours. Now, it’s time to match the tasks to your productive hours.
You may need to make some adjustments to create the most suitable schedule to follow. You may need to work continuously until or before you reach the unproductive hours, which you can use to rest or do other things like checking your social media accounts or messages. You can also put the tasks with the least priority in your unproductive hours.
You may experiment with this for seven days and make the necessary adjustments that you see fit.
Put the not-so-important tasks on the least productive hours.
It is almost impossible to finish every task, important and not-so-important ones, within the day. You need to learn to prioritize and assign the least important tasks on the hours when you feel like you are unproductive. Doing this may help extend your productive hours.
The important thing to keep in mind is that you need to stop doing unproductive tasks or things during your productive hours. Instead of extending your productive hours, you may end up having more time to laze around.
If you want to increase your productivity, give time-blocking a chance and you will notice a big difference in your output.