Posted at December 02, 2022 by Daniel Joshua

Most people may be overwhelmed with tasks and assignments as they are all busy with their job. Therefore, they need to manage their time to use it efficiently and prevent any action that will cause them to procrastinate. There are some ways to improve time management, or at least help people manage their time, called time blocking. Some of us may not understand the definition of time blocking as it may be uncommon to them. So what is time blocking?

Time blocking is an example of a time management strategy that helps schedule tasks in a day into a set, part, block or chunks of time. Precisely, this strategy requires the user to break a big part of a task into a smaller task and assign it to a time block for certain minutes or even hours. It’s slightly different from a to-do list because time blocking tells what to do at the time, meanwhile, a to-do list doesn’t tell when as it is only a list of tasks without any time restrictions.  Each block has a specific task from simple ones such as replying to messages to complex tasks such as attending a meeting or working on a project. There are some famous people that use this technique to help them maintain their time and schedule, two of them are Bill Gates and Elon Musk.

There are some varieties of time blocking, which may be slightly different from time blocking but also examples of time management methods. There are three time management methods which can be mixed or combined with time blocking, which are:

  • Timeboxing: A time management strategy that allocates a defined amount of time to an activity and then completes it within the amount of time allocated. This ensures people work efficiently as the time is limited to complete the task. It is slightly different from time blocking where it reserves time for activity meanwhile timeboxing acts as a limiting time to do the activity. Pomodoro technique and the 2-minute rule are examples of timeboxing methods.
  • Task batching: A time management strategy where instead of doing things one by one, this method focuses on connecting similar tasks and working on them at once. This method can give a concentrated workflow as well to minimize distraction from other tasks. Instead of having a separate session on replying to emails and replying to chats from clients, these activities can be combined and work on them in a single session with time blocking.
  • Day theming: A time management strategy that can be used for individuals who have a lot of responsibilities and tasks from different backgrounds that need proper attention. Day-theming works when each day of the week is filled with different tasks to create a reliable pattern of work. This method helps to prevent context switching which is the act of switching in and out during working on multiple tasks. Instead of allocating hours like time blocking, day theming allocates one full day. 

Time blocking has so many advantages when it is used to help people to work with their tasks and assignment, some of them are:

  • Reflect on your priorities. With time blocking, scheduling tasks in the calendar can be prioritized from the most important and urgent responsibilities in a day. This allows for better planning and fills the calendar with concrete plans and will boost the progress to reach the goals faster.
  • Fight procrastination. Using time blocking to work on a task can be started from the most challenging task first in order to reserve energy and strength. This method can boost the morale to work so that in the end there will be only an easy job and a lot of free time. 
  • Manage time efficiently. Time blocking helps you to manage time efficiently, rather than sticking with a to-do list without any time parameters or not using any time management strategy on completing a task or assignment.

To use time blocking efficiently, there are some tips which can help you to carefully plan and use time blocking. Those tips are:

  • Determine your productive times: Before creating time blocks, you should consider your best times. Find out if there are certain times when you feel more energized and focused than other times. Finding out your productive times will help you to increase the effectiveness of completing the assignment and can maintain productivity. Also, think when you are mostly free from any distractions that can potentially disturb your workflow.
  • Decide what is the priority: After locating your productive times, you need to prioritize the important and urgent tasks. The best thing to decide the priority is by brainstorming each task and its challenges. After deciding the main priority, you can work from the hardest task to the easiest task, or you can think of a workflow to have a clear picture of what task you need to finish in that session. You can also break a bigger task into smaller tasks to help you on finishing the tasks.
  • Schedule the time blocks: Before you start working on those tasks, allocate them into blocks of time and schedule your time blocks. Using a calendar may help you to focus on each time block and you can visualize what task will you give the most effort to throughout all sessions. Give some break between time blocks in order for you to keep on track in case you overwork on a task. 

In conclusion, using time blocking is effective for some people who want to have better time management and increase their productivity. But, there are some aspects that should be considered when using time blocking as it may backfire and be a burden to the user. So, do you want to try time blocking, or stick to your current methods?


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