What Is Time Blocking?
Time blocking is used by such productivity experts like Elon Musk, Bill Gates or Cal Newport. But it’s also an excellent methodology that every company should implement. It’ll help your employees get organized and will boost their productivity.
According to Udemy’s 2018 Workplace Distraction Reports, “Distraction is a morale killer,” and many people feel stressed and unmotivated when distracted. Most interruptions are caused by poor time management skills. People are not able to organize their work properly, they constantly interrupt each other’s work or procrastinate. Hence, time blocking can become a life-savior for your employees.
Time blocking is a methodology which helps to become ultra-productive. It involves using a calendar and a to-do list. You simply have to block off a specific amount of time in your calendar to perform your tasks.
It’s also important to keep in mind that it’s not about working by the hour but by the tasks. So it’s best to think about your work as if completing your to-do list or your time blocks rather than a typical 9-5 workday where you spend 8 hours in the office, even if you are done with the tasks for the day.
👉 Check also the time budgeting technique.
How to Use Time Blocking?
Even though time blocking seems easy, you and your employees should be prepared to use this method. It takes more than just a calendar and a to-do list. First of all, it needs to be practiced systematically until it becomes a routine. Then, you might want to use these 4 simple tactics:
1. Get The Right Tools
Here are the 3 tools you’ll need (to get the most out of this planning technique, you should use these tools altogether):
- To-do list
- Time tracking software. (We’ll use TimeCamp.)
Obviously, you’ll need a calendar to plan – daily, weekly, monthly and even annually. To-do list will help you and your employees in specifying what has to be done. Time tracking software, paradoxically, will help you in using this method. Why? Because you are not able to plan, predict and analyze without controlling your time and activities (which is crucial in time blocking).
👉 Read also about Best Time Blocking Apps.
2. Identify Priorities
Once you have the right tools and a to-do list, you should define the most important tasks and projects. You can use colors for that, green for unimportant items, yellow for important, and red for urgent. It’s also not a bad idea to add other colors for daily, weekly or repetitive tasks.
Also, it’s best to block time for the part of the day when you’re most productive. That will help you (and your team) achieve the best results.
When you schedule your block of time, look at the reports in TimeCamp (or any other app you use). It will help you determine how much time and money you usually spend on your projects.
Then, it’ll be easy for you or your team to predict how much time they need to perform certain tasks or even finish a project. It’ll also enhance communication and collaboration between them because they will know when not to interrupt their colleagues.
Don’t waste any more of your time,
4. Don’t Get Overwhelmed
It’s a really bad idea to block too much time. Eventually, you will not be able to perform all your tasks, it will make you stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious. Delegate what you can, and plan smartly.
Always have an extra block of time for unexpected activities. And don’t forget about time off! Your brain and body need breaks to function properly.
What About Other People?
If you work solo or are a freelancer, implementing time blocking should be easy. The problem arises when you work with a group of people or even have to manage the entire organization.
If, for some reason, it’s impossible to implement time blocking in your organization or everybody works around the clock, let them all know you don’t want to be interrupted no matter what. You can try to find a quiet space, ask your boss if you can work remotely, put on headphones or even a sign on your desk saying “don’t disturb!” If you have to, hide in the bathroom (not recommended)!
No matter the case, always communicate to other people how your work system looks like, let it be your clients or coworkers. You will avoid unnecessary tensions and stress.
The Great Advantages of Time Blocking
Using this method of time management has only benefits (if there are any disadvantages, let us know!). Provided that you’re using time tracking software, calendar, and keep your team informed, you can make your business lucrative. Here are some of the greatest advantages that you can get with TimeCamp:
- Saving time – thanks to time tracking software you can analyze how much time your company is losing, especially on those activities which are work-related but are not tasks. The desktop app is a great solution because it automates work.
- Plan your budget – thanks to time blocking with TimeCamp, you can precisely plan the maximum budget for every task with the budgeting feature.
- No more distractions – time blocking makes it easier to stay focused. TimeCamp helps you with that by showing how much time you spend on productive and unproductive activities.
- Enhanced workflow – your employees work better when they know each other’s progress and you’re able to manage their work without getting into their way.
- Proper time and resource allocation.
- Flexibility – people can work whenever they feel comfortable.
- Transparency – you don’t need thousands of different apps to stay on top of work. When your entire team is using the same software, people are aware of internal processes and projects progress as well as who’s working on what and for how long.
The list could go on and on. Make sure to implement time blocking in your company, and you’ll be successful. You will also notice increase in your employee’s productivity.