This article provides a resource guide to the time blocking method. These are only a few topics you will find:
- What is the time blocking method?
- Its advantages and disadvantages
- How does the technique work?
- How can you begin the time blocking process today?
- Free downloadable templates
- Recommended time blocking apps
- Recommended time blocking books
Without further ado, let's dive in.
What Is Time Blocking?
Time blocking is a time management technique of identifying how much time you need to complete a task and then dividing that time into blocks.
By dividing your day into manageable segments of work, you can get focused on one task at a time, therefore maximizing their efficiency and get more done in less amount of time. The method could also relieve you of the feeling you're trying to do too much at once.
Advantages and Disadvantages
There are a lot of benefits to time blocking. For example, it makes you more productive and boosts your creativity. But it has its downsides too.
Time blocking is one of the most popular productivity methods for highly creative people like writers and artists. It's based on the idea that if you're able to work only in short bursts, that will be enough to get something done. It might sound too simple, but that simplicity is what makes time blocking so effective and efficient for people who need to produce a lot of content (like copywriters).
However, there are some issues with this method as well. For example, iIt may affect your motivation and make you feel tired or frustrated after a long day of work if you do not pan proper breaks. It can be difficult or impossible to make changes in your schedule if you want to.
How Does time Blocking Work?
There are several approaches to using the technique. You can time block your whole day or just a few hours a day, leaving buffer time for other tasks. For some, the method is to focus their energy on their most important activities for their career; others would use use it to help them get to tasks they would not get to doing.
The length of time for each block also varies. The Pomodoro technique suggest 30 minutes. You can go for shorter or longer time blocks, depending on what you are working on. If it is a new kind of task which you find it hard to get focused on, you may want to go for shorter periods. A task that requires deep concentration should require 60 minutes or even more. However, do not go for more than 120 minutes. Our energy is limited. According to The Power of Full Engagement, we must take a break every 90-120 minutes.
Likewise, do not fall for the myth about Elon Musk's Five Minute Rule to time blocking, either.
Explore these resources to learn more about how time blocking works!
How Can You Begin Using the Time Blocking Process Today?
You don't need to hire a time blocking expert to block your work day. Start by thinking about what your day looks like right now. What is the most urgent and important task you must work on? Prioritize it based, then use the time blocks accordingly.
Generally, you can follow the following steps:
- Set up a schedule for the day
- Setup your time blocks
- Add tasks in each time block
- Stay within your time blocks
Explore these resources to learn more about how time blocking works!
FREE Downloadable Templates (PDF)
Time blocking templates help you get started with the method and manage your day by setting aside specific blocks of time for different tasks. There are different templates you can use. Some also contain note sections to keep track of any additional information you need to remember throughout the day. Feel free to pick one that works for you!
- Time Blocking Template with Break Reminders
- Time Blocking Template with Illustrations
- Classic Time Blocking Template
- Pink Time Blocking Template with Gratitude Note
- Time Blocking Template with Daily Mantra
- Light Time Blocking Template
- Horizontal Time Blocking Template
- Simple Time Blocking Template
- Minimal Time Blocking Template
- Time Blocking Template with Mood and Water Tracker
The Best Time Blocking Apps
Time blocking apps are a new way to organize your tasks and make sure you use your time in the best possible way. It's not really an app you need to download, but more of a practice.
The following is a list of great time blocking apps in 2021.
- Google Calendar - A perfect app for time blocking and it has plenty of features for this purpose. It's free, and available on all platforms.
- Plan - The most popular time blocking app in 2021 with over 500,000 downloads on Google Play Store and 300,000 on the App Store. It’s available for both Android and iOS platforms.
- HourStack - One of the best apps for managing your day, week or month with over 3300 reviews on Google Play Store and 4.5 rating out of 5 by users.
- Sunsama - A time blocking app that uses AI to help you plan your day. It helps you get the most out of your time and increase productivity.
- Planyway - An AI scheduler for the free time on your device. Just type what you want to do, when you want to do it, and when it's over. Planyway is one of a few apps in the industry that can check your calendar and automatically recommends when to schedule your tasks.
- TickTick - "the best time blocking apps in 2021" by Forbes, TickTick is a time blocking app for freelancers.
- TimeCamp - a time blocking app that helps people track their time on a day-to-day basis.
- TimeBloc - A simple time blocking app for people with complete control of their day.
- Any.do - The best time scheduling app in 2021 with an intelligent assistant that can help you stay organized, get through your day without forgetting anything, and be productive with your time.
- Toggl - A time-management app that lets you track, analyze and collaborate on work from anywhere.
Recommended Books on Time Blocking
This section lists recommended time blocking books that will help you learn more about the productivity method and different approaches you can adopt to suit your needs and styles.
The ONE Thing: Surprisingly Simple Truth behind Extraordinary Results
The One Thing is a business book by Gary Keller. The author talks about how to focus on one task, not try to juggle more than one thing at once, and how this will result in a better outcome for you as well as those around you. This sort of idea is supported by examples from the author’s own life and from those of other successful people from different walks of life.
The ONE Thing dedicates an entire section, "15. Live for Productivity," to explain how the time blocking method works. Knowledge workers should find the following principles in the book helpful to optimize productivity and perform at their best.
168 Hours in a Week: You Have More Time Than You Think
In 168 Hours, Laura Vanderkam reveals the secrets to feeling overwhelmed and how everyone can reclaim their time through practical tips, habits, and tools. The author suggests that people should allocate their time by thinking through what they want from each day and then prioritizing tasks from there.
She mainly focuses on three areas: work, family and personal. In each area she looks at how people use their time and how they could optimise the situation if there were limitless resources available to them.168 Hours in a Week: You Have More Time Than You Think
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
Deep Work is a book about the power of focus. The author, Cal Newport, talks about the history and philosophy of deep work and how it relates to modern day knowledge workers. He also goes into detail on how to do deep work and the benefits of doing so.
In the first part of the book, Cal Newport, the book author, argues that constant distractions could hold knowledge workers back from producing meaningful work. Major distractions include shallow work, social media, and instant messaging. Then, the second half of the book is about how to work deeply. Newport introduces four approaches: monastic, bimodal, rhythmic, and journalistic approach.
Now over to you:
What do you find most helpful? Why?
Did the guide miss out on anything you think is important to practice time blocking?
Leave a comment.
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