You can download these time blocking templates for free in printable PDF. There are ten templates to choose from:
- 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
Want to design your own?
I recommend that you try Canva Pro. I am not a designer, but I could create these time-blocking templates with thousands of templates without much effort. Canva Pro has empowered all my designs for this blog and the social media platforms I use.
The templates are straightforward. There are a daily calendar for your schedules (time blocks) and a to-do section to plan your other tasks. Other sections such as reflection, note, mood tracking, break reminder, water intake tracking are available in one template or another. You can choose the one that fit your need.
Furthermore, this guide also shares basic principles to help you get the best from these templates. The principles go beyond just the basics of the template and provide a guide for better practice of the time blocking method and time management.
Without further ado, here are your free PDF downloads.
1. Time Blocking Template with Break Reminders
This template is for you if you want to remind yourself to take regular breaks during work hours. I recommend using the Pomodoro Technique with this template.
It does not have to be 30-minute intervals. You can do 60 minutes or 90 minutes. But do not go over 90 minutes. Our energy is limited. According to The Power of Full Engagement, we must take a break every 90-120 minutes. Similarly, a study found that if you have already worked intensely for 4-5 hours, the chances are that you have already depleted your energy for focused concentration.Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R. T., & Tesch-Römer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review, 100(3), 363. Another study further concluded that age and skill level affect the maximal daily concentration time. “Beginners seemed to be limited to around 15-20 minutes of full concentration, whereas individuals with many years of daily training only gradually reached the 5-hour limit."Ericsson, K. A. (2020). Towards a science of the acquisition of expert performance in sports: Clarifying the differences between deliberate practice and other types of practice. Journal of … Continue reading
I recommend a maximum of 90 minutes because it would be tough to get focused anymore if you do 120 minutes of focused attention.
Ten time blocking templates (FREE, printable downloads)! No registration required.
2. Time Blocking Template with Illustrations
This template contains illustrations that bring your time blocking calendar to life. You can place it right in front of you at work. If you are the type of person who likes to bring art to what you do, this template is for you.
3. Classic Time Blocking Template
I designed this classic template for those who want their calendar to look and feel classic. Besides the time block section, there are also sections for must-dos and other to-do’s. You can also use the template to track your water intake or remind yourself to take breaks regularly. The meal tracker section should be helpful if you want to analyze how your meals affect your energy level. If you do, use the note section to record your energy level before and after a meal. The gratitude section is available too. It could come in handy to practice gratitude.
4. Pink Time Blocking Template with Gratitude Note
Ladies would be attracted to this pink time blocking template. The gratitude note section of the template will remind you to bring gratitude to your day-to-day. The review section should be handy to learn from your daily planning and execution.
5. Time Blocking Template with Daily Mantra
Want to incorporate a mantra into your daily life? Then, here’s the time blocking template you will like. It also contains a little memo box for you to hold your thoughts. The reflection box is also helpful if you want to learn from your daily activities or write your daily notes of gratitude.
6. Light Time Blocking Template
This light template is the simplest of all other templates here, with only the schedule and a few lines for your notes. You can use the note box for anything you want, from a memo, break reminders, water trackers, daily mantra, to reflection.
7. Horizontal Time Blocking Template
If you want more space for your carefully crafted description of your time blocks, this template would be for you. Its horizontal orientation gives you that space you need. It also contains a to-do note box to hold your other activities to fulfill your manager’s schedule. And, the note section could be for anything from a memo, break reminders, water trackers, daily mantra, to reflection.
8. Simple Time Blocking Template
This simple time blocking template contains only your time block schedule and other tasks section. It’s based on the simple concept that you should use time blocking to manage your important tasks while your other tasks can get onto using to-do lists.
9. Minimal Time Blocking Template
Minimal, this time blocking template contains only blank boxes for your schedule and other tasks. So, you can customize the start and finish time to fit your need.
10. Time Blocking Template with Mood and Water Tracker
This time blocking template is for you if you want to improve your water intake and self-awareness while getting focused on your work.
How-to Guide to the Block Time Templates
If you are familiar with the time blocking method, including their pros and cons, the templates should be straightforward. Even if you are not, it should be relatively easy as long as you know how to use a calendar.
The following tips will help you get the most out of the time blocking templates and the methodology.
Identify your priorities
The first step is to prioritize your tasks. How you prioritize your day determines the lifestyle you will live. There are many ways and frameworks to decide priorities. For example, you can choose your priorities based on the following factors: situation, context, day theming, the energy available, and time available.
The number of priorities matters too. Should it be three, two, or one? What if you usually have to work on more than three? The most popular one could be the Rule of Three, a writing principle that states that a trio of events or characters is more humorous, satisfying, or effective than other numbers.Rule of three (writing). (2021, August 12). In Wikipedia. But, the author of the bestselling book Good to Great Jim Collins recommends two priorities. The ONE Thing suggests that you spend a significant amount of time working on the one thing that matters most for your career.
David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done, recommends prioritizing your tasks on a moment-to-moment basis while believing that the GTD system takes care of the rest.
I recommend a maximum of three priorities on your time blocking calendar. It is best to spend long hours focused on a single task to tap into creativity, but two or three should work.
Decide the amount of time for your time blocks.
This next step is to decide the amount to work on your priorities. I recommend you spend as much time as you possibly can on them. Only when you can persist long enough past the boredom should you be able to tap into your full potential. That said, 30 minutes should work, too, if you have a busy schedule. I write all my articles on this website using my 30 minutes time blocks a day.
Don’t have 30 minutes? Start with whatever works for you. My principle is that even one minute counts as long as you keep the chain and work to improve it over time.
I do not fear a man who has practiced 10,000 kicks, but the one who practices one kick 10,000 times.
So, decide the amount of time you can spare each day for your time blocks. But start with a time block you can commit to daily. And improve from there.
Schedule your priority
When during the day should you do your time blocks? Most people recommend you do it first thing in the morning because that is when you are fresh. Also, for most, there are usually fewer distractions in the morning than in the afternoon.
It is best to create a routine to work on your time blocks. It makes it less effortful to get in the zone and tap into creativity. So, by all means, try to stick to your morning routines. However, on days you can’t, the afternoon should work too as long as you can clear your morning schedule for your time blocks in the long run.
Simply put, do your time blocks in the morning. Leave the rest of the day for the manager’s schedule.
It is essential to follow through and why so many fail, not only in implementing the time blocking method but also in mastering other skills.
My approach to following through in most of my commitments is to make it a habit, wherever possible. So, to get good at time blocking, it is crucial to make it a habit.
There are many ways to create a habit. Here are two of them that I use a lot.
My default mode of adopting a habit is to start so small I can do it effortlessly. My reading habit began with reading one quote a day. Similarly, I started my writing journey by writing three things I was grateful for each day. My push-up habit began with only one push-up a day.
Habit stacking is my other favorite strategy. I listen to an audiobook while walking 10,000 steps. When motivation is low, I stack movie watching with my 10,000 step habit.
So, make time blocking a habit. Schedule your time blocks on your calendar and make them recur daily. If you use Google Calendar for your time blocks, achieving this is relatively easy. It has a feature that allows you to choose how you want it to recur: daily, weekdays, or random days. I recommend getting it to recur daily. Habit is what you repeatedly do every day.
There are other ways to follow through. For example, you can plan every day and decide on a moment-to-moment basis when to work on your time blocks. You may have a meeting in the morning and have to move your time blocks to 2 pm. A task with a deadline could also affect when to work on your time blocks. However, I recommend that you work on your time blocks simultaneously and in the same environment to benefit from the flow state. One of the characteristics of low is effortlessness and ease,Nakamura, J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). The Concept of Flow. Flow and the Foundations of Positive Psychology, 239–263. and the automaticity that happens as a result of practicing a habit over time suggests that consistency has a role to play in achieving the flow state.
The Power of Reflection
Daily review is the time to reflect, improve and, over time, gain mastery. It could, at times, feel useless. But, reflection is necessary for continuous improvement.
These are three reflection questions you can use for more fruitful learning from your time blocking experiences:
- What went well?
- What could have gone better?
- What might you need to do for better mastery, or what strategies might you use to get better results next time?
Thanks for reading this far. Please leave a comment if you want a certain section in the template or any recommendation.
|↑1||Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R. T., & Tesch-Römer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review, 100(3), 363.|
|↑2||Ericsson, K. A. (2020). Towards a science of the acquisition of expert performance in sports: Clarifying the differences between deliberate practice and other types of practice. Journal of sports sciences, 38(2), 159-176.|
|↑3||Rule of three (writing). (2021, August 12). In Wikipedia.|
|↑4||Nakamura, J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). The Concept of Flow. Flow and the Foundations of Positive Psychology, 239–263.|