If you don’t control your time, it will control you.
Meetings, jobs, courses, projects…
All this is combined with the distractions we encounter every day (messages from our friends, social networks, videos).
How can you focus your actions and time on what really matters to you?
How do you stop being overwhelmed and having to do a thousand things at once?
How do you stop feeling at the end of the day that you haven’t made any progress?
I was exactly like that too, until I came across the famous time-blocking.
Time-blocking is a productivity technique where you plan your days by setting aside blocks of time for specific tasks.
Just like we used to do when we went to school and had a timetable with fixed hours.
Because in a world created to distract us, we need concrete strategies to help us focus.
And one of the best strategies we can use to improve our productivity is time-blocking, as it is a simple and effective tool that will help you control your day.
Come on, let’s learn a bit more about it. 👇
Most of us make a list of tasks and add them to our calendar.
An example of a day could be: reading and answering emails, going to a meeting, logging into social networks, creating content, going to the bank…
This is organization, yes, but it also is creating an infinite list of tasks that you do if you have time, and if not, I’ll do it another day.
What time-blocking does, however, is to divide your days into blocks of time for specific tasks or groups of tasks, so that you start each day with a specific calendar that establishes what you will work on and when.
For example, from 8am to 11am I will spend it creating content for the week, from 11am to 1pm I will respond to all emails and social media messages, from 1pm to 2pm I will use it for personal stuff like going to the bank…
See the difference? 👀
With time-blocking you block a block of your time for a specific activity instead of setting tasks and chores throughout the week.
This way you concentrate much more on each activity you do and you know how much time you have actually spent on each one.
📍The key to time-blocking is knowing how to prioritize your to-do list, you can set a day like Sundays, see everything you have to do next week, and set blocks of time each day.
In each block, you will group the tasks that belong there.
If you haven’t had time to finish a task when the time you had set for it is over, add it to the next block you have for that particular project, but don’t lengthen the block for that day.
Knowing your priorities, you will be able to put the tasks that are really important in advance so that you can finish them on time.
Once you have your days with the time set for each activity you will see that you don’t have to be constantly thinking about what to do, just follow your schedule and that’s it.
Don’t think that this is a fixed and untouchable schedule, if something happens that changes a block you can revise the rest of your week and adjust it to what you consider necessary.
But with this way of organizing yourself, in the end, you will be able to focus much more on each task and you won’t have to think about what activity you feel like doing at that moment.
It will also make it easier for you to schedule meetings in the blocks of time you have free, because that is important, leave free spaces and also establish break times.
Create a realistic schedule.
👉There are different ways to use this technique: you can divide your time blocks by projects or similar tasks, or dedicate each day to a single field (for example, on Mondays I answer messages and emails, on Tuesdays I create content, on Wednesdays I dedicate them to administrative issues…).
After reading what time-blocking is and how it works, I’m sure you already have an idea of why it is so useful. But let me tell you more.
With this productivity tool, it is estimated that 40 hours of work per week is equivalent to more than 60 hours of work without a set structure (i.e. using a to-do list).
When you set aside a block of your time for a single project you concentrate a lot more on it and stop thinking about the other tasks you have to do. Because you know when you are going to do each of them.
However, by focusing on one task at a time that has nothing to do with the one before or after it, your brain works harder to concentrate by constantly switching projects.
By having your blocks of time already organized, you won’t have to think about what to do each day and you will simply focus on those actions.
With to-do lists, the only thing you will be clear about is what you have to do, but not when to do it. And if it’s not on your calendar, you won’t do it.
This tool will also help you to get rid of all that work that we put off so much and that is usually important to do, such as paperwork.
Because you establish a block of time for that “project” that you can call paperwork and in that block of time you dedicate yourself to doing it.
On top of that, as I said before, doing similar tasks makes you concentrate more and get less tired than if you are constantly changing.
If you group all your superficial tasks in a specific block of time, you will get them all out of the way and you will have the rest of the week free to focus on your work and not be thinking that you have to answer an email or sign a document.
I also recommend that you try to reserve the first blocks of time of your days for these types of tasks that you put off but that are important because that is when we are most concentrated.
The sooner you get them out of the way, the more satisfied you will be and the more productive you will be for the rest of the day.
Time-blocking also has something great: it teaches you to value your time because you can control what you spend every minute of your day on and when it comes to getting paid, if you are self-employed or if you work for someone else, you really know how long it takes you to do something and how much you should be paid for it.
By knowing how much time you spend on each project you can also see if you are really spending enough time on each one or if you are putting your efforts into another one without realizing it.
Well, time-blocking is probably for you if:
– You have many different projects going on at the same time.
– You spend a lot of time answering emails and messages.
– Every morning you look at your to-do list and decide what to do.
– Your day is cut short by constant interruptions.
– You are always looking for time to do other things or take a break.
– Meetings end up interrupting your day.
Even if your work is unpredictable and new tasks are constantly coming at you, using time-blocking to organize yourself will help you control the time you spend on your own goals.
Do you already use this method or have you tried it?
Let me know!👇
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