I’ve tried quite a few productivity tools, tips, and tricks over the past few years. All of them have their own perks, so I often find myself incorporating different tools into my daily routine.
But, there’s one productivity tool that really stands out to me. I’ve used it consistently for the past five years, and I know I have it to thank when it comes to being able to balance everything going on in my life.
Just before I started college, I started looking for ways to keep track of my soon-to-be busy schedule. I had upcoming meetings, classes to attend, and projects to complete - it all felt pretty overwhelming.
So, I began my search for the perfect productivity tool that would help me do the following things:
Keep track of my schedule
Manage my to-do list
Help me fit work, school, and personal commitments into a mere 24 hours (somehow)
Enter time blocking. The magical calendar management system that lets me achieve all of the above-mentioned goals with ease.
If you’ve never heard of it before, you’re welcome - it’s about to change how you view your life. Today, I’ll walk you through what time blocking is and how you can use it too.
What’s time blocking?
Time blocking is a time management and productivity tool that essentially marks off your calendar in the form of hourly blocks.
Every block you create is dedicated to a specific area or task, and its purpose is to give you a practical idea of how much time you will need to “block out” in order to complete the task or event in time.
For example, let’s say you have a 2-hour project to work on, and you know it needs to be turned in by Wednesday night. You can create a time block on Monday and Tuesday that week for 1 hour, effectively splitting up the time you need to work on the project.
Or, you can set a time block on a singular date for 2 hours - whatever works best for you.
The idea is to create intentional time to work on specific areas in your life. I find it especially helpful since it gives me a realistic look at how much work I can possibly get done in a day.
If you want to get really specific (like I do!), you can also time block out time for your daily events, like breakfast, lunch, dinner, and breaks.
Here’s a closer look into some tips that I use when time blocking:
I time block my week out ahead of time. Every Sunday, I sit down with my calendar and go at it. This lets me get a good idea of what my upcoming week looks like, and it also ensures that I finish everything I need to do on time.
I use Google Calendar to time block, but you can truly use any calendar system you have! I’ve also done a similar version to time blocking in my bullet journal, so it really is up to what works best for you.
My favorite part about time blocking is getting to color code all of my events and categories. A few categories I use for reference are Personal, Social Media, Events, and Appointments/Meetings.
I made the mistake of not accounting for transportation when I first started time blocking. If your meeting starts at 10 AM but you live 20 minutes away, make sure that you account for that in your time block (or else things can get a bit tricky).
I really hope that this gives you a good idea of what time blocking is and also why I love it so much!
I would definitely recommend trying it out if you haven’t before and be sure to let me know how it goes for you. Until next week!