This Byte has been authored by

Kitzzy Avilés

Do you have trouble getting through your to-do list every week? 

A man pointing to a notepad. He says,

Time blocking can help you carve out focus time to get more stuff done! 

Time Blocking is ...

...when you schedule a block of time to focus on a specific task.

For example, instead of stopping every few minutes to answer emails as they come in, you can schedule 1 hour a day to answer all emails at once.

Without time blocking

A woman in a kitchen asking,

  • Have a long to-do list that you complete when you get to it.

  • Start your day overwhelmed about how you’re going to get everything done. 

  • Spend time throughout the day figuring out what to do next.

With time blocking

A woman saying,

  • Scheduled blocks of time to do each specific task or group of tasks. 

  • Start your day with a schedule of what you’ll get done and when.

  • Spend your day focused on getting stuff done.

Prioritize Tasks For The Week

List everything you need to get done this week and the due dates for each task. Then estimate how long it will take you to complete each task. 

A person writing a to do list on a notepad

Use the Eisenhower Decision Matrix to pick the important and urgent tasks you need to tackle this week.

Block Non-negotiable Meetings

Oprah pointing and saying

Grab your calendar and note all meetings you’re required to attend. 

If you can, mark them all the same bright color (like red) so it’s easy to see them at a glance. Mark optional meetings in a different lighter color (like gray or yellow).

Find Or Create Focus Time Blocks

A man in front of a microphone saying,

Look at the rest of your calendar and find open times of at least 1-2 hours.

These will become your focus time blocks to schedule your tasks.

Block Times Per Task

A woman in a home office saying,

Schedule the tasks you need to get done into the available focus time slots.     

Yes! You’ll actually schedule meetings with yourself to block your calendar so no one sneaks in an extra meeting.

Review And Adjust

 A man asking a woman,

At the end of each day, review your progress and how long it actually took you to complete each task.

Note which planned tasks you didn’t get to finish or start, or if you finished some sooner.

Adjust your time blocks and time estimates for the rest of the week accordingly.

Let's Try It

You start work at 8 am and leave at 5 pm. Review your schedule and priorities for the day.

Flaticon Icon Today's Meetings

  • 9 am — Weekly product update (1 hr)

  • 10 am — Brainstorming session (2 hrs)

  • 12 pm — Lunch (1 hr)

  • 2 pm — Weekly 1:1 with coworker (1 hr)

Flaticon Icon Today's Priorities

  • Answer emails (30-60 minutes)

  • Review expense reports (1 hour)

  • Create presentation for boss (3 hours)

Quiz

What's the BEST way to carve out focus time to work on the presentation? Check all that apply.

Take Action

Getting stuff done!

Take control of your schedule and get more stuff done with time blocking!

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