Are you struggling with overloaded to-do lists.? Have you felt like your days have passed and you haven’t accomplished anything from your to-do list? The block scheduling method will change your life. With this method, you can achieve more and can kick your long to-do lists out.
Let me tell you a little secret. Many times, I love being organized. I simply want everything to be in a place and everything should be planned. I love planning things and sometimes I become so overwhelmed that I end up doing nothing. It happens with me a lot that rather than actually doing things, I waste my time planning and organizing.
Thanks to my husband, he introduced me with block scheduling method and it really changed my life. With the block scheduling method, I have become more productive, things are getting done and prioritized.
What is Block Scheduling?
To start with, Block scheduling is known by various terms such as time blocking, calendar blocking, and time batching. So basically, block scheduling is a method where you put aside ( block) every moment of your day to perform specific tasks. When you block a specific time for a specific task then you’re going to complete that task within that time frame. It is the best method of time management where you combine your tasks with the calendar.
The primary reason why block scheduling is popular because it simplifies your day and gives you the flexibility to work according to your ease.
With that being said, block scheduling helps you to be more productive as well as allows you to be more flexible with your timing.
Why block scheduling is important?
For me personally, block scheduling is super important. I mean, who doesn’t want to be productive and have flexibility at the same time.
According to Cal Newport, author of Deep Work, “Sometimes people ask why I bother with such a detailed level of planning. My answer is simple: it generates a massive amount of productivity. A 40-hour time-blocked work week, I estimate, produces the same amount of output as a 60+ hour work week pursued without structure”.
With block scheduling, you can schedule every minute of your day. You can organize your task in advance by allocating a certain amount of time to complete a task. So basically you do nothing other than what is in that time block. And when the timer sets off (set the timer to make yourself aware that the specific time block has ended) you move to the next block leaving the previous one behind.
Think back when you were in school. There were time periods for each class. For instance, you’re in a science class and you learn only science and no other subject. And when the bell rang, you automatically move to the next period for your next subject. Similar to this, block scheduling also helps you to block your time for specific tasks. You do nothing except the work which is there in that block.
What are the benefits of Block Scheduling?
1. You’ll learn to prioritize your task
Either you’ll prioritize your task and work from the tasks which are higher in priority or your work will get prioritized naturally. With time block scheduling you’ll understand what tasks need more time and hence you’ll devote more time to that task.
2. You’ll be more focused
With block scheduling, you’ll be more focused on one task. Your concentration level will be high. It will allow you to complete your task on time.
3. You’ll have a fewer distractions
With block scheduling, you’ll now that you have dedicated time to complete a certain task. And that’s why you’ll less likely to waste your time because in the back of your mind you’ll know that you have to complete that task in that time block.
4. You’ll learn to say “no”
“Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing”- Richie Norton
With block scheduling, you’ll learn to say no. Because if you have a time block with a high priority task, you’ll know that saying yes to others is saying no to yourself for accomplishing that task.
5. Helps to find balance in your work
Block scheduling helps you to create balance in your work. You can allocate the right amount of time to each work. With your priorities, you can set aside the time for your deep work and shallow tasks.
How can I create a block schedule?
1. Create a to-do list
First thing first, create a list of all tasks that you’re going to complete. The first step can be a little time-consuming but it is the most important step to start with. Include recurring tasks as well such as going for work, cleaning the house, making foods, etc along with the tasks which will help you achieve your goals.
Every Sunday I look at my to-do list and add new tasks and check off the done tasks.
Take your to-do list and ask yourself what are the items that need the highest priority and what are not important.
In order to prioritize your tasks, here is an idea you should consider.
Important and Urgent- High priority tasks
Important, but not urgent- Schedule the tasks
Urgent, but not important- If possible, delegate the task to someone else
Neither important nor urgent- Don’t do the task
Decide your tasks accordingly and put them in order.
According to your list of tasks, categorize it in various categories. Keep similar tasks in the same category. For instance, keep your house cleaning and cooking tasks in each category and your self-care tasks in another category.
Example of my categories are:
- Client project
- Others errands
4. Take an empty calendar
Now it’s time to decide which calendar you want to use. I love using Google Calendar. You can also make templates on google sheets. There are various apps that you can use for block scheduling such as Google calendar, Plan, SkedPal, TickTick Premium, Planyway, and Hourstack.
5. Create time blocks
The time frame of each time block will depend on how organized you want your days to be. Keep in mind that not every time block has to be the same time frame. For instance, my blogging time block is longer than my cleaning time block.
Therefore, according to your priorities create time blocks.
6. Give names to your blocks
Give more generic names to your block rather than specific. Block scheduling gives flexibility, therefore, don’t be strict.
For instance, in a certain time block, you have to do blogging or client projects then name that block “Deep Work”. Simultaneously, if you have to spend time with your family, name that block “family time”.
7. Add tasks which you want to accomplish in that block
Now, add all the tasks for the day you want to complete in that block. It can be anything according to your goals or your shallow work such as doing laundry, making foods, spending some me-time, etc. Accordingly, fill your daily to-do list in their respective block.
It’s a framework and not a strict routine, therefore, it will take time to find a schedule that works best for you.
8. Set timer
The best way to be accountable is by setting up the timer on your phone for each block. The timer will help you in keeping track. I set my timer 15 minutes before the end in the current block so that I know in 15 minutes I have to wrap up and move forward to the next block.
Follow these tips to make the most out of block scheduling
- Take breaks between tasks
- Don’t forget to block your time for self-care.
- Use a timer or alarm to make sure you don’t miss the next block.
- Let other people know what you’re working on and when you’ll be available.
- Make sure to revise your block scheduling every week. Pick a day in a week to plan your weekly schedule. You can also dedicate some time say 15-20 minutes to build your schedule for the next day.
- Make extra room next to every time block do that you can make any corrections as needed.
The more you use block scheduling method, the more you get better at productivity and time management. I hope this article helped find success in block scheduling.