4 Benefits of Managing Your Workload With Time Blocking

Tue Apr 18 2017
By: Mike P

No matter what time you set your alarm in the morning, it still feels like there’s never enough time in the day. For those of us looking to maximize our time and become more proficient, there’s time blocking. It’s a scheduling technique that’s been making the rounds in some of Silicon Valley’s biggest startups over recent years, and many like-minded businesses are starting to take notice. So what is time blocking? Time blocking is essentially designating specific periods of time to a single project or task. The theory is that by isolating one specific project or task, distractions will be minimalized and workflow will benefit as a result. If you’re on the fence about whether or not time blocking is the correct option for your organization, take a look at a few benefits you can expect by taking on the itemized scheduling solution.

You’ll be more productive
When you set time aside for yourself, you often follow through with it. Take a doctors appointment for example: you schedule the appointment weeks in advance—outlining a two-hour window once you account for the commute, waiting times and the actual meeting. These appointments rarely go unattended because they have been previously blocked out well in advance; you’ve made a commitment, now it’s your responsibility to see it through to the end.

You’ll have better focus
One of my favorite things to do in college was to hold off research papers and study guides till the day before the project or test was due. It wasn’t because I was being lazy or spending too much time partying, but I found that I performed at my best under the pressure of a deadline. According to Dan Ariey , a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University and the author of Predictably Irrational, publically committing to a meeting or deadline is considered one of the most powerful motivators, as it puts your reputation on the line. We’ve all heard the old statement “Your Work is a Reflection of Who You Are”, and by creating time blocks for your projects, you’ll be more likely to hold yourself accountable for your work.

You’ll be honest with yourself
One of the biggest challenges early adopters to the time blocking methodology encounter is the over—or under—estimation for how long projects take to be accomplished. The biggest step in maximizing your time blocking efforts is learning the pace at which you work, and basing your schedule accordingly. Often times we tend to underestimate the amount of time it actually takes to complete a given task, creating unreal expectations for the way forward. Time blocking veterans suggest that beginners should start by adding an additional 15 to 30 minutes for every hour that you expect to spend on a project for added “buffer time” if needed.

You’ll be happier
The great thing about time blocking is that it’s a practice that can be applied to any menial task you encounter during your typical 9-5. Think about how much time you spend clearing your inbox throughout the day: What if you stopped checking your email regularly? What if you only had 30 minutes dedicated to clearing your inbox and nothing more? According to a study conducted by the New York Times, people that check their email less often benefit from a significant reduction in stress. The study attributes this lack of stress to cutting down on the need to switch between tasks. If you can streamline your focus to one specific task, you’ll not only become more efficient, but also reap the rewards of a less stressful lifestyle.

Does time blocking seem like the right solution for you? If so, you may want to check out our website for a collection of scheduling tools to make time blocking simple!


Categories:
PlanningProductivity
 
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