Today, I went to the gym early, stopped at the store to buy some groceries, came home and got ready, ate some food, and now I am finally on my computer ready to get to work. I checked my email, had a call with a client, and now I have two projects to do before I’m able to call it quits for the day. So, since I had a somewhat late start to my work day, I’m using this little trick called “time blocking” to stay focused and crank these tasks out!
Time blocking, also known as time chunking, is the practice of setting a timer for a set amount of time and only focusing on one task (and one task only). You can’t do anything else during that set time. No checking your phone, going on Facebook, taking phone calls or answering emails, no GETTING UP, or in my case… checking out what’s in the fridge.
I’ve been trying this practice out and it’s been working wonders. Working from home is full of distractions. I’m constantly fighting the urge to get the dishes done, play with the dogs, do laundry, or just sit here and watch YouTube videos all day long. Pretty much anything other than working.
The thing is, I love my work. The distractions are just TOO powerful!
My time blocking strategy:
I start off by writing a to-do list for the day, priorities every task, and set the amount of time I think I’ll need to dedicate to each task. The time can vary, but I like anywhere from 45 min to 2 hours depending on the task. 2 hours is typically my max time I choose to work on one project because I know I will need at least a small break at that point. Next, I close out every tab and application on my computer, other than the ones I will need to do the work. I also move my phone away from my desk. Lastly, set that timer and get to it!
One huge benefit of time blocking has been that I get so much more done in less time. I’m focused on one set task and I know I’m not able to move, or get to other tasks until I put in the time on the project I’ve set out to do. This practice also has pushed me to get more done overall. I check the time periodically during these sessions, and it seems to propel me to get as much as I can accomplish before the timer goes off.
By blocking out the time to get your tasks done you will be blocking out all of those distractions that can keep you from accomplishing your to-do list. Have you tried time blocking? What other time management tools have you used that have had a positive impact on your workday? Comment below =)
“Time = Life; Therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.” – Alan Lakein
Thanks for Reading,