I’ve struggled with time blocking, aka time boxing or calendar blocking, at least the way I’ve seen others do it. I don’t want to schedule my entire day down to the minute, as some studs do, but even when I mentally block out time for writing or other projects, I still resist putting this on my calendar.
I informally dedicate my mornings (after doing email, some admin stuff and waking up my brain) to “deep work” — writing and other things that require focus and concentration. But I don’t schedule it.
When I’m ready, I go to work. When I’m not, I don’t.
This works for me, but there’s something appealing about the idea of looking at the calendar and seeing my day organized and tidy.
So I will try again.
In my quest to learn how others do it, I’ve watched some videos and picked up some suggestions. I thought I’d pass along a few of the best.
- Time block email and admin so you can stay on top of it, and not be distracted when you’re doing other things and remember you forgot to reply to your email.
- For “deep work”—anything that requires concentration—be specific about what you will work on (the case, file, project), and for how long, so you know exactly what to do during your time block. Specifics create clarity, clarity creates focus, and focus is how you get things done.
- If you’re trying to block your entire day, for each block, (a) give yourself enough time to do the work; (most of us grossly underestimate how long things will take), and, (b) build in buffer time between blocks for breaks, travel, interruptions, and things that need more time than you have allowed.
If you have other suggestions, or would like to share how time blocking works for you, please let me know.