Productivity Hack: The Art Of Time Blocking

Working from home or on the go, it might seem like the projects never end. So, how do you stay on top of it all and still have a life (or game time)?

Time management is a term that can make your teeth grit, after all we only ever have 24 hours and some of that is spent sleeping (hopefully). One of our team's favorite productivity hacks is called time blocking, it's how we juggle all of the different projects and content deadlines here at The Notebook and still have time to game, play and have our weekends with family and friends.

Here's a simple time blocking system that can help you

Example of Time Blocking Calendar

There's lots of free apps on the market to help you stay organized, the example above is a sample workflow set up using Google Calendar. Using color coding helps to ensure you can set your activities in a way that make sense to you.

Just using a calendar with color coding is just the tool, in practice knowing how to time block for effectiveness and stress reduction has a little more to it.

1. Use Your Natural Energy Patterns To Set Your Time Blocks

Some people are morning people, others are night owls, and then there are those who fall smack in the middle. Knowing when your mind is the most sharp, when you have the most physical energy for running around, and when you are most likely to slump helps in setting up your time blocks.

2. Schedule Your Time Off

In this calendar, lunch is scheduled around workflow, but notice the weekends are clear, that's because this calendar represents a 9-6, 5 days a week position. If you work for yourself as a consultant or service provider you may have a vastly different schedule, it's imperative that you schedule time off so you can recharge, you really will be more productive.

3. Schedule Your Tasks Your Way

If you prefer focused workflow set things up in a way that gives you the time to start and complete projects, don't cut yourself short by piling on too many tasks in one time block. Choose one thing to work on in any block of time. Notice in the image above there's a 30 minute block each morning for checking emails and at the end of the day that repeats. In this example, the person prefers to check email twice a day (unless she's expecting a correspondence of importance) instead of constantly interrupting her focus and checking it throughout her day. Everyone has a preferred way of working, setting up your time to work for you is essential.

Time blocking is one of the most effective time management practices you can add into your productivity arsenal. Have you tried it before or use it now? How has it helped you get more done and stay stress free? Tell us in the comments below.