One of the best feelings in the world is to cross off all items from your to-do list within the workday. The last cross feels like a victory, a rare sigh of relief. But that's what it is – rare. More often than not, you might find yourself rescheduling tasks and re-prioritizing the workday. A practical solution to this hassle of missing deadlines and failing to finish work is time blocking your day.
Bill Gates said in an interview that he allocates chunks of time to different tasks and schedules every minute of his day. To get this process working in your favor, you must create a healthy balance between all work meetings, social media management, client servicing, responding to emails or messages, and other tasks you may have.
This is when time blocking becomes critical.
What is Time Blocking?
An easy time management technique, time blocking is a productivity tool that requires you to schedule all your tasks, including meals and breaks, in time blocks. It is helpful for all those who desire to manage their routine well and figure out where they're wasting their precious time.
75% of employees complain of experiencing burnout during work. But if they implement time blocking techniques, they can not only finish their work within deadlines but also recognize impractical deadlines in advance. The process of task blocking is a simple way to get hold of your schedule and dedicate blocks of time to different tasks without resorting to multitasking.
There can be different categories of time blocking, such as:
Timeboxing allows you to allocate a time limit to different tasks to finish them with complete focus. It is mainly like a self-imposed deadline.
Example: “I will create the newsletters between 10 am and 12 pm. Then, I will read a book between 12 and 1 pm.”
Often confused as synonymous with timeboxing, time blocking is simply setting a time for a chunk of work.
Example: “I will write my essay from 1 pm to 2 pm.”
In this example, you mean to write the essay at any time between 1 pm to 2 pm. This is time blocking. But in timeboxing, you will spend one hour, from 1 pm to 2 pm, solely writing the essay.
Task batching is ideal for those who struggle to switch their concentration between contexts. You can group similar tasks and schedule them for a given time without changing context throughout the day.
Example: “I will answer all my unread emails and messages from 2 pm to 4 pm. I will organize my desktop and workspace from 4 pm to 5 pm.”
An extreme version of time blocking, day theming is for those who dedicate an entire day to similar tasks. It is the process of assigning a theme to the whole day.
Example: “My Mondays are for content creation and ideation for the next week. On Tuesdays, I shoot my video posts and short-form content. On Wednesday, I edit all the posts for next week.”
These are just some examples of practical ways to practice time blocking. But like other time management planning tools, you can practice this as guided, switch between methods, or customize it to suit your needs.
Benefits of Time Blocking?
Unlike a to-do list, time blocking tells you what to do and when to do it. This is precisely why time blocking works. It gives you an overview of your calendar, allows you to set practical deadlines for every task, and promotes focused, deep work. You can also review your entire workflow at the end of the day and boost your productivity by rearranging the calendar in a way that works for you.
Time blocking helps you to:
- Streamline your tasks and finish them one by one.
- Improve your productivity level by concentrating on one task at a time.
- Evaluate your work and identify the everyday struggles in your workflow.
- Enhance your rate of work completion and assist in scheduling further tasks accordingly.
- Distinguish between the type of work and prioritize tasks carefully.
- Keep a record of how you spend the day.
- Set a realistic timeline to complete your tasks.
How To Make Time Blocking Work For You?
If you want to begin time blocking, Loopin - the modern calendar for teams to efficiently manage their entire workday is your go-to app for implementing all the electronic time management tools. Here’s a quick beginner’s guide for getting you started:
Start with a to-do list
Don't do away with the traditional modes entirely. Create an exhaustive to-do list to cover the day in order of priority. You can create the to-do list directly on Loopin itself.
Use the day view to schedule tasks.
Allocate different time blocks to the tasks from your to-do list throughout your day. The “Drag to Calendar” feature on Loopin will help you achieve this with a single click. Don't forget to add blocks for meals, breaks, and personal tasks. Merging time blocking and task batching for streamlining the work schedule is a brilliant way to get started.
If you’re interested in trying out day theming, you can use the weekly view for time blocking on Loopin. Different modes of viewing help visualize your day or week, making it easier to prioritize. Add color codes to different task categories to manage your time better.
Schedule meetings across teams as per your day’s plan
If you work in a space with a shared calendar, Loopin can come in handy to schedule meetings as per your allocated time block. If a task includes another teammate, click “Create Task,” then add the relevant details, including time, meeting link, and any meeting agenda or notes. Then, you can share it with the concerned person via email. You can also set a meeting as a recurring task, and the next time you meet the same person, you can access the notes of the previous meeting with a single click.
Explore different features of Loopin
The Loopin web app comes with many features like:
- Creating different events in the calendar
- Adding locations to your tasks
- Adding meeting agenda and descriptions
- Including multiple attachments
- Making meeting notes directly on the calendar and sharing with teammates through Slack, Notion, or email
Use all these features to create productive time blocks and add tasks per your priority.
Once your schedule is complete, add some flexible spaces for urgent work that may crop up throughout the day. A quick hack for beginners is to consistently overestimate how long a task can take and then plan accordingly.
Best Apps for Time Blocking
There are plenty of time-blocking apps that majorly fall into the following categories:
- Digital calendars
- Time blocking software
- Task management apps
- Time tracking tools
Google Calendar, integrated with Loopin, can be easily tagged as the best time-blocking app, as it can conveniently integrate different functionalities. These enhance the experience of time blocking with your calendar and boost your productivity.
Some other time-blocking apps to consider are:
- Notion - For the pen and paper organizing feeling
- Todoist - For those who are addicted to to-do lists
- Any.do - To stay organized across devices
- TickTick - For time-blocking, using the Pomodoro enthusiasts
Have you ever tried any way of time blocking or other time management tools? Let us know which technique works best for you so they can inspire others never to miss a deadline again!