What is Time Blocking and Why Do You Need It?
Part 1: Overview
Today’s post is the first in a 5-part series on the time management system known as Time Blocking. This week we'll do a high-level overview, and every week in February, we’ll go into more depth on each of the four steps.
Although no one system is right for everyone, the time blocking system is flexible, and you can adjust it to make it work for your needs. I find it very useful, so I wanted to share it with you.
However, keep in mind that the “right” time management system is the one that works for you.
What is Time Blocking?
In its essence, time blocking is simply a way to manage your time vs. letting time manage you. There are four steps to help you do that:
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There’s a lot of flexibility in this system. You can keep it simple or get as detailed and down to the minute as you need. You can use it for specific areas in your life or structure your days and weeks around it.
Why Do We Need It?
Most of us feel like we don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done. But who hasn't heard of those famous “super-achievers” who manage to:
create and nurture a multi-million dollar business
spend quality time with their families
get enough sleep
take regular vacations
raise happy, well-adjusted children
volunteer their time
create another wildly successful business
Yet we all have the same 24 hours available to us each day. So what makes the difference?
When we don’t know what we need to do, we don’t prioritize or schedule the time necessary to do the task. So, why are we surprised when we forget to do something important or “run out” of time (and energy) by the end of the day? We end up feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, and the pattern continues day after day.
Yet, there really is enough time to do what we genuinely need to do. It’s a matter of planning, prioritizing, scheduling, and then just doing it. But how to get there is the problem, right?
Maybe you’ve tried making endless lists – and if you’re anything like I was, you’ve got lists on scraps of paper everywhere. After a while, you don’t even notice them.
More Than a To-Do List
A to-do list is just that - a list of things to do. There’s generally no priority given, no time frame, and rarely includes non-negotiables like food prep, personal hygiene, sleep, etc. I’ll go into that more in-depth in Step 1. Without a plan, the urgent tasks will always take priority over the important ones.
If we schedule our days around our priorities, we’re much more likely to accomplish them calmly, efficiently, and better. And I think you’ll be amazed to find “extra” time in your days once you begin putting your time blocking system into place.
Next week we’ll look at the Planning stage, the foundation of the time blocking system.
Time blocking has been a game changer for me, and I hope you will also find it useful. Let me know if you have any questions or comments!
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