Maximizing Productivity with Time-Blocking: A Mindful Approach to Managing Your TimeMar 08, 2023
By Patricia Wooster
Time does not exist. It is a human invention that adds more significance and stress to our lives than all other inventions combined. Think about it. We structure our days around time. We hold ourselves accountable to the commitments we mark on our calendar, such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, appointments, deadlines, and even sleep.
Despite its importance in our life, time is a concept that doesn't actually exist in the natural world. We cannot touch, taste, or see time; it is not tangible. So, while we have created time to help us organize our lives, it is ultimately an abstract concept that only exists because we have given it meaning.
So, how can we best utilize this organizational tool we have created for ourselves instead of it using us? We can start by:
- Setting Priorities
- Planning Ahead
- Avoiding Distractions
- Taking Breaks
- Staying Present
- Delegating Tasks
- Get Enough Rest
Time-blocking is a powerful tool we can use to be more effective at achieving our goals. By making it a part of our daily routine, we can avoid feeling overwhelmed or stressed when faced with a busy schedule. This productivity technique involves breaking down your day into 20-90 minute increments, with each block allocated to a specific task or activity. After this “work” session, it is important to incorporate a 5-15-minute recovery activity like a walk, conversation with a friend, or any other re-energizing activity.
Consider experimenting with a week of time-blocking if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions:
- Do you spend too much time in one area of your life while neglecting other important areas?
- Do you find yourself jumping around different work tasks without getting any of them done?
- Do you have a hard time getting things done due to distractions?
- Do you just start getting into the zone on a project or activity and are called in to do something else?
- Do other people have more control over your time than you?
- Do the things you want to do never get done?
To make the most of time-blocking, here are some tips:
- Identify your priorities: Before you start time-blocking, identify your priorities and the most important tasks. In Designing Genius, we call these your “ingredients.”
- Break down tasks: Break down tasks into smaller, more manageable blocks of time. This will help you avoid procrastination and stay focused on the task.
- Be flexible: Be flexible with your time-blocking schedule. If you find that a task is taking longer than expected, adjust your schedule accordingly.
- Use a timer: Use a timer to help you stay on track and within your allocated time blocks.
- Evaluate your progress: Evaluate your progress regularly and make adjustments as needed. This is what we mean in Designing Genius when we ask you to audit your calendar.
To truly lean into Genius Living, it is important for us to schedule our most important activities first based on where we want to focus. It is easy to get caught up in scheduling our work tasks, Zoom meetings, and appointments but forget to include those things that make up a fulfilling life. Areas like relationships, self-care, friendships, family, adventure, and our community deserve the most important place on our calendar. We encourage you to rethink how you view time and make it work for YOU.
Join the Designing Genius Community and program to start Genius Living today. Inside, you'll find clarity, connection, collaboration, and growth to your highest and best self.