The problem is that by the time we have gotten “around to it,” we are either racing a deadline clock or completing the task half-heartedly.
While racing a clock can inspire productivity, employees lose effectiveness when rushed. We block our personal productivity when we wait until the last possible moment. By postponing our tasks, we are consuming valuable time by thinking about when to do it. What if we could have the best of both worlds? What if we could increase productivity, while simultaneously increasing our workmanship? Perhaps time blocs are the answer.
By focusing on execution, we control our tasks rather than allowing tasks to control us. Assigning and completing tasks is far quicker than procrastination. One of the most effective ways to tackle large tasks is to create time blocs throughout our day, highlighting important tasks. By establishing time blocs, we avoid time blocks. While elementary in principle, this productivity enhancer dramatically increases your output. Here are some of our favorite ways to use time blocs:
Gather up all your projects, commitments, tasks and chores and put them in chronological order. Some prefer placing the most important tasks first while others place the most time consuming tasks first. In many cases, these tasks may overlap. Prioritization helps ensure efficiency. The peace of mind brought about through this ranking system is amazing. Even if you don’t implement anything else in this article, this helps you understand what is important and should take priority.
With your calendar at the ready, carve out chunks of time and assign each position a task. Use your own experience to determine how long each bloc should be. Keep it simple, but keep it precise. For example, don’t simply bloc out “work.” Rather, list the specific task such as “write third quarter report.” The more precise you dissect and assign tasks, the less likely you are to fall into apathy.
Follow Your Schedule
Good intentions only get you so far. Follow your schedule daily to turn a short-term productivity enhancer into a long-term productivity habit. Once time blocs become a habit, you’ll immediately see a rise in your productivity. As you get better at creating time blocs, you’ll get more done than you thought possible.
Beyond the Office
Don’t just use time blocs at work. Use them in your personal life as well. While it may feel strange at first to have family time, spouse time, or coffee time added to your schedule as time blocs, understand that items on your list tend to become your priorities. You would never leave other important tasks off the list because “it didn’t feel right.” By putting these non-work activities in time blocs, you ensure that they get the time they deserve. The benefits of good time management carry far beyond work. We only have 24 hours in a day. Those who get the most out of each hour gain a competitive advantage.
This four-step process is not a life changer. It’s a life enhancer. You know what you have to do, time blocs help you get it all done.
Questions: Have you begun scheduling specific tasks on your calendar? How did it work? Were you more productive?