Ah, productivity. The feeling of being productive is something we all want, but don’t really get as much as we should.
Especially during this time of isolation, the work days can just really get away from us. Many of us start out the day incredibly productive and just lose focus in the afternoon. For some of us, the problem is inherently that we just don’t know how to plan.
Time blocking isn’t a new trend by any means, rather, it’s found its popularity in the midst of this self-isolation period.
When our normal routines are disrupted, many of us find ourselves lost. It’s hard to get into a normal routine when you are in the comfort of your own home, and the only person to hold yourself accountable to be productive.
Time blocking is a great tool that anyone can use in their life, whether they are a stay-at-home parent, working from home, or just need a little more order in their daily lives.
Here’s how to do it:
You can either use a digital planning tool/calendar like Google Calendar, or just use a good-ole paper planner. You can get fancy and use a bullet journal, or get technical and use a spreadsheet program.
First, write down any calls, meetings, or other recurring events you have throughout the week.
Next, write down everything you have to do to prepare for those events. Add in other standard tasks for your daily or work life, as well as other recurring tasks throughout the week.
Use those items to map out your work day, making sure to schedule in time for a proper lunch and breaks throughout.
Now, some may stop here—but I choose to map out my entire day, morning to night. It may seem excessive, but I can promise you it has made all the difference when it comes to my self-discipline.
I have a morning and evening routine, and include the appropriate time blocks for those in my schedule.
I also make sure to schedule in my workouts.
I don’t schedule downtime, per se, but I do make sure to include time for projects that may spill over their allotted times and ensure I have enough time to relax and properly rest.
For your reference, here is my generalized daily schedule—feel free to use this as a guideline for creating yours, but by no means feel obligated to have it be this detailed. Do what you need for yourself.
6:00am-8:00am: Morning workout and morning routine
8:30-9:00am: Tidy up your workspace and be prepared to work
9:00am-12:00pm: Work for three hours
12:00-1:00pm: lunch break
1:00-4:00pm: Work for three hours
4:00-4:30pm: Take a small break
4:30-5:00pm: Finish up work tasks for the day
5:00-6:00pm: Go for a run or use this time for finishing other tasks if needed
9:00pm: evening routine
(h/t Better Change Project)