This past week a client asked me for some tips on Time Blocking.
After writing the email, realized it was worth sharing because it might help others out right now.
Tip 1 – my learning is that we are either sprinters or marathoners.
Marathoners have the ability to comfortable focus for long stretches at a time on one project. LOL – this is NOT me.
I’m a sprinter. 45-minute time chunks are a good fit for me (and sometimes, depending on the joy –sarcasm – of the task, that may be 30 minutes only, or just 15)
Tip 2– Using the above suggestion,
If I’m 45 minutes “on” then 15 minutes is ACTION time for me, before my next working time block begins. In case I’m not clear: action time is like recess from elementary school.
I typically use these 15 minutes while moving. Yep, I need to be moving my energy. I’m on my feet, getting blood flowing.
Returning calls, washroom break, throwing laundry in, walk around the block, a set of push-ups are all examples of what I may do in this time.
This energy spurt helps me to sit back down and focus again.
Tip 3– Know your energy time of day. Morning/afternoon/evening.
Mine is strongest typically in the morning.
This means I put the “needs full attention items” first thing in my day.
Gets my “best” energy and wonderfully, the “Yes, I accomplished something” feeling of having a project/task completed helps me with the rest of the time block work priorities.
Tip 4 – Be realistic.
Tip 5 – Make time block windows for responding to emails.
I put a timer on for this.
I get (depending on # of emails) x minutes to complete emails.
This keeps me to the “read it once, make something happen” program versus, read the email 6 times in the course of one day and waste time.
Tip 6 – Book time for lunch and at least one walk/break/fresh air/something a day.
Tip 7 – Have an end time. Work Life blend is priority. Especially right now.
And if you’re not good at shutting work down, be accountable to someone else for this.
For example, have your kids oversee the 5pm quitting time bell/sound effects and come to an agreement on where your technology will be stored from 5-8pm.
Lastly – I use the Stephen Covey quadrants to help me decide what my priorities.
I literally capture my to-do list using the four quadrants, which then helps me decide on how & what I time block. This also helps me from getting caught in the “not important/not urgent stuff” all day long.
Please share what tips you would add.
To being efficient, effective AND feeling good about how we use our time/days.