As a leader, you know that your time is extremely valuable and it’s important to be as productive as possible when you have the time. So how do you arrange your time so you can maximize productivity and still have time for the people you’re leading?
The answer may well be found in time blocking.
What is Time Blocking?
Simply put, time blocking is budgeting your time by segment BEFORE you start your day. Often it is recommended to do the night before, but time blocking will allow you to schedule your day in focused chunks.
If you find that you’re constantly switching gears and jumping from food to conversation to email to work to phone calls to meetings to email, etc., etc., etc., time blocking may be something to try out.
What Does Time Blocking Look Like?
The night before, take an inventory of the tasks you need to complete the next day. List them out and start to build a schedule. It’s important to delegate specific times to specific tasks, so your schedule may look something like this:
6:30 – Do morning stretches
7:00 – Breakfast/Get ready for work
7:40 – Arrive at Work
7:50 – Answer emails
8:15 – 1st Meeting
9:30 – Work with no phone calls/emails/etc
10:15 – Break and catch up on text messages/social media
10:30 – Answer emails
10:50 – Prepare for Meeting
11:00 – 2nd Meeting
12:15 – Lunch
1:15 – Conference Call, Work as you are able
3:30 – Break – Walk around office
3:45 – Open Door Office Hours: Time for drop in appointments
4:45 – Answer emails
5:00 – Create block schedule for tomorrow
5:10 – Pack up for the Day
Do you see how you much time there is to simply focus on the task at hand? Wouldn’t that be nice?
Start with Small Changes
If this seems like too much at first, instead of taking a break from what you’re doing every time you get an email notification and stopping to respond, try only responding to emails at specific times throughout the day. Turn notifications off on your phone and only deal with text messages when you have allotted time.
If people popping into your office is a major problem, create an “office hours” schedule and post it on your office door. Close your door and make sure your office hours are clearly posted so that others know when you’re available.