If your work load is overwhelming, and it feels like you are drowning in a sea of tasks and projects then it might be time to evaluate your time management skills. Many people have more than enough time in their day to get all their work done, but they don’t know it because they have never tried time blocking. Time blocking is a scheduling tool that allows you to get things done faster by consolidating to-do lists, mitigating distractions, and so much more. You can implement time blocking into your daily routine in 3 steps:
Break Down Your Daily Tasks
Start by listing your daily work tasks and your daily non-work tasks and then prioritize them. Make a list of the top 3 most important things you need to get done today and then note the smaller tasks beneath that.
Dedicate time blocks for your most important tasks at the times of day when you are the most productive. This prevents random and overwhelming to-do lists. Once the bigger tasks have been completed, block out the rest of the day into smaller time slots for the smaller, easier tasks. Many people are the most energized in the morning, so they complete their more important tasks first. Then finish off the day with the easier tasks, (but you can order it however you want depending on when you feel you are the most productive!).
Time blocks longer than a few hours are usually not effective, so try to set blocks that are realistic but keep you working. Remember to include in your scheduling a 30-minute block for task overflow in case in case something unexpected pops up or a task takes longer than anticipated.
Keep Track Of Blocking
In order to keep track of your schedule use your smart phone or computer to set daily alarms/ reminders. It is also helpful to color-code your calendar based on priority to keep things neat and organized. Let your coworkers and family members know about your schedule so they know what to expect and so they can help you stick to it. If your schedule is incompatible with a coworker, a family member, roommate, etc., you may need to adjust.
If you keep track of your productivity by noting how long it took you to complete your daily tasks before and after you started time-blocking, you can determine how effective it has been for you. The only way you will be able to accurately gauge the effectiveness of time-blocking is if you commit to doing it for at least 30 days, and you avoid distractions. Keep in mind there is a bit of a learning curve with time- blocking, so the longer you do it, the more it becomes second nature.
Tailor Your Calendar To You
Time-blocking may seem a bit rigid and over structured, but once you get the hang of it, it can alleviate a lot of stress. You should also tailor you time-block schedule to you because this is not a one-size-fits all process.
If you have mounting administrative duties that are no match for time management tools, Project Pros is here to help! We can help with calendar management and tasks, so you can focus on the bigger picture.