Time Blocking

To be intentional, there has to be a plan.  Or at least a direction.
Blocking out chunks of time to get my most important tasks done is effective for me.

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I’m not, by nature, a person who enjoys being highly scheduled.  I don’t like the activities that I sometimes ask others to complete that involve tracking my day in 15-minute increments. I don’t usually ask coaching clients to design their “perfect day” (probably at least in part because one of my mantras is “perfection is highly over-rated”).  I like to mix things up and I really dislike a rigid routine.  I once heard a “rut” described as a grave with open ends.  While a bit gruesome, I kind of agree with that.

However, I do know that planned spending of my days is as important to my productivity and opportunity as planned spending of my money.  Planning is key to being intentional so that I don’t forget to do the things that I know are important to me.  If I am willing to plan my expenditures of money and time, I will have more of both.

For me, time blocking means that I block out hunks of time in my schedule, on my calendar, for specific tasks.  Right now, I need to be sure I am attending to my Real Estate business, my coaching clients, and that I am intentionally setting aside time to write.  Besides that, I am entering the world of blogs and podcasts since reading and listening to others’ ideas is key to honing my own.  Any of these could soak up all my time if I am not watching how I spend my time.

To be intentional, there has to be a plan.  Or at least a direction.

Instead of trying to convince myself I can control interruptions and/or become instantly tightly scheduled, I have divided my calendar up into one- to three-hour blocks that are defined by tasks.  (I even have facebook time on my calendar.)  It keeps the important on my mind.  It also gives me the freedom to be creative in my use of time.

Here are some ways I find blocking out time for tasks useful and valuable.

  • It forces me to acknowledge that I have a finite amount of time.  Every once in a while, it is healthy to take stock of the actual time in a day.
  • It helps me avoid creative avoidance.  I can see that I have the time to complete a task and that makes me less inclined to come up with excuses to avoid it.
  • It makes me determine my current priorities.  They change according to projects, time of year, responsibilities.
  • It keeps me motivated.  Stopping to assess every few months makes me revisit what I think is important.  As I divide my days up on paper, it reminds me that I have important things to do.
  • It allows my sense of accomplishment to be accurate.  No fooling myself if it is on my calendar.  I either am sticking with what I say is important or I am not.

Time blocking, for me, is a flexible way to keep myself organized and intentional.

 

 

photo credit: stirwise via photopin cc

 

 

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