If you struggle with time management, time blocking might be just what you need. Elon Musk, who quite possibly has one of the busiest lives in the world, swears by it. As an established engineer known for his futuristic concepts, Musk is the CEO or co-founder of five companies. Yes, five.
If Elon Musk, the ultimate entrepreneur, uses time blocking, I’m willing to give it a try. Because as I’ve learned, there are many downsides to having poor time management.
Time Blocking 101
With time blocking, you create a calendar of your “working hours.” The time that isn’t spent sleeping, getting ready for the day, or relaxing. The GR8 thing about time blocking is that it allows flexibility. You don’t have to stick to 30 minutes for breakfast and a 15-minute shower to stay on track.
Your free time is your free time.
It’s recommended that you use time block in advance, so that you don’t waste time in the morning, you know, time blocking. Sitting down either the night before or Sunday evening for the week ahead to create a schedule is key. Draw your days out on a planner or piece of paper with your working hours spaced out in increments.
How to Begin Time Blocking
Take designated time slots in your day and block them off for given tasks. Have an hour-long meeting that starts at 9am? Draw a box. Now 9am-10am is taken. Do you need to put together a presentation for next week? Estimate how long it will take you and draw another box. Two hours? Now your day is scheduled through noon.
Part of time blocking is to set realistic deadlines. You know you’re going to scroll through social media at some point, no matter what. With time blocking, that’s taken into consideration. Every hour or so, you can block off 10 minutes for social media. You’re more likely to stay on track if you know at 12:15pm you get a Facebook break.
Making a color key helps with time blocking. Meetings get one color, social media, another color, answering emails, working on deliverables, etc. They all get a color. This can make your blocks easier to read and follow.
Why Time Blocking Works
Time blocking works not only because it serves as a to-do list, but it allows you to see what tasks you should be working on when. And it’s designed by you, so you can order your tasks however you see fit.
Are you more creative in the morning? Schedule tasks that require ideation for those blocks. Do you function on auto-pilot in the late afternoon? That’s when you should block off time for answering emails.
Time blocking is a schedule for you, by you. It can also help you assess how you’re spending your time. As you look at the week, is most of your time being delegated to answering emails when it should be blocked off for more productive tasks? Use time blocking to put a hard-stop time on your email usage and tackle the urgent messages first.
Having effective time management routine is crucial, as it can be the key to preventing burnout. We want to hear from you. If there’s another time management technique you swear by, let us know.
Get Your FREE Time Blocking Worksheet
If you’re ready to try time blocking, use this GR8 worksheet to get started: Your GR8 Time Blocking Worksheet