This month my theme is one of my favourite productivity tools – the art of Timeblocking. I timeblock my week every week to maximise my productivity, and I find that the two hours a week I spend doing this is the reason I save FIVE TIMES that over the course of the rest of the week.
What is Timeblocking anyway?
Timeblocking is basically timetabling on steroids. You simply schedule in blocks of time into your week to allow for certain activities, such as work, lunch, education, financial management, housework and household administration.
What is the point of timeblocking though?
Timeblocking allows you to dedicate a specific block of time to an activity to allow pure focus on that one activity, without allowing yourself to get distracted by other tasks. For example, every Sunday night I dedicate two hours to my planning for the week. I focus entirely on planning. I turn the TV off and listen to music. I grab my Master To Do List, my timeblocking weekly sheet, and my timeblocking daily breakdown sheets, my coloured highlighters and my favourite pen. During this time, no matter what comes up, whether it is messages on social media, emails about work, or indeed anything that is NOT planning, it gets ignored.
There are some exceptions – emergencies such as fire or flood, toilet breaks if needed, and anything that absolutely cannot wait and harm will be done if I do wait until the end of my planning session. I do everything I can to reduce the disruptions – I feed my son before I sit down, I make sure my phone is on ‘Do Not Disturb’, with only my partner, my mother, my best friend and my son’s school able to get through during this time, so that notifications do not bother me.
In order to make the most of Timeblocking, I want to first show you why it is so important. This week, as your homework, write out a list of every single thing that you need to do. Every. Damn. Thing. Here are some triggers to prompt you:
- Household chores
- Household admin, eg, paying bills, renewing insurance, sending forms into school
- Work related to-do list
- Medical admin, such as ordering prescriptions, booking appointments
- Errands to run
- Groceries and household items to replenish
- Home maintenance tasks
- Family members and pets
- Education and personal development
- Things to post
- Things to chase up
- Things to write
- Meetings – in person and virtual
This week, you are NOT GOING TO TIMEBLOCK. You are going to write your list, and cross off anything you get done this week, writing next to it how long the task took. Keep hold of this list – you will need it next week when I teach you how to timeblock!
Have a productive week, and even if you don’t, keep coming back!