What is time blocking and why you should use it?

Time is precious. An average person only lives 692,040 hours in a lifetime.

Time is such a sacred resource because you can’t get it back. You can make more money if you lose it, but you can’t make more time if you waste it.

Like it or not, time plays a significant and important role in our lives. It helps us structure our day. So, how do you make sure you maximize your day, every day?

You use time blocking.

What is time blocking?

Time blocking, also known as monotasking or time chunking, is the productivity technique of planning out every minute of your day in advance.

You dedicate specific time “blocks” to certain activities, including checking your emails, booking meetings, eating meals, and scheduling personal time such as exercise, relaxing, and spending time with your family and friends.

In today’s fast, hyper-connected, and unpredictable world, time blocking is the one thing you can control. 

Cal Newport, a professor at Georgetown University and author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, is an advocate of time blocking.

He says he doesn’t burn out from his intense workload using the method.

He is not the only who believes in the productivity system.

Entrepreneurs believe in the practice

Two of the biggest names in entrepreneurship and technology use the technique. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, and Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX use time blocking to tackle their to-do list.

They divide their days up into 5-minute time slots.

Why does time-blocking help?

It breaks up your day into smaller segments and keeps you accountable for your schedule. When you plan down to the minute, you plan your work and your recharging time. It boosts your productivity.

While you don’t divide your day into 5-minute slots, you can pick another amount of time that best fits your schedule. The point is it works and makes you efficient. If you think you are too busy to do this, you wouldn’t be so busy if you schedule everything.

Do you know how much time you really have?

Map out your workweek. Schedule your day in time blocks.

For example, this is what I do to incorporate time blocking into my day:

  • I put on my calendar that I eat lunch from Noon to 1:00 p.m. every day.
  • I also time block in 30 minute increments because it helps me gain a better grasp on how long certain tasks take and how much time I have available during the day for meetings.
  • I also like to review the schedule for the next day as I end my workday.
  • I can carry over time blocks or schedule new time blocks for important work projects or family plans.

Another benefit of time blocking: it makes sure you don’t forget things you need to do. It also helps you stay focused on your most important tasks for the day.

What are the top 3 to 4 things you need to make sure you do that day?

When you have a finite amount of time to do something, you’ll give the activity more attention. 

  • You’ll be more productive. 
  • You’ll make sure you schedule breaks.
  • You’ll maximize the time you have in the day.

Research shows breaks can help you reduce stress and make sure you are performing optimally throughout your day.

Bringing it all together

Set yourself up for success with time blocks. You’ll see your productivity at work — skyrocket. You won’t feel as busy. You’ll be able to better balance your mental energy during the day.

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24-hour days.” 

Zig Ziglar, an American author and motivational speaker

If some of the most successful entrepreneurs recommend this time management method, shouldn’t you try it?

It’s not how long we work every day; it’s how effectively we work.

If you know in advance what you want to do that day and maintain excellent focus, you’ll use every minute of the day more effectively and incorporate time blocking into your daily routine.