Time blocking - the right way
Time blocking is a time management strategy involving planning out every hour of your day. By using time-blocking, you divide the work-week into manageable chunks that allow you to check email, work on projects, take breaks, or even work out. If you are juggling between multiple meetings in a day, answering work emails all day long, being unable to maintain a work-life balance because of no structure and organization, or getting distracted incessantly, time-blocking could be the solution.
If you are struggling with procrastination or the inability to focus, this could be a beneficial blog for you.
Table of contents
- Track your productive time
- Identify your most productive time
- Schedule flexibly to avoid breaking from it
- Prioritize your work
- Schedule time for Personal activities too
- Cover up for lost time
1. Track your productive time
You can't manage what you can't measure
Which is why a great time blocking starts with - measuring your time.
It is crucial to track the time for which you were actually productive and analyze where you went wrong. For doing so, you could use Developer Diary by Invide.
Developer Diary is a minimalistic offline journaling app for developers.
It comes with AI-based insights that help developers maximize their time in maker mode(creative work) as compared to the time in manager mode(communication and administrative work).
When you are working on your coding problem and remember to note something down, you can use a simple shortcut (⌘+Shift+I) to open the app and start journaling. The AI-based progress tracker also helps with keeping track of your time and evaluating how much deep work you do. It helps organize your day to maximize those deep work sessions and get work done in less time.
2. Identify your most productive time
When you set up a time block, you're planning a period to focus on tasks like projects, meetings, email responses, and other tasks. Time blocks are beneficial on their own, but you may make them more productive by customizing the work according to your productivity at that time. But avoid overworking yourself, if you feel too tired at the end of the day try rescheduling.
3. Schedule flexibly to avoid breaking from it
There are times when unplanned duties must be finished immediately or last-minute appointments are scheduled during a critical block of concentration time; while you don't want them to entirely disrupt your schedule, you do want to be able to complete them. If these situations emerge regularly at work, consider flexibly assigning a block of time in the afternoon. This way, if something happens to interrupt one of your morning time blocks, you have time set aside for any unforeseen tasks or you can move the interrupted job to your flexible afternoon session. Ensure that the priority of any new tasks you receive is higher than those you are already working on. Unexpected work often feels urgent, but that doesn't make it more important than the task you were working on before. Always keep your top priorities at work in mind and adjust your schedule as needed.
4. Prioritize your work
As with most time management techniques, the most crucial step is to decide what has to be accomplished on a certain day or week. Practice maintaining and updating a to-do list with all of your key work if you haven't previously. Make sure you are aware of what the most crucial chores are so that you can complete them that day. The ideal solution will enable you to add context and specifics to your work, such as the importance of a particular assignment, any relevant attachments or papers, relevant partners, and more.
4. Schedule time for Personal activities too
You should schedule breaks for personal activities each day in addition to your work tasks while using time blocking. Similar to blocking off time for work, scheduling personal activities will make it easier for you to keep them up. Give yourself brief pauses for personal time, daily duties, or any other daily things you need to complete in addition to work.
This could be a much-needed break to work out or indulge in self-care practices.
5. Cover up for lost time
Even the best time blocker will waste time during the day. There will inevitably be an email or Slack message that needs your attention. Think about setting aside some time blocks for deep work and others for concentration tasks. You can be interrupted while checking your email and carrying out your everyday duties without it delaying you. However, if you block out time for intensive work, you might think about snoozing all notifications and activating "Do not disturb" mode. Finding the most effective method to lessen distractions may take some time. As required, keep changing and readjusting your time blocks. With practice, you can find that using this time management strategy costs you less time.
Looking for more ?
- Read about alternate career options for software engineers.
- Read on how to make your remote work life easier with these 9 tools.
- More blog posts on productivity