Today, I am sharing a little life hack that allows me to get more work done in a day. It’s called time blocking.
Every morning, when I journal, I spend a little bit of time listing everything in my head that needs to get done today. Once I post the day’s blog post, I take that list and compare it to my running to do list (I use Basecamp). I add the tasks which aren’t already on the list.
Next, I reorder the list. I put what must get done today at the top and then order the rest of the list from most important to least important.
I look at the list and decide what to delegate to someone else. (One great thing about Basecamp is I can move a task to another project, assign it to one of my team members, add a due date, and set it to notify me when that person completes the task.)
Last, I pull up my calendar and start time blocking. I take the first task from my list and schedule 45 minutes to work on it. If it’s going to take longer than 45 minutes, I schedule it into the next block. For example:
8:00 AM to 8:45 AM: Task 1 Part A
9:00 AM to 9:45 AM: Task 1 Part B
I keep 15 minutes breaks so I can get up and walk around, check email or slack, and respond to whatever has come in. This break keeps me from being distracted since I know I will have time to review a notification soon.
If something comes in during this time that will become a new task, I add it to my to do list and archive the email.
I don’t schedule everything from my list for that day. I will often remove items from my list that have been sitting for multiple days because they are no longer important.
I have the most creative energy early in the morning, so I try to avoid meetings before 11:00 AM unless that meeting is both important and urgent.
Get your to do’s out of your head and onto a blank page where you can see them. Organize your list from most to least important. Delegate what makes sense to delegate. Schedule your to-do’s.