Time Blocking / Time Boxing as Productivity Boost

Time Blocking

tl;dr; if something is really important to you, plan it in your calendar.

It is nice to have a to-do list in your to-do app, your Bullet Journal or on your Kanban board, but you have to allocate time for the execution of these tasks in your schedule.

Example: If you have a task called “Plan feedback sessions” you should make an entry in your calendar and dedicate some amount of time to it, let’s say half an hour.

The problem with most peoples calendars is the following: They are primarily empty!

Block time for recurring events like

  • lunch break
  • reflection / personal retro
  • focus time

Schedule important tasks where you have to stay focused longer than say 5 Minutes.

Don’t schedule every email you want to write, plan a block organizational stuff.

 

Time Boxing

Sometimes You have tasks you move from day to day e.g. learning for exams, calling new clients aka cold calls. Especially when you are procrastinating, time boxing could be your friend.

The idea is simple:

Start with a fixed amount of time even if it is likely that you cannot finish the task!

When you start with your first session you have a foot in the door and you can make further progress in upcoming sessions.

Follow ups

Many people start but do not follow up. If some items from a meeting are still unclear schedule a follow up immediately.

Color code

For me a good day is balanced between focus time and personal interaction. To get an feeling I like to give every event in my calendar a specific color.

Colors I use

Green – Organizational stuff, many different things, no sharp focus needed, I may be interrupted

Yellow – Meetings in general

Purple – 1on1, Feedback Sessions, Dealing with important things, no interruption

Red – Focus time, Coding, writing important long emails, writing reports, planning tasks, no interruption

Orange – Everything related to apprenticeship

 

Bottom line

Be the master of you schedule and do not let others be in charge of the course of your day.