Do you have trouble concentrating on the task at hand? Do you start out to do something and then not get it finished, or abandon it halfway through?
It is hard to stay productive and on track in our modern world. There are so many distractions. So many interruptions.
You probably have a long list of things you need to do. Yet when you actually sit down or set out to do them, you accomplish absolutely nothing at all. Zilch.
But there is a secret to being, and staying, productive. It’s a really easy secret way to stop procrastinating and stay on track.
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That Secret Is…….
Once you know what the secret is, it is actually so easy to be productive and stay on track!
The secret is – Time Blocking!
Yes! Time Blocking. It sounds like a scientific approach to doing something, and actually that is pretty much what is is.
Time blocking will completely turn around and change how you do things from now on. Once you figure out how to do it, it will be so easy for you to get things done.
All About Time Blocking
Time Blocking is actually a very simple concept. It is easy to learn and maintain.
You assign a block of time to doing something. You sit down and in that time period you get what you need to get done completed. You can do nothing else but that task during that time period.
During that block of time you have to be focused on the task at hand. It helps to set a timer, which gives you a hard start and finish.
A time block can be whatever block of time you want it to be. But shorter blocks are better (you can always do several short blocks together). Many people choose 20-30 minute blocks of time. As they are relatively easy blocks of time to manage. If it is a really long and hard job that you have to do, you can always use several different blocks of time for it.
A 20-30 minute time block will enable you to get up at the end of it, get a drink, take a bathroom break etc. That is why it is an ideal block of time. Longer blocks, such as an hour, tend to make you feel too trapped. You feel like you need to wait too long to take a break, and therefore you are not as productive.
During the block of time you have set you should be super-focused. For instance, if you need to get thank you cards written. You set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes, and during that time you write your thank you cards. No stopping. No getting off task. Once the time is up you can then go and get a cookie, get a drink etc. But not until the time is up.
What to use Time Blocking for
I use time blocking for writing my blog posts. It is hard to sit for a while and write. But when I set a timer and work for a block of time, I know I have to write constantly in that time period (I can always edit it later). It helps me stay on track and not get side-tracked with other things I have to do. I know that I will have a stopping point, so I can look forward to that if I am struggling, but I still have to do something during that time block.
Of course, I will never write a complete blog post in just one time block. But it does mean I get a start on it. Writing a blog post means drafting, outlining and then doing the actual writing, and later editing and making the post ready. So I need several blocks of time for that, which do not all have to follow each other. I can split those blocks up over several days. Or I can do them all in one day.
You can also use time blocks for housework. For instance, if you need to vaccum your home, set a time block of 30 minutes to vaccum every room. Or if you need to clean your bathroom, set a time block for 30 minutes. This latter approach can actually be very good, because you can also speed up the cleaning and do a speed cleaning in that time, which makes cleaning much more manageable.
Time blocks can be used for absolutely anything and everything.
How to Time Block
You can time block simply by mapping out blocks of time on a sheet of paper. Or you can use a planner to do this (either paper or electronic).
Just take your planner and mark out blocks of time. For instance, there are 24 hours in a day. What are you going to fill those 24 hours with? Probably 8 of those hours are sleeping, so that leaves 16 hours to take care of. You will have other things in those 16 hours, such as going to work, eating, family tasks such as taking your kids to school etc. If you have a block of time that you can use – such as between 4-5pm, you can fill it with something you need to do, and block it out.
I really like using a planner to time block because it is so visual. I much prefer a visual reminder for my tasks and appointments.
There are several planners I really like. One of those is Mom Agenda. I love this planner because it allows you to track appointments and things needing to be done not just for you, but also for up to 4 children. That means you can time block for yourself each day, as well as track everything your kids need to do each and every day.
You may have a planner you already use, and love, so use that planner. Or use an online planner, such as Google Calendar.
It may help to use pens and highlighters to create blocks in your planner. Not only can that make your planner more attractive, your blocks can stand out. You may want to color code your blocks. For instance use yellow for household tasks, orange for personal tasks, green for family tasks etc.
So now you know the best secret to productivity! Now you can get so much more done, and stop procrastinating and getting distracted!
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