When something is important enough for you, you will do whatever it takes to accomplish it. You will say ‘No’ to other people and push all other tasks away and focus on doing your most important work. You time block.
With information coming at us at lightning speed, we just don’t have enough time to digest everything. We need to spend time on our work, we need to exercise, we need to spend time growing our relationship with people we care, and we need to stay updated through social media.
How can we have enough time to handle all these? The answer is through time blocking.
If there is one skill that you need to master to produce an extraordinary result in life, it is through time blocking.
This powerful technique works because it makes sure that what has to be done gets done.
When you time block your task, you allow yourself to focus all your energy and put in your full effort into doing the work.
More importantly, you will make sure that you get the work done. Most people are not leveraging this powerful technique because it is so simple that they underestimate its effectiveness.
Successful writers time block their writing time because writing is the most important activity that will give them the result they want.
Extraordinary athletes time block their training time because training will improve their skills and allows them win the competition and become the champion.
As a blogger, I also time block my writing time. I write articles and create content every morning, from 10 AM to about 12 PM.
And because I dedicated these 2 hours to create content every day, at this point, I have about 500 articles published on my blog, receiving tens of thousands of views each month.
No matter what you want to achieve, you can accomplish it through the power of time blocking.
Time Block Your Most Important Work
So what task should you time block? You should time block the most important work that will give you the most result.
I recommend you read The One Thing by Gary Keller to understand this concept better.
If you want to produce amazing results in life and at work, you must identify your One Thing. And your one thing is the task/project/work/goal that gives you the success/result you seek in your work and life.
So ask yourself right now, what is the one thing you can do right now that will give you the most result?
If you are a writer, your one thing is writing. If your goal is to lose weight, your one thing is exercise and diet. If you want to build intimate relationship with your family, your one thing can be time spend with them.
Once you have identified your one thing, the next thing you need to do is to time block it.
You make sure it happens by blocking off your schedule and do it.
How to Time Block to be More Productive
So now you know the importance of time blocking, but what and how should you do it?
Basically, there are 3 tasks you need to time block, and we’ve already covered one of them…
1. Time Block Your Time Off
Yes, you read that right. Time off is one of the most important activities that everyone should plan for it.
You should organize your life around your play instead of the other way round. Why? When you know that there is playtime, you will work harder and will look forward to it.
If your life is all work and no play, you will feel bored and it is difficult to come up with the motivation. After all, there’s only work and work and work.
Some may argue saying that their work is their play. It may be true to a certain extent, but I believe that you should get away from your work once in a while to refresh your mind and recharge your soul.
When you work for long hours, your productivity will decrease and so does your willpower. You will feel that it is difficult to focus especially if your work needs you to face the computer screen for long hours, like me.
You definitely don’t want to suffer burnout. You want to maintain your energy level so that you can work at an optimum level.
So, block off time to recharge yourself each day. You can have weekly, monthly and even yearly time off too if you want to.
2. Time Block Your Most Important Work
Next, time block the most important work that will give you the most result. I have already mentioned this above – time block your one thing.
You have to follow the Pareto 80/20 Principle to discover the most important activities that will give you the most result.
Being busy does not mean being productive. Some people spend an hour on productive work that gives them huge results, while some people spend three hours but are not producing any significant results.
It is the work that you choose to do that will determine your productivity, not how much time you are able to spend on it.
If you want to be productive and achieve greater results in life, you have to always remember this: not all tasks are equal.
Some tasks are necessary but they don’t give you the results you want. And some tasks are not urgent but they are important because they can catapult your results and 10X your success.
You want to spend time working on your most result-yielding work.
The key is to time block your most important work as early as you possibly can. Try to spend 30 minutes to an hour for your morning priorities, and then jump straight into your most important work.
Once you got your most important work done, you will see extraordinary results coming.
If you have no idea what your most important task is, ask yourself this question as suggested by the book, The One Thing:
What is the ONE THING I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?The Focusing Question
And you can ask this question to suit what you want to achieve in life:
- “What is the ONE THING I can do to improve my skill at my career such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
- “What is the ONE THING I can do to show my appreciation to my love one such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
- “What is the ONE THING I can do to make our product the best such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
Do you got that?
The key is to identify the most result-yielding task so that you can work at it to get the extraordinary result you want.
3. Time Block Your Planning Time
Planning is one of the most important activities that most people underestimate and never do. They thought that as long as they are clear with what they want to achieve in life, things will fall in places easily.
It is not. The reason being that every one of us is busy and we get distracted by things around us.
Whenever we want to work on our goal, our phone will ring and we need to answer it. Our kids demand our attention. The YouTube video shared by our friends seems interesting to watch. We want to check updates on Facebook and we have to spend time doing our work too, all at the same time.
There are just too many things that require our attention and if we did not schedule a time for planning, we will forget what we need to do, especially our goals.
Trust me, if you don’t make time for your goals, you will never work on them. You will never act on them because there is always something that seems ‘more important and interesting’ that demands your attention.
This is why we need to time block our time for planning too. If you are serious about achieving extraordinary results and be productive, this is what you must do.
Make it your habit so that you will do it consistently and you will never forget about it.
Protect Your Time Block
You have to protect your time block. It is the most important time that if you stick to it, you will get produce real results that you seek.
Thus, learn to create a bunker for your time block. Follow these few tips below…
1. Learn to say ‘No’
Yes, you have to say ‘No’ to other things when you are on your quest to doing your most important work. Other things have to wait. Just say no and delay all other tasks that come to you at that moment.
You do not want to be distracted. When people come to you and ask for your help, find a way to tell them that you will do it, but it has to wait. I believe that people will understand and they will comply with you.
You cannot be successful by trying to please everyone.
You need to schedule your work around your time block and not the other way round.
2. Build a bunker
Create a quiet place where you can work on your most important thing each day. Remember, the path to mastery is through deliberate practice. Hence, you have to spend time working, improving, and becoming better each day by working in your bunker.
Create a private space or a workstation that allows you to completely focus on your task. Lock yourself in your room if possible. Silent or turn off your phone. Make it zero distraction.
When it comes to getting your ONE THING done, be serious with it because doing it will tremendously improve the quality of your life. Not to mention that it will also help you reach your goal and give you results.
So do whatever you can do create an environment that will support you and your goal.
3. Maintain your energy
There are plenty of ways how you can maintain your energy. The key is to keep your energy at an optimum level so you can perform at your best.
Our energy works just like your battery level on your phone. In the morning, it is fully charged and we use energy in everything we do as we go through our day.
And when our energy level is low, we feel sleepy, tired and easily get distracted. You will find it hard to focus on your work when your energy level is low. You will tend to want to do something else, talk to people, surf the internet and do other unrelated things.
Here are some suggestions how you can maintain your energy:
- Get some supply of snacks and healthy foods in your bunker. Consume only when necessary.
- Apply the Pomodoro Technique while working through your time blocks.
- Get a water bottle, drink, and keep your body hydrated.
- Use power naps to keep you refresh.
I found that time blocking is one of the most powerful techniques that anyone can use to be productive, get important work done, develop a productive habit, and also deliberately improve their skills in what they do.
Of course, it is simple and easy to apply technique. However, time blocking will only work if you commit to working on it.
If you don’t protect your time block and you do other work when it is time to do your most important work, then, this technique will be useless to you.
It requires your commitment and dedication to make it work.