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Time Management Model: The Time Blocking Technique

The Time Blocking time management model is a technique that involves dividing your day into time blocks and then assigning specific tasks to each block. Time blocking can be used to schedule your workday, as well as your personal life, to help you manage your time more effectively and achieve your goals.

To apply the Time Blocking time management model, you can follow these steps:

  1. Identify your Priorities - Determine your most important tasks and commitments, and set realistic goals for what you want to accomplish in the day, week, or month.
  2. Create a Schedule - Allocate time for each task on your schedule, and be sure to leave time for breaks, meals, and other activities. Use a planner, calendar, or time management app to organise your schedule.
  3. Set Boundaries - Protect your time and avoid distractions by setting boundaries with others. Communicate your schedule and commitments clearly, and avoid overcommitting yourself.
  4. Focus on One Task at a Time - When you are working on a task, avoid multitasking and give it your full attention. This will help you stay focused and complete the task more efficiently.
  5. Evaluate and Adjust - At the end of each day, evaluate your progress and adjust your schedule as needed. Determine what worked well and what didn’t, and make changes to optimise your productivity.

By following these steps, you can use the Time Blocking time management model to prioritise your tasks and commitments, manage your time effectively, and minimise distractions and interruptions.

When is the Time Blocking technique most useful?

In our post “10 Super Useful Time Management Models”, we introduced the idea that time management models can usually be organised into three categories; Planning, Prioritising and Executing. We would consider the Time Blocking technique both a Planning and an Executing model.

The Time Blocking technique can be useful in a variety of contexts, but it is particularly effective for people who have a lot of tasks to complete each day and struggle to manage their time effectively.

Time blocking can be helpful when you have multiple tasks and projects to complete and need to stay focused and productive throughout the day. By breaking your day down into smaller, more manageable time blocks, you can ensure that you have enough time to complete all of your tasks and make steady progress towards your goals.

This technique can also be helpful for people who are easily distracted or struggle to stay focused on their work. By setting specific time blocks for each task, you can minimise distractions and stay focused on the task at hand. Additionally, time blocking can help you to prioritise your tasks and ensure that you are making progress on the most important and urgent tasks first.

What are the common challenges when people use the Time Blocking technique?

Some common challenges that people may face when using Time Blocking technique include:

  1. Difficulty Estimating the Time Needed for Each Task - It can be challenging to accurately estimate how much time a task will take, leading to a mismatch between the amount of time allocated and the time actually required.
  2. Inflexibility - Time blocking requires a certain level of discipline and commitment to sticking to a predetermined schedule, which can be difficult for those who struggle with flexibility or unexpected changes in their schedule.
  3. Distractions and Interruptions - Even with a well-planned time block schedule, distractions and interruptions can still occur, throwing off the entire schedule and causing stress and frustration.
  4. Overcommitment - Time blocking can be tempting for individuals who want to be productive and get a lot done, leading to the risk of overcommitting to tasks and neglecting breaks or rest time.
  5. Lack of Motivation - It can be challenging to stay motivated when faced with a long list of tasks to complete, leading to procrastination or avoidance of tasks.

Overall, it’s important to be aware of these challenges and find strategies to overcome them in order to make the most of time blocking as a time management tool.

Trevor O'Sullivan

Trevor O'Sullivan

General Manager. Since the early 2000s, Trevor has worked with thousands of Talent Management professionals to develop and apply assessment-based talent management solutions for selecting, developing and managing people. Trevor is an active member of the TTI Success Insights (TTISI) Global Advisory Council, contributes to TTISI product development and is a regular presenter at TTISI-R3. He is honoured to have received multiple Blue Diamond Awards and, more recently, the Bill Brooks Impact Award recognising his contributions to the TTISI global network.

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