Here at FlowTime, we are always looking for new and creative ways to double productivity. Whether it be by leveraging interesting tools (check out our post outlining our 4 favorite tools to boost productivity), or by augmenting our work strategy to get the most out of our day. Through trial and error, we have uncovered a few tips and tricks to be more productive, and we wanted to share one of our most effective strategies with you: the calendar blocking technique.
If you’ve often found it difficult to make time to execute planned work, the calendar blocking technique might be for you. The strategy is simple, and it boils town into 2 main components:
1.) Assign “themes” to every day of the week
2.) Proactively block times for work
We will dive into these in a bit more detail below:
Assign themes to every day of the week:
The basic premise here is to focus different days of the week on different objectives. A sample week might look like….
Monday: Internal Meetings
Tuesday: Growth / Sales
Wednesday: Execution / Operations
Thursday: Growth / Sales
This allows you to focus on different tasks throughout the week, and ensure that you are not dropping the ball on key areas of focus. It also has the added benefit of keeping things fresh, and can keep your work week from becoming boring.
Themes for days don’t have to be super strict. For example, you might try to schedule the vast majority of your internal meetings on Monday, but that doesn’t mean that you will refuse to take any meetings on any other day. It simply means that you’re trying to bucket most meetings to that day, and protect the time of your other days for their corresponding areas of focus.
Proactively block times for work
Once you’re got your daily themes outlined, you should ensure that you have time to accomplish everything that you need to for the week. In order to protect against “calendar creep” we recommend that you proactively block times on your calendar to work on specific tasks. This ensures that you have enough time to complete everything that you want to do, and that you’re not overextending yourself.
For example, if I’m planning out my week, on a growth focused day I might block off 2 hours to write and post this article. Now this time is protected, and I have plenty of time to work on this, distraction free. This also creates transparency with the people that see my calendar – if anyone is curious to see what I’m working on, they can just look at my calendar for reference. I would fill up my entire calendar for the week with all planned tasks, including time buffers just in case things take longer than expected. If I adhere to my plan, there is no reason to believe that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish all of my goals.
The calendar blocking technique is a tried-and-true strategy that has added hours to our work days, and helped with our mental health by creating a plan for conquering work. Pair this strategy up FlowTime to become even more productive - & tell us about your results in the comments below!