Ever feel like there’s never enough time in the day?

Everyone should always be trying to increase their work efficiency.

Do more with less.

Work smarter, not harder.

Easy to say. Hard to do.

One method that several of us employ at Array Digital is time blocking.

Time blocking is a scheduling method where you simply block off portions of time to work on specific tasks. If you need to work on something then simply allocate time in your day for that.

Instead of hoping to get ½ hour here and an hour there between meetings to get your work done, with time blocking you set aside dedicated time to focus. That time goes on your calendar just like any other appointment except that you’re not meeting with anyone else — just you and your work.

What I’ve described is blocking off time for specific tasks. That’s a one-off activity.

A more advanced version of time blocking is to set aside blocks of time on a recurring basis. Ex: you can block off Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11am to 1pm to make prospecting calls. That way you give yourself the time you need to get this important, yet easy to overlook, task done.

Or, block off time without even having any tasking in mind. If you’re constantly bombarded with meetings and people needing you all day, simply block off an hour in the morning and maybe another hour in the afternoon. Those are your “working” hours for you to get done whatever needs to get done at that moment. During that time, close your door or put on your headphones, and try to not let distractions in. You’re working!

Here’s the kicker.

Respect your calendar.

You have to be willing to defend those time blocks. What I mean by that is you need to treat them as just as much of an obligation as you would anything else on your calendar. If it’s on your calendar then it takes priority, and that means even if it’s just you meeting with yourself.

Don’t give in and cancel your blocked off time for another meeting request. When someone tries to take your time from you tell them the answer is No. In a nice way you can tell them that you already have something scheduled for that time. “Sorry, I have a meeting at that time. What other times work for you?”

For time blocking to be successful, you must stick to it!

~ Erik