If you think scheduling your day should be a no-brainer, we have major news for you. There’s science to getting the perfect schedule down. By perfect, we mean practical, enjoyable, and realistic. If you’ve been scheduling your day with methods like “Read for 15 minutes at 10 PM,” you’re actually committing a severe time management taboo. Allow us to introduce you to the magic of the block system.
What is Block scheduling?
Block scheduling is all about taking chunks of time and designating them for a range of tasks, rather than scheduling each item on your to-do list at a particular time. The beauty of the block is that it’s much more forgiving: when you’re a little off schedule with the typical time-specific method, suddenly everything on your schedule falls behind. With the block schedule, you have to get your list of tasks done during a time frame, giving you a lot more flexibility.
Ready to block?
All you need to do is divide your day into chunks of about 3-4 hours, depending on what you plan to get done. For example:
- Morning Block: 7-10 AM
- Afternoon Block: 10 AM-1 PM
- Midday Block: 1-4 PM
- Evening Block: 4-7 PM
- Night Block: 7-10 PM
These are guidelines on suggested hours. Input the times that make sense for your schedule. Now that you’ve got your blocks set up, it’s time to schedule your tasks into them.
Make a list of the different tasks you’d like to accomplish regularly, such as “meditate” and “eat breakfast,” and place these into the block of time during which you plan to do them. Don’t give tasks any specific time, just place them in order in the block.
What if Your Schedule Varies?
If your days are constantly changing, that’s okay! You can easily incorporate variety into the block schedule. Your “afternoon block” might be the place where all your errands get done, such as grocery shopping and doctor’s appointments. Add “appointments” and “errands” to the list for the block during which you’d like to schedule these events.
Now that you have your block schedule and have listed the recurring tasks you’ll work on in each block, you can add in a daily to-do list section for the week. If you have a unique task that needs accomplishing, like “finish expense report for work” or “visit mom,” you can add these in to certain blocks. Think of your block schedule as a structure that you fill in with details that reflect your changing needs.
Your new block schedule is ready for testing. Don’t overcomplicate it (we’re looking at you, Type-As) and make notes on what could be improved so you can tweak your block schedule to your needs.