Time Blocking: A Comprehensive Guide to Organizing Your Schedule


 Time Blocking: A Comprehensive Guide to Organizing Your Schedule

Up to thirty percent of adults in developed countries report having trouble with time blocking. This causes difficulties with stress, depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation and more. There are a number of possible reasons for this difficulty including: lack of role models, social pressures and responsibilities, the need to multitask and the prevalence of smartphones that keep us constantly connected. Ultimately people struggle to focus on one thing at a time because there is no satisfaction when we do not gain something new.

The good news is that there are many ways to overcome these problems including:

1. Make a place for your life. For example, dedicate an area of your apartment or house to a special time period or single project (i.e., ritual). If you have children, you can assign one of their rooms as their time-blocked zone and keep them out during that time. You might also want to set aside time for yourself each day during which you will not be disturbed by phone calls, chatty friends or other interruptions. This could be the half hour after you wake up in the morning, before breakfast, before work or in the late afternoon after work when it is too late for email and easy Internet access.

2. Schedule time for your most important tasks. For example, don't waste your morning writing and emailing about the homework you want to do that afternoon. In the evening block out the time to complete these tasks at a later time (i.e., after dinner, while watching TV or in bed). This will ensure that they are done without being done in a disorganized manner and that you can go on with other activities.

3. Organize your schedule according to how well you perform these tasks. For example, if mornings are best for physical exercise or productivity, then block out your most important mental tasks for later in the day. If you work best at night, then schedule your appointments during the day. Again this will ensure that you spend your time well and not waste it on irrelevant matters.

4. Get a calendar or use any other device to keep track of what you are doing and how much time is left before the next activity begins. This will prevent you from becoming distracted by unimportant tasks or activities that could be pushed back without any hurt to their completion (i.e., checking email first thing in the morning).

5. Stick your schedule to a wall where you will see it often. Make sure that it is varied and interesting so that it doesn't become boring or too tedious. This will make it easier for you to stay on track because you will have something new, exciting and motivating to look forward to (e.g., going out for dinner, a family time together, a weekend camping trip).

6. Do something nice for yourself at the end of each day. For example, go out with friends, treat yourself to something new or exciting (e.g., a new book) or relax by listening to music or watching TV. This will make your day more enjoyable and reduce the chances of you neglecting your health. It is easy to forget yourself when you are busy.

If you need more help, Time Blocking: A Comprehensive Guide to Organizing Your Schedule is available on Amazon.com.

7.     -   Get your partner on board. I have found that having a partner who understood my problem made a huge difference in how we could work together to overcome it. When he was out of town, I found it helpful to stay in the same room and put alerts on my phone so that I would be alerted of calls or texts from him when he returned home later that day (provided his phone is on silent). If you are not in a relationship with someone else and need help scheduling, try getting your parents or children involved. I don't think it is necessary to hire a professional for this solution but it is worth trying some of the above methods first.
8.    -   Change how you view boredom. Boredom is important for mind to rest and become more creative and focused. It can be a time when you offer yourself a snack, small activity or walk outdoors to get away from your work for a few minutes every hour or so. If you take time blocking serious, you will see that productivity will go up significantly as well as reduce stress and anxiety because there is more time for focus and recovery breaks throughout the day.
9.    -   Try not to multitask. It is very easy to get distracted and begin a new activity that isn't relevant or interesting when you are working on something else. This is why I only work on one thing at a time (i.e., start something before moving on to the next activity). Multitasking also leads to anxiety because you never know if you are doing something correctly or have made a mistake somewhere along the way.
10.    -   Don't give up! It takes time, practice and dedication but it is worth it in the long run because you will feel much more focused, productive and less anxious about your life in general. There are many other benefits of time blocking that could be discussed, such as better health, more clarity and peace of mind but I think everyone can agree that managing your schedule is a very important step in achieving a more organized life.
11.    -   Now go out there and try it! The hardest part as I mentioned before is the motivation to take on this task and commit to it for an extended period of time. Once you start making changes, the belief will come along with the discipline and eventually a whole new life experience will emerge. If you really want this change then go for it!
12.    -   If you find this difficult, try signing up for a time blocking course, seminar or meet-up group and don't worry about taking notes because I have created a comprehensive guide to time blocking for you that you can download for free below.
12 Tips to Time Blocking Success by Niyousha.
If you take these tips to heart and practice them regularly, they will be very helpful in reducing anxiety and improving your mental health. Anything is possible if you put in the effort so give it your best shot! And remember: "Anxiety is what we think about most of the time but it only has as much power over us as we give it.

Time blocking is easy, beneficial and fun when you have the right tools and methods to follow. Without them, you will be left without a clear direction for managing your time and planning your day. It is worth trying out these methods because there will definitely be improvement after the first day of practice. If you continue to struggle after two weeks or more then it may be helpful to see a counselor or therapist for professional help in organizing your schedule.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is not intended to replace the services of a physician or psychologist. It is for informational purposes only. If you feel that you are in need of professional assistance, please visit our website at: http://www.niyousha.

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