Time Blocking

It's all about setting boundaries and building walls of attention.

Whether it's client work or personal, build walls to keep out distractions. Distractions are the thieves of time, and time is your most valuable resource. Protect it!

Ask: Is this relevant to what I am focused on right now? Does it apply to this segment?

What is a segment? It's a predefined point of focus defined by boundaries in time.

To create a segment, define a start and end time. For example, I am writing. I will write until I can't write anymore or 6:30 am when I need to began another segment. If I finish early, I will meditate.

What are you committed to? Are you committed to completing the task? You should be.

When the comfort ends, the challenge begins. Accept the challenge to complete each segment you set out to do. Give yourself a +1 everytime you do.

Indeed, do need unstructured time in your schedule to allow spontaneity to occur.

Just as my yoga class begins at a specified time, build start times into your day. In the scenario of a yoga class, you have a start and end time, and you don't leave the room until the class is over. You definitely don't check your phone (in fact no phones are allowed within the 4 walls of the room you practice). Build 4 walls around your own 'classes' throughout your day. Your segments are classes.

How often do your check your email? If you discipline yourself to only check email 3x/day, you will find your productivity go up. If the challenge is that you need to check for new information before you begin a task, or you use email as your information repository, consider setting up a channel on authordock to communicate with that client. All communication must be constrained to that authorDock room (does your client understand this?)

Meal times

You do not eat outside predefined meal times. Not only is this better for your health, but eating is a huge distraction. It slows you down. If you are eating while you are working, you are not giving your attention to your work. And if you are, then you are mindlessly eating.

Dealing with Distractions

Distractions appear in many forms. Probably the most common are thoughts that arise unrelated to what you are working on that need attention. Do they really need attention right now? They only do to the extent that you don't have a 'holding pen' to put it in.

Ideally your holding pen is searchable. Ideally it's simple to add new items to. You can use tags to speed up categorizations for quicker reference later.

Two clipboards

You have 3 clipboards:


Looking at how to adapt this model for intentional productivity:

The Time Block Planner

Pre-made Time Block Cards

An idea to expand on is to create cards for routine tasks that you can drop into your time blocks. Similar to a list of classes you want to take, you drag the 'task' like it's a class over to your schedule. In doing so, you've now allocated the time for the task the same way you would if you signed up for a yoga class.

Further Reading