Posted: January 4, 2017, 11:24am
Everyone is busy. You won’t ever hear me trying to boast a tighter schedule than this guy or that guy. I’d rather have an efficient schedule than a busy schedule. But how can I do that? I’d like to share two tricks for clearing up your schedule so that you can accomplish more and still have time for the important things in life.
The first trick is called time blocking. This is nothing more than setting aside chunks of time (maybe 1 or 2 hours) in regular, consistent intervals (once per week or once per month) to regularly progress toward a goal. The trick is to spend an extended period of time doing a single, important task.
This is actually how I get my writing done for this blog. Believe it or not, I generally sit down for a few hours and try to brainstorm ideas for Viterbi Pulse, start outlining and gathering resources (pictures or references) and then spend the rest of the time writing, until I’m done. While my goal is to write two blogs per week, it’s more efficient to sit down and write more (4 or 5 or…?) in one sitting.
Why is it more efficient? It takes a certain ‘mindset’ to be in a writing mood. I need a quiet environment, some creative juices flowing through my brain, a chance to be uninterrupted for a period of time. Once I find an opportunity for those things I should seize it to the fullest. It’s terribly inefficient to sit down once a week, take five minutes to get into the zone, try to remember where I saved my outlines, try to remember what I meant when I was writing a previous outline. Why not take a swing at it all in one go?
You can do this with many repetitive tasks. Save up the tasks, do them all in one go. Time blocking requires a set-aside time period (put it on your calendar, schedule it as a recurring event) and then guarding that time as ‘busy.’ Don’t let anyone convince you to re-schedule it. It’s blocked for a reason. That reason will lead to a more efficient and productive life.