Episode 62 of The Teaching Space Podcast explores time blocking as a productivity strategy.
When You’re Really Busy
When I am really busy and there's potential for, what I like to refer to as "a wobble", I do three things:
- I stop (and usually grab a cuppa).
- I ensure my list is totally up-to-date (in other words, that everything I need to do is on my list - if I don't know what I need to do when, I cannot get things done).
- I time block my days.
What is Time Blocking?
There are probably lots of different definitions, but for me, it is planning every single 15 minute block of my day (this includes rest, breaks etc). Every. Single. Thing. Goes. On. The. Calendar.
Stuff on the calendar gets prioritised. It gets done.
My Calendar Setup
I use Google Calendar. Did you know you can set up multiple Google Calendars under one email address? I do this to categories and easily colour code my activities. It’s also helpful to be able to toggle certain categories/calendars on and off. My calendar list looks something like this:
- External appointments
- Internal appointments
- Get stuff done (this is for tasks)
- The Teaching Space
- Martine Makes
I also have access to my husband’s calendars.
Why Does it Work?
Simple maths - you’ll get to see if there actually are not enough hours in the day! You have to be more realistic when setting deadlines too.
Another helpful aspect of time blocking is if your calendar is accessible by others who want to book meetings with you, they can see when you really do have space!
You can batch work in time blocks to increase efficiency. Read The Productive Teacher book for more on batching.
Finally, as mentioned earlier, things on the calendar are priorities. They get done.
Time Blocking Resources
- Get More Done With Calendar Blocking by Amy Landino (video)
- A Quick Guide to Time Blocking by Kelsey Jones (article)
- Timeboxing: Elon Musk's Time Management Method by Thomas Frank (video)
- The Truth About Time Blocking (Or: How I Learned to Love Compartmentalization) by Juliana Casale (article)
- Deep Habits: The Importance of Planning Every Minute of Your Work Day by Cal Newport (article)