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We all work differently and to our own tune. Some colour code folders and neatly file emails, while others find efficiency using scattered sticky notes and outdated lists. Either way, there is no one-for-all organizational pocketbook that suits everyone’s unique working style, and each method has its own faults.
Though, regardless of individual working patterns, too many surprise deadlines and a long to-do list will throw anyone’s tidy or disordered schedule out of whack. Feeling overwhelmed in the workplace is chaos to an already busy job and a foggy brain will negatively impact both motivation and balance.
Sure, if Beyonce can achieve all that she does in a day, chances are so can you (apparently). But do you even know where to start in order to accomplish all that needs doing? Are you focusing on too many things at the same time?
One of the best ways to cope with a hectic workload is to block time in your calendar to focus on one task at a time, sans interruption and mindless browsing. It’s a proven productivity tool that caters to every type of office worker and if incorporated into your routine, success is sure to follow.
Time blocking is the act of dedicating an allotted amount of time to one particular task, in an effort to get more done in a day and limit wasted time. For example, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm you focus only on replying to emails and from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm you practice your public speaking engagement. The idea behind it is that it allows a worker to spend a useful amount of time on one thing instead of a half-hearted amount of time on ten things.
Segmenting the ‘must do’ from the ‘should do’ is a great first step in prioritizing, so that you can balance different projects and deadlines. If you don’t prioritize tasks effectively, they’ll all jumbled together and it will be hard to get things done. When you block time out in your calendar, it makes you prioritize and helps you to concentrate on what needs doing first and foremost.
A proposed or self-made deadline creates a sense of urgency and encourages perseverance, and blocking time is a great way to give yourself the push you need to complete certain tasks within a set amount of time, especially the ones that have been sitting on the back burner for far too long.
Using hours in a day to answer emails and hours to complete reports or whatever it may be, gives your day a sense of structure and purpose, and both are essential to a healthy working life. Swapping back and forth from one thing to the other leaves no real time to get any one thing done succinctly, it only grasps at small pieces of the pie.
Work-life balance creates the happiest and most fulfilled workers. Without it, productivity levels wane and inspiration dissipates. Blocking time can force you to utilize much-needed break time. Lunch hours are meant to be taken, coffee breaks are good for the soul and a little time away from your desk means you’ll be much more productive when you need to be.
Without distractions interrupting a work groove, it’s easier to pay attention to the details and channel all of your energy into the exact thing you’re working on, meaning a better output of work and attention to detail. When your mind is all over the place flitting from one thing to the next, you’re more likely to make mistakes.
If you take all of the above time blocking advantages and add them up together into a pretty bow, the results are rather impressive – a content and productive worker.
Time blocking facilitates a smartly designed workday, and if used with an app like Only Cal, a calendar syncing tool, it can positively shape and restructure your entire working process. Even if you use this time blocking sporadically or once a day for a particular task, it can make a real difference and ensure time-sensitive projects get completed to the best of your ability. Making you more productive and more valuable to the team.
So, much like Beyonce, the Queen B herself, you too can find a way to get more done in a day and spend your time working on what really needs doing first. There may not be a one-for-all working method that suits each and every one of us, but if you can find a way to utilize time blocking, work may just feel a lot smoother.