It’s time to ditch our to-do lists.
We’re bad at estimating how long it takes to complete a task. As a result, we fill our to-do lists to the brim and feel bad for not completing them at the end of the day.
To-do lists are great for determining what to do, but you need to schedule your tasks when it comes to executing them.
One of the best habits I picked up in medical school was blocking time to block periods of time on my calendar to work on my tasks. This is called time blocking.
I prepare my schedule for the next day at the end of each day, referring to my plans for the week and my calendar. When I see my schedule for the day, I can see how much time I have to work on my tasks and plan accordingly.
Benefits of time blocking:
- It can increase our productivity. Cal Newport estimates that a 40-hour time-blocked week has the same output at an unscheduled 60+ hour workweek.
- It makes use of implementation intentions, a technique that makes you more likely to stick to your plans. Being clear on what and when you do something motivates you to do it.
- It reduces distractions. Knowing that you only have time constraints to complete a task can help you focus on the task at hand
Stop saying, “I’ll work when I feel like it”. Top athletes have training schedules. Famous creatives block time every day to work on their craft. By blocking your time, you are ensuring that you have time to work on your most important tasks.