A few months ago, I wrote a post about how time blocking did not agree with me. One of the major reasons was that trying to stick to a schedule throughout the day was tedious and would make me to feel so guilty that it would eventually lead to procrastination.
While I feel that time blocking is still a bad idea for me, I’ve come to realize that when you’re not working in an office, you need to have some structure for your day.
Working without boundaries or without a schedule can lead to trouble. Yes, it means that you can practice deep focus for hours on end but, it also means that you don’t end up doing anything for the rest of the day.
There has to be a balance, because you still need to catch up on administrative tasks and you can’t simply let one task take over your day.
A good compromise then is probably to have some sort of schedule for your day, which is not necessarily time blocking.
What is the difference between time blocking and scheduling?
Here’s how I see it:
Time blocking is when you schedule in chunks of time on your calendar to complete certain tasks. They could be multiple tasks or one single major task.
Scheduling on the other hand, is setting a time or reminder for a task but without any end time. It’s more like a checklist with timed reminders.
So what do I do?
I’ve taken to using Wunderlist for this and it’s working quite well. Your phone is always with you so it’s quick and easy to put in to-do items with a timed reminder.
The good thing about having an electronic scheduler is that if something doesn’t get done at a certain time, you can just move it.
I’m still very much pro paper and the idea of not having schedules or to-do’s in my planner is unthinkable.
Every morning, I look through my planner and write out my tasks even if I’ve put them in Wunderlist. I look at what I’ve missed doing the previous day and re-write those tasks as well. I make a schedule of my tasks in my planner
The truth is, I like having a record of what I’ve done and what I’ve missed and how my day is going. Paper planning helps me visualize what I have to do in a day, week and month. I do an inventory over the week to see how I’ve progressed.
Keeping on track with your day is important, especially when you know that every hour you spend should contribute towards your goals.