“I need more hours in a day…” or “how is it 5 PM already?!” when you still have so many tasks to get done before the day ends. 😅
Whether you’re working on a project and find yourself distracted by social media, or you have some personal projects that need your attention outside of work hours but emails are holding you back—it’s really easy to get off track these days!
With all the distractions in the office (and at home), the never-ending amount of urgent tasks, email threads, and so on, getting work done in a timely manner has become a common problem in the workplace.
While you can’t always predict what distractions come our way, you can prepare by setting dedicated (non-negotiable) time aside to focus on your most important and time-pressing tasks.
It’s called time blocking! ⏲ 👀
This blog post will show you the benefits of time blocking, teach you how to time block in ClickUp to make the most of your time, take control of your days, and win in life. 🙌
Here we go!
What Is Time Blocking?
Time blocking is a time management technique that helps you divide your day into smaller “blocks” of time. Each block of time is dedicated to a single task or a group of similar tasks and unlike a to-do checklist, time blocking gives the structure and assigned time to when your tasks should be done.
Time blocking can be helpful for those who:
🔴 Have poor planning skills
🔴 Have trouble prioritizing (what’s urgent vs not urgent)
🔴 Don’t have clear goals
🔴 Are bad at estimating time
🔴 Feel unmotivated or feel uninterested in the task at hand
Benefits of Time Blocking
For many people, time management is a major problem. There are always too many things to do and not enough hours in the day. This can lead to stress, burnout, anxiety, and even depression.
But by implementing effective time blocking you’ll be able to improve your productivity and feel more in control of your life! Whether you’re overwhelmed with the amount of to-do’s on your list, have trouble concentrating on one task at a time, or maybe just have poor time management skills, time blocking is guaranteed to give you the boundaries you need to get on track.
Not only will time blocking help train your brain to create healthy boundaries with time and form healthy habits, but it also has various benefits including:
🟢 Promotes better mental health (reduce stress and anxiety)
🟢 Promotes better task organization
🟢 Allows to view workload in advance, and prioritize accordingly to avoid overloading and burnout
🟢 Allows you/ your team to determine the proper timeline and stay on schedule
🟢 Increases focus and productivity
🟢 Allows you to get into your flow state and accomplish deep work
Speaking of flow state, let’s chat about what it is and how it’s helpful for deep work. ✨
Deep Work and Flow State
Ever experience a situation where you lose track of time because you were fully immersed in the activity or task you were doing?
Think about a time at work when you felt super focused, creative, and things just naturally flowed for you.
Maybe this happens when you play your favorite sport or hobby…Regardless of what it is for you, this feeling and state of mind are what makes you enjoy it so much and what gets you to perform your best.
In positive psychology, being in a flow state allows deep work and people to be completely focused and absorbed in whatever task or activity is at hand.
However, in an age full of distractions and the growing demands at work and at home, reaching this creative and hyper-productive flow state is becoming more challenging.
In order to tap into flow and get into a deep work mindset, we must find ways to train our brains to block out the noise and create systems that will help improve our attention span and focus—this is where time blocking can help!
But time blocking doesn’t just help you get to deep work, but it also allows you to train your brain for shallow work.
Deep Work vs Shallow Work
Activities that require deep work are those that need your full concentration and attention. Deep work activities are mentally demanding and are recommended to be done in a distraction-free environment to help bring you into a flow state.
Here are a few examples of deep work:
🟡 Writing creative and informative content (like this blog for example 😉)
🟡 Developing strategies
🟡 Analyzing data
🟡 Creating reports
On the other hand, shallow work activities don’t require a lot of brainpower to do. These minor tasks don’t need your full concentration as they are not as cognitively demanding.
Here are a few examples of shallow work:
🟠 Checking and replying to emails
🟠 Organizing your schedule, documents, and tasks
🟠 Checking updates and notifications
🟠 Responding to comments
🟠 Administrative tasks
Regardless of what your role is and what industry you’re in, it’s likely that you’ll be balancing both types of activities throughout the day.
The key is to time block. 🔑 ⏳
Time blocking can help you maximize your brainpower, balance both deep and shallow work effectively, and prevent burnout.
Types of Time Blocking
There are a few ways to use time blocking. Understanding what your tasks are and what type of time blocking method matches the needs of those tasks will be the key to your success.So, what are the variations of time blocking? Let’s dive right into it! 😊
🟪 Task Batching: batching similar tasks together to do them all at once, instead of sporadically doing them throughout the day
🟨 Day Theming: grouping similar tasks together for one day and working on each of them dedicatedly
🟥 Time Boxing: limiting the time spent on the tasks
These three types of time blocking techniques can help break up your days more effectively and keep your attention focused for deep work.
Bonus: Learn about the Pomodoro Technique! ⏰
How To Use ClickUp for Effective Time Blocking
You could plan and assemble your schedule on a daily planner, but the best and most efficient way to set your calendar is by using an online time blocking app where you can easily add, edit, and view your time blocks—like ClickUp.
Sign up for a free account to discover the following key features for time blocking:
- Multiple view options– choose your favorite way to view your tasks (Board, List, Calendar, and more)
- Everything view– view all your tasks in your entire Workspace
- Workload view– plan, monitor, and manage your work capacity
- Custom statuses– view what stage each task is in
- Priority flags– assign flags to prioritize urgent tasks
- Task checklists: add to-do lists within a task
- Time Estimates– add estimates to tasks to manage workload (hint: use this feature for time boxing!)
- Native time tracker– easily track time spent on tasks and focus on deep work
- Start and due dates: create clear timeframes by deciding when to start and complete tasks
- Dependencies and Relationships: link related tasks and view which tasks are blocking or waiting on others (hint: these features are great for task batching and day theming!)
- Task tags– add custom tags to categorize and organize your tasks (another hint: this one is helpful for task batching and day theming, too!)
- Utilize time blocking templates!
- And more; see the full list of features here!
Next Step: Scheduling Time Blocks in ClickUp
Now that you’ve seen some of the key ClickUp features for time blocking, let’s show you how you can use them! First, create your tasks in ClickUp and add the following to each one:
- Add task descriptions
- Add assignees and watchers
- Add priority flags
- Add time estimates
- Add start and due dates
- Add task tags
- Add Relationships and Dependencies (if applicable)
- Add a task checklist (if applicable)
Once you’ve created your tasks and added all the important details within them, choose your favorite view and click on it to get a bird’s eye view of your schedule!
To give you an idea of how you can time block in ClickUp, here’s DaSilva Life’s CEO and ClickUp consultant, Kristi DaSilva, to show you how she manages her schedule in the platform.
Daily Time Blocking in List view
Weekly Time Blocking in Board View
Using Google Calendar for Time Blocking
To get the most out of your day, you need to set aside time for each task that needs to be completed. Time blocking with a functional calendar is a technique that will help you do just that.
For one, you can schedule your blocks with Google Calendar. Easily block off time for events, tasks, and appointments, and color code them according to your preferences for easy referencing.
🟨 Day Theming
🟥 Time Boxing
🟪 Task Batching
The best part about it is that Google Calendar allows you to visualize your blocks in a calendar view to help you stay on track. To ensure you’re on schedule, it will also alert you when the next event is about to begin to prepare you to switch tasks.
But hold up…it gets better from here. 😉
If you’re looking to streamline your workflow even further then connect Google Calendar to ClickUp!
With the Google Calendar and ClickUp integration, you’ll be able to sync your ClickUp tasks and events to Google Calendar. The two-way sync will ensure that changes and updates in either app are synced and up-to-date at all times.
Additionally, you can choose to show events from your Google Calendar on ClickUp’s Calendar view. If you make changes or reschedule an event in either place, count on ClickUp to reflect the updates in both apps!
Seriously. You make the change, ClickUp does the rest. ✅
Check out other time blocking apps in our latest article.
Block Out the Noise and Take Control of Your Time
Most of us don’t get enough sleep, and we’re always busy…and if you want to be more productive and feel less stressed, it might be time for a change.
Time blocking can be an effective way to organize your days, prioritize tasks and manage your time more efficiently.
It will allow you to make sure you have the (mental) energy to stay productive throughout the day and also give yourself some downtime in between work periods.
Effective time management techniques like this are great for mental health too! You’ll be able to reduce burnout by creating healthy habits with boundaries around when you do deep or shallow work each day.
With the help of a task management tool like ClickUp, you’ll have all the tools that are needed to manage your days-one block at a time!
Give it a shot. Try it for free today and start managing your time better!
⭐️ Bonus: Watch ClickUp’s video about time here!