Ask the Readers: Do You Block Time?

Back in my college days, an assignment or project of critical importance received the distinction of being written on my left palm in permanent sharpie marker.

No, it didn’t specify when I would do it, but hopefully the task was complete before the ink faded.

Finding time to do the task you REALLY need to do is a daily challenge, and with so many tasks competing for your time a to-do list just isn’t enough.

Today, I use time blocking, a simple time management solution that reserves time each day to work on a high-priority task or project. Typically, I schedule two 1-hour blocks each day.

In a nutshell, here are three key ways Time Blocking — also known as Time Boxing – helps me maximize my time management:

  • Fights distractions: it creates a Power Hour, an interruption free task time that allows me to focus on a singular task
  • Emphasizes my priorities: scheduling time for my most important activities is the best way to ensure they’ll get done
  • Works prime time: I schedule my blocks to take advantage of my times of peak energy – allowing me to achieve flow faster and get more work done per hour

Your steps for blocking time are simple: choose a priority task, and assign a time frame for working on it into your Outlook calendar, on your smartphone, in your day planner, or a sticky-note on your desk – whatever time management system you choose.

Don’t forget, time blocking is a great way to achieve balance in your life. There’s nothing better than scheduling a solid afternoon of uninterrupted quality time with your children.


How do you ensure the important tasks get done each day? Do you have a method for blocking time? What would you recommend to others?

[Andrew Mason photo]

Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at