Many years ago a mentor taught me the value of blocking my time. I clearly remember him drawing on a napkin a 7 day week in 21 blocks (3 blocks a day). There was a morning block, an afternoon block and an evening block. I have used this mentality of time management for many years now. There have been a few questions that help me plan my time blocking:
- What time block is best for mental energy? (mornings)
- What time block is best for meetings – reactive / response energy? (afternoons)
- What time block is best for relaxing? Evenings
I have done my best to fill this time appropriately – in other words, I try not to schedule a meeting in the morning. I try to schedule as many of my meetings as possible in the afternoons. Likewise, I try not to schedule a meeting in the middle of the afternoon which does not allow me to have other useful time before / after. While this approach to time management is not for everyone, it has very much helped me.
I recently came across a blog post by Cal Newport who has some more suggestions on the use of Time Blocking.