Time blocks are groupings of tasks that you do throughout your week, day, month, or year. There are two major dangers that can sabotage this operation and more than a thousand reasons for you to exercise this concept in your weekly routine.

Starting with the main one, that is: grouping tasks saves a lot of the time you would lose by distracting, losing focus and doing more work. Put in a didactic way, the logic behind the blocks of time is the same logic that makes you gather several pieces of dirty clothes before going to wash the clothes. Putting a pair of socks in the washing machine will not be so less laborious so placing a whole basket.

The cost of preparation and the cost of attendance that exists when you switch focus every 5 minutes is usually high. The more creative and demanding the task, the higher the cost.

In this article, you will learn some basic guidelines to organize your time, during the week and during the day, in a well-optimized, productive and yet super flexible and changeable way. Let’s go!

The wrong reasons for grouping tasks

These words come out of the mouth of someone who has been motivated by the same wrong motives. I’m talking about a chair, then. The first crooked and devious motivation that cannot get into your pretty little head is the one that tells you that you need to fill your day with useful, productive, and proactive tasks.

Looking at your day as an empty bucket that needs to be filled up to the stalk (as if idleness, sleep, leisure, and rest were not deserving enough to occupy your time) is the wrongest prospect possible. The blocks of time will make you more productive, yes.

So that you can rightly have better quality sleep, spend more time with the people you love, see more series & movies, read more books and, in general, have fun with all the pomp and occasion you deserve.

Life is not a useless thing that one needs to become productive and you do not have to run against the clock every day of your week. If your motivation is full of things to do, your perception will be compromised and you will eventually forget about your blocks of rest time.

And this is something I disapprove a hundred and fifty percent.

The second, very common mistake is to think that blocks of time need to be tied to the specific times of the day. That good old Excel table, which in the right column lists all hours of the day from six in the morning until midnight, where you outline exactly when you start and finish each of your task groups – Do you know how?

I’ve done that a lot. What a basic mistake, a rude mistake, on my part. Life does not happen in a timely manner, people. Your blocks of time will follow specific habits, conducts, and contexts of the day that are repeated (lunchtime, bedtime, when you get home from work, time your child goes to school) that can happen at different times.

The average task time window is much more realistic & important than the exact and specific time.

Your ideal days’ time blocks

If you have a store in Amsterdam or sell something online, you know it: it does not make sense to go to the Post Office for a single product. The work and effort of leaving the house, facing the queue and everything else become much more bearable and optimized when you tie other things to be sent.

Or, perhaps, when you group other tasks to do on the street on that same trip. Grouping similar tasks on weekdays or specific periods of the day will save your energy in the right measure – not too much, not too much. The amount of life and attention we lose trying to be multitasking is unbelievable.

Now, thinking about your ideal workday (and joining your chronotype test result), answer: What kind of task makes the most sense for me to do in the morning? And after lunch? Am I a productive person at night? Do I need to wait for my children to sleep to work? Or do I like to get up early, wake up before everyone else to do my hardest and most creative tasks early in the morning?

Creating blocks of time will save you from making some decisions throughout the week.

I have, for example, a block of time for creative tasks every day in the morning. Whether studying an in-depth subject, viewing an online course, writing texts, recording videos, creating guidelines for my clients, or adjusting my organizational system, the morning is my golden period of creativity – I am always putting more profound and sensitive tasks in this period.

When I sit down at my table, after drinking coffee and doing my morning rituals, I have a pretty large range of creative tasks to do, but I’m not limited to any specific task, do you?

You should not tie dates to tasks that can be done on any given day. Your blocks of time, however, will lessen your choices of which tasks to do at any given time. It’s like a Tetris game: on the one hand, your level of energy, attention, and patience at that very moment, and on the other, all your tasks.

Knowing your chronotype and understanding the changes in your energy throughout the day are skills that will help you make the fit as best you can and with the least amount of pain.

Think about your ideal day, taking all of this into account, and create flexible, time-based blocks of habits.

At night, for me, the leisure time block arrives, for example. I have learned that I cannot work until the wee hours and do not work long, seven or nine hours a day, without compromising my next-day mood. And since I have this luxury, I use and abuse it.

My block of leisure time, rest and social life begins in the late afternoon when it begins to dusk. There is no right time for this, and that time varies throughout the week, of course. But the trigger of getting dark out there works great for me. I am a solar pet: I love the day, I love the sun.

Week, month, and year time blocks

Applying this logic at greater intervals of time, ask yourself: what are the difficult tasks (which require a dive, dedication and a little more attention) that I can do once a week?

For me, for example, programming social networking posts and writing blog posts fall into this category. You enter the network, search for hashtags, take photos, and create captions. If you’re not careful, you invest more than an hour a day doing this every day.

And as much as social networks are relevant to me, let’s take it easy. It’s not at Instagram that I’m going to deposit my precious daily energy.

Instead, I shoot two Fridays of the month to schedule two weeks of content – which means for me to get eight shots and create eight captions. When you think about your time blocks that happen once a week or a few times a month, ask yourself: Does this task really have to happen on a specific day?

Chances are the answer will almost always be: no! Then, you can and should allow yourself to be flexible with that date.

Sometimes I do it on Sunday, sometimes Friday. Same thing for my own blog. I’m still experimenting with this frequency, but I’ve already tried two blog posts in a single day, every week, and two posts in a single day – thus widening the frequency of that block of time to twice in the month. Grouping your holiday weeks, if you are self-employed, is also a great idea.

Representing your time blocks visually

Putting your hand in the dough, I recommend getting a sheet of white paper, horizontally, and draw seven columns – one for each day of the week. Think of your time blocks as guidelines and think about what your ideal day would look like, taking advantage of all the flexibility you can have in your week.

It does so by taking account, moreover, of its fixed recurring commitments. Draw a line horizontally, cutting all the columns, to demarcate your time to wake up. It may be late, it may be early. What is the first block of time after that? Write down what kind of task you will do after you wake up and do it visually. This week’s guideline framework is a benchmark – and so it should always be in view, in an easy and customary place to look.

It is what will give you the parameter of the type of task that is good for you to do in each period of the day. If you have specific themes for each day of the week (Wednesday is the day of external meetings, Friday is the day of resolving on the street and Sunday morning is the time to go to the market and make food) write this at the top of that day’s column.

Always remembering, of course, that deciding how often that block of time in your week (going to the market once or twice a week?) is much more important than the specific day. Remember also, of course, that all this is experimentation.

It’s not a straightjacket. It is not something written in stone.

For task groupings that are repeated only a few times a month, I recommend putting a reminder on your calendar (I do this with social networks) and knowing that the specific day of that task can change. If it does not have to be actually done that day, give yourself the flexibility to stick to it.