What Is Time Blocking And Why Multitasking Does Not Work

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Where has this month gone? Welcome to The Simple Office Blog post #4 on Time Management.

 

We are already heading to the end of the month, the finish line, do you feel we have accomplished everything we wanted to?

No?? Well we had good intentions, but never really got to it or had too many things going at once.

Multitasking is the killer of Time Management, and do you want to know why? The human brain can only focus on one task at a time, effectively. If we try to do 10 things at once, by the end of the day we are just tired, and will have the same work to do tomorrow (this is first-hand experience from someone who has worked in crazy busy offices).

This is an older article from www.entrepreneur.com in 2016 Multitasking Doesn't Work. Use This 100-Year-Old Method to Get Stuff Done. They talk about a simple concept of listing 6 tasks that we want to complete tomorrow and then ranking them in order of importance. Our goal is to complete the first task, simple.

As someone who now works from home, I need to be extra watchful of my time because now I have a ton of distractions. This article, Don’t Let Time Pass You By: These Tips Will Make Working From Home Easier from The Penny Hoarder, felt like it was written for me. They have some really great ideas for keeping on task, but the part I really like the most is when they talk about Time Blocking. I am unable to sit and work for long periods of time, effectively (a symptom of being a past multitasker) and if you’re like me, then maybe time blocking is for you.

How it works is, we set a time, then sit and focus on our work for that specific time period. Let's use the example of 25 minutes, once our timer goes off we take a 5-minute break. We get up, move around, go get a cup of coffee. When our timer goes off the second time, we sit back down and hammer out another 25 minutes, followed by another 5-minute break. We do this for 4 rounds, then take a longer break. By the end of the day, we have completed a large portion of work and we are feeling very accomplished.

These are two very simple ways to manage our time while working. I used both techniques in completing this blog post and for the first time ever, I completed writing my draft in under 30 minutes. This is a huge deal because writing does not come natural or easy for me (thank God for my editor).

I found for myself, I can do 30 minutes before I need to take a break. Instead of 6 tasks, I do 3 business tasks and 2 personal tasks each day. I found that I was less overwhelmed this way. Let me know what combo worked best for you?

Brooke Bevan

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