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Domino Falls

constructive time blocking

by Aubrey Patterson

 

Just time block it.

People seeking organizational help all too often hear this well-intentioned advice from people whose own calendars display a collection of events and other people's to-do lists. 

Ensuring we get to all the right places at all the right times by tracking our tasks with colorful blocks is a nice start, but shouldn't we see our biggest priorities whenever we open our calendars? 

The ONE Thing

When we add tasks to a calendar quickly and thoughtlessly, we're spending time rather than investing it.

In The ONE Thing, author Gary Keller offers a simple and impactful way to begin time blocking. In any given moment, we should first ask ourselves the focusing question, "What’s the ONE Thing I could do, such that by doing it everything else would be easier or unnecessary?" 

Our next step is to time block that one thing and other priorities to create a series of solo meetings and a weekly meeting with myself. Once we have our priorities in our calendar, we avoid distractions for that period of time and do our most important work. 

A person who chases two rabbits catches neither. - Confucius

Unfortunately, the temptation to multitask is always present.

We operate with sequential brains in a parallel world. As Keller and other productivity experts frequently remind us, we all have multiple things to do, but only ever one most important thing to do. 

Plan a Domino Fall

It can be difficult to avoid bouncing around like a bee in a hive, but there's good news. When we're very intentional about identifying priorities, our calendars will better represent our most important work.

Time blocking is about more than adding single items to a calendar. It's an intentional plan to line up our dominoes with an end in mind and start a domino fall that knocks over our most important things first. 

 


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