Block Time: The Magic Method for Getting Things Done

At a business conference, I once heard this great little tidbit: if you don’t set your own agenda for the day, the universe will.

Which sounds fabulous on the surface. Yes! I will set my own agenda! I will get work done!

The question is… how?

Between constant notifications, loud children, social media, and a slew of other interruptions, distractions ruthlessly take your attention. Perpetual distraction, involuntary multitasking, and an ongoing fight for focus.

Trust me, I know.

That’s why I embraced the transformative notion of Block Time.

So, what is Block Time?

Block Time is a designated time span, non-negotiable and inviolate.

No interruptions, no obligations, no additional tasks to tread upon.

It’s simply you drenched in your craft undisturbed for a minimum of two hours.

However, Block Time isn’t an oasis you accidentally stumble upon. It requires careful planning, it has to be actively written into your schedule, and fiercely protected.

Finding your Block Time

How do you create your Block Time?

By answering these two simple questions:

  • What time of day am I most creative and effective?
  • When can I afford to be least interactive?

My Block Time, for instance, varies with the day:

1:00-2:30 pm on weekdays
10:30 - 1:30 pm on weekends

Not coincidentally, these are time periods where my kids are either in school, or at their weekend piano lessons.

Note that this isn’t my ideal block time. I’m not a natural morning person. I’d much prefer to work in the evenings. I’d also like to wake up later than 6:30 a.m.! But the kids need to be on a bus, and our evenings are full of kid-related activities, so I have to be flexible.

Once you’ve unearthed your productivity crossroads, earmark a two-hour span, and claim it as your own.

Maximizing Your Block Time

Here are a few tips to harness your Block Time’s true potentiall:

  • Clear your workspace of distractions
  • Use a website blocker or disconnect your Wi-Fi
  • Put your phone in another room, in airplane mode
  • Consider sound-cancelling headphones
  • Make sure you have had a snack and have water / tea / coffee whatever handy before you begin

Make Block Time Worth It

This isn’t the time for mundane, surface-level tasks (unless you really, really need to catch up). Block Time is for high-impact, innovative, deep work — the work that genuinely drives impact. Strategy. Brainstorming. Writing. Wasting your Block Time is regret waiting to happen.

And remember this about time: you share the same “temporal wealth” as everyone else. It’s one area where we’re all equal. We’re all granted 24 hours in a day. It’s what we do with it that makes the difference.

No, Not More Than 2-3 Hours

Unless you’re really in a flow state at the end of your block period, and you’re just cranking it out, cap it at three hours.The capacity for focused work maxes out at approximately 2 or 3 hours, surprisingly.

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