As a leader, being as productive as possible is critical. From apps and to-do lists to delegation and more, there is no shortage of options. Did you know there’s one hack that has consistently proven to boost productivity by as much as 150%? It’s called time blocking.
The value of time blocking
Most effective leaders embrace the practice of time blocking as it is more effective than to-do lists of which, according to research, 40% of tasks are never completed. Time blocking involves dedicating a certain number of minutes or hours to completing one or more tasks, helping you set realistic expectations about the time you need to complete tasks. By carving out uninterrupted blocks of time, you’ll be more likely to remain productive, focused, and stay on task.
Avoid the Zeigarnik effect
Time blocking helps reduce the Zeigarnik effect, a psychological phenomenon commonly associated with to-do lists whereby we remember incomplete tasks more vividly than completed ones. A long list of incomplete tasks increases your cognitive overload causing you to feel overwhelmed. With time blocking, you schedule time for your highest priority tasks, giving you a sense of control.
The dangers of context switching
A key benefit of time blocking you reduce context switching. As a leader, you’re frequently being pulled in multiple directions. Once you’re distracted, you go down a road of no return and it can take up to half an hour to return to what you were doing. Time blocking ensures you remain on task and prioritize your most important work.
Management expert Peter Drucker once said, “Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” As a leader, you need to be unapologetic about your time. By strategically structuring your days and setting firm boundaries, you’ll be able to gain back hours in your days. By leveraging tools and tactics such as time blocking, mindfulness, meditation, and time management, you can achieve soaring levels of productivity. As Stephen Covey reminds us, “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”
Nadine Greiner, Ph.D. provides Executive Coaching and Human Resources solutions. Her mission is to make the executive experience exceptionally enjoyable and effective. She believes that the world needs great leaders, and has dedicated her career to helping them.
As an organization psychologist and former corporate CEO, Dr. Nadine understands the pressures and demands executives face. She offers her clients the high expertise that only comes with three decades of consulting success, and a dual Ph.D. in Organization Development and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Nadine is an in-demand speaker, teaches in doctoral programs, and coaches other consultants. She is the author of two books: ‘The Art of Executive Coaching: Secrets to Unlock Leadership Performance’, and of ‘Stress-less Leadership: How to Lead in Business and in Life’. amazon.com/author/nadinegreiner