Blocking out a whole day once a month can work wonders for your productivity.
Time management courses, books and best practice all suggest carving out some time each day to focus on being productive and working towards your goals and personal business objectives.
However this often conflicts with the emails, notifications, calls and reminders that we are all bombarded with on a daily basis.
The traditional approach to time blocking simply doesn’t go far enough. Blocking out an hour each day might give you time to focus on progressing a particular project, but just as you start to get into your groove, your hour will be up and you’ll have to move on to the next thing on your agenda.
Calculating the return on investment on time blocking is pretty straightforward. If you are focused on what you want to achieve, then the more time you block out, the greater the return you will experience in terms of productivity. So how about blocking out an entire day, once a month?
To make this work, focus on your key business objectives. Perhaps you are working on a particular project such as entering a new market or launching a new product. Try blocking out one day per month to progress those key objectives. Aim to start early, say 7am and finish late. Log out of your email and block out the time in your calendar. Make sure that your colleagues know that you are uncontactable for the day and ensure that there is another senior person available to handle any queries that come up during the day.
Even short interruptions can interrupt the continuous flow of your off-grid day so make a deal with yourself – no calls, no email and no distractions. In order to make these key days work, populate your off-grid days in your calendar for the next 12 months and defend those days – don’t give them up for anything.
Finally, in order to maximise your off-grid day, you may need to enlist the support of your family to take care of the day to day logistics of family life. The key thing is to remember to say thanks and to pick up your share on other days. Like everything in life, it’s all about balance.