Whether you call it time blocking or time boxing, the overall concept boils down to this:
You make appointments with yourself to focus on certain subjects or tasks.
Here are a few keys to time blocking or time boxing:
Know your professional and personal priorities. This should drive your decisions.
Determine how much time you need to spend on your top professional and personal responsibilities.
Make appointments with yourself for the upcoming week to work on those priorities. Remember, this needs to happen around meetings and appointments you already have on your calendar.
Allow cushion, leeway or padding for reactionary time. The only thing predictable about the unexpected is that it will happen to you each day, so you need to allow gaps in your schedule to handle these things.
When the unexpected does occur, you can “Tetris” your time blocks around as necessary.
Time blocking can be for any amount of time: the full day, half a day, one hour. Decide on your comfort level.
Below are some examples of time blocking or time boxing for the entire work week:
(click on the individual images to enlarge them)
For the complete guide to time management, check out The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.