Use Time Blocks
I can´t wait for my writer´s block!
I have always thought that I use time effectively and generally resist getting distracted. In the last couple weeks, I have found that my productivity has suffered. I have several writing projects that are not getting the attention they deserve. Why? Because I am allowing myself to get distracted by email and internet stuff. I am a typical type-A person, anxious, impulsive, and expeditious. I don´t like letting email build up and prefer to take care of small things right away. This is a good practice, but I need to moderate it a bit to get my mind into my projects.
This weekend I re-instituted a practice that has worked for me in the past – using blocks of time to focus on important work. Each weekend, I will take a look at my schedule and block out some time EACH day to work on writing. During this time, the email program and browser will be shut down. I call these my writer´s blocks.
I don´t schedule blocks out by more than one week. Why? If I block the time out for the week after next, I will more likely have to eat into the blocks as meetings get scheduled. By establishing the blocks on the weekend for the next week, I can put the block where they will work best and I reduce the chances of the time getting bumped.
I also take into account my personal energy fluctuations. My brain seems most able to write in late morning, right after lunch (up to 3pm), and again from 8-11pm. Upon wake up, and late afternoon into early evening are the best times for me to do email and internet stuff.
In addition, I use the alarm feature on the appointment to remind me that it is time for my writer´s block and to shut down Mail and Safari.
For example, for this coming week, my writer´s blocks are:
Monday – 10am-noon, 1pm-2pm
Tuesday – No block – This is a day of major PR for my book, 20 radio interviews
Wednesday – 10am-noon, 1pm-3pm
Thursday – 9am-noon
Friday – 1pm-3:30pm
Saturday – 9am-noon
Sunday – No blocks, schedule blocks for next week
Some of this might change, of course, but if I stick to even half of what I have here, I will have over 8 focused hours of writing.
This practice of using blocks works for me now that I work from my home office and worked well in a corporate environment. I blocked time to focus on important projects or to generate new ideas.
Try using blocks this week!