The Low-Effort Activity That Makes People More Productive & Less Stressed

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Woman time blocking her day to increase happiness and productivity

Amid the chaos, one can always find a respite, a way to break through the noise to get things done. If you want to know how to increase your productivity, the answer lies in time management and time blocking.

Time management is about more than telling yourself to focus and cutting out distractions. In reality, time management is knowing the best way to schedule your day in your calendar so you are punctual and show up on time for your appointments, meetings, events, and dinners you've planned with others.

There's a vastly different approach to planning time when you're not meeting with others, conducting and attending appointments or events, or sitting at dinner. You get to manage your time for you. On your terms. 

Time is finite. You only get 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 52 weeks a year. There are 168 hours in a week and 8,376 hours in a year. You don’t get any more than that — and you don’t get any less. How are you spending your "lifetime"?

When you view time as an asset, assigning tasks you want to spend time on — or "time blocking" — will lead you to a new way of becoming more productive!

Time management is managing your schedule or calendar and the context of your time. That means reclaiming it and owning it as your own, and therefore making the best of it.

Time blocking is all about the content, empowering to ask yourself: what will I do during that time, how will it benefit me to complete tasks I want to do, and how can I take excellent care of my body so I can enjoy more of my life?

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Here's how time-blocking makes people more productive & less stressed.

1. You slow down.

First, choose the top three tasks you wish to accomplish every day.

Designate a block of time in your calendar when you'll work on each task, not while you're talking with someone else or commuting.

Slowing down allows you to focus on one goal at a time to make more progress.

2. You exude the right energy.

What energy or intention do you bring to your time spent on tasks?

The clear intention for the time you're blocking is as important as your goals.

RELATED: How To Set Clear Intentions So You Can Get What You Really Want

3. You're clear on your tasks.

Clarity is a big key to getting things done.

Instead of cluttering your morning or afternoon work time with ten tasks, choose fewer goals and dive deeper into them to get them done.

4. Time blocking is a form of self-care.

Time blocking allows you to set aside time to make sure what you do is meaningful for you!

Choose to put the tasks and goals in your calendar that bring you joy.

5. Time blocking is a commitment.

You're not just committing your time, but what you will do with that time. It's a commitment to yourself to hold yourself accountable for what you said you would do.

Whether you time block your fun activities, the work that requires your undivided attention and deep concentration, or your quality time in relationships, you train others to respect your commitment — to yourself and others.

RELATED: How To Master Smart Time Management By Delegating Tasks

6. You don't have to multi-task.

When you use time blocking for work or writing, break down your tasks or the scenes, pages, and chapters you’re writing. Doing this simplifies what you focus on so you can get more done.

No more multitasking. Those days are over. By identifying a specific time for you to work or write, you accelerate your ability to be productive in a shorter period.

7. Fitness and sports require time blocking to expedite your success.

Time management ensures you get to the class, gym, or field on time.

Time blocking is what you will do and get done during that time, like taking a yoga or Zumba class, lifting weights on the circuit, completing a spin class, or playing a complete nine innings on your baseball team.

8. You make time for body care.

Don't just schedule acupuncture, physical therapy, massages, chiropractic care, and hair and nail appointments — time block them.

Think about nothing but allowing yourself to relax and receive the treatment. When you allow yourself to benefit from a treatment by relaxing, you rejuvenate yourself deeply, so you are fresh for the next block of time.

9. You make time for meditation and mindfulness practices.

Meditation and mindfulness are activities you don’t want to do in conjunction with anything else. This is your time to get quiet, listen to your body and life, and enjoy being alive.

Time-blocking these practices will help you find more inner peace and reduce stress.

10. You set boundaries.

Time blocking is not just for you. It sets a boundary for everyone else.

This is your time to get what you want to be done without being interrupted by your children (if your spouse or co-parent can take them for a few hours), your pet (can someone else walk the dog or feed the cat?), your housecleaning (do you need to do the laundry right now?), or other people trying to reach you (do you need to take that phone call or answer that email?).

Can all of this wait a few hours for your attention?

Time blocking is the runway to the life you imagine. Use it to its fullest so you can get more done in less time with more joy.

RELATED: 6 Working Women Share How They Balance Their Long Work Hours & Home Life

Jennifer S. Wilkov is the founder of Speak Up Women, a community dedicated to the importance of women’s self-expression and empowerment. She founded the Speak Up Women Virtual Conference, empowering women to use their voices to create change in their lives, which will be held online on October 21, 2023.