Time blocking is something that I have implemented throughout the last year and has kept me on track better than any agenda or to-do list. There are some tips for a time block for success that I want to share with you if you are considering it.
- Make a to-do list for the week.
Make your list in the order of what is done first for each class. Then, for your readings, find out how many pages are expected for each reading.
2. Be Realistic.
Next, for each task, list your estimated time for completion. For example, if you have a journal article that is roughly 30 pages, and you typically read 30 pages in 45 minutes to an hour, a list next to the task. Listing all your tasks in chronological order comes next. Doing this allows you to guarantee your tasks are completed on time. Highlighting tasks according to the time limit is also worthwhile. Separate which tasks would be deemed quick tasks (under 30 minutes), medium tasks ( 1-2 hours) and lengthy tasks like seminars (2+ hours). Accomplishing this will let you fit tasks into your schedule manageably. When you complete a task, revise this list and document the actual time spent, which will help you calculate your task-time ratio in the future.
3. Colour coding, not just for the aesthetic
Yes, colour-coding your time-blocking schedule makes it more aesthetically pleasing, though pairing a colour to each class and setting shade differences for different tasks does play a psychological trick on your brain. For myself, Business law lectures are orange, seminars are dark orange, and any coursework is a very light shade. Doing this lets me notice the heavier and more significant tasks I have scheduled and indirectly reminds me that I must prepare more for these scheduled tasks.
4. Time blocking isn’t just for uni work:
I also time block activities I plan for, such as grocery shipping, laundry, commuting, exercise, meal prepping, etc. I can see all the other “life tasks” I have to attend outside school. It also permits for review on days I may feel like I could have been more productive. I can look back, see the weekly completed errands list, and reevaluate those feelings.
We tend to look at to-do lists and feel a feeling of guilt if we end up not being able to complete the tasks in the time we set aside or complete the whole task all at once. But when you can look back and notice what you have achieved, it allows a more significant appreciation of how hard you work to succeed. Remember to provide yourself with recognition where credit is due. If you completed an assessment two days before you estimated to, it’s a feeling of success! Acknowledge these little triumphs to control your schedule from getting the best of you. As crucial as accomplishing your uni to-do list, it is just as essential to check in with yourself now and then and be honest about how you are doing, your progress, your mistakes, and how you can improve in the future.