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Thinking in blocks of time

McKinley Valentine — 1 min read
Thinking in blocks of time
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I’ve been finding it useful to think in terms of blocks of time. That is, specifically, planning your week or month by thinking “how many blocks of time do I have?”

Morass → manageable

I have very little external structure, being mostly a freelancer, and a lot of projects and ideas I want to get done. Splicing a general morass of “write articles, do client work, I should probably be better at social media, so many emails, learn Spanish, whippet, newsletter consult, write fiction, start a podcast? read more non-fiction books” etc into “the next indefinite period of time” is … the scope is too broad.

But if I go, okay, fundamentally I have 10 decent blocks of proper focus time for work in the next week (that’s 1 each before and after lunch, 5 days a week). then it’s much easier to assign those to different areas. And also to see that you have too many potential tasks and ideas. I’m currently typically assigning 2 blocks to The Whippet, 4 to client work, 1 to emails, 2 to writing fiction, so now I have 1 block left, and it’s easy to see I probably can’t start a podcast and learn Spanish unless I want to create some new blocks in the evening or on the weekend.

If I got four solid hours each day on the thing I most need to work on, that would be a win

This 5-day week is relatively hypothetical (seriously, that is not what my week looks like), but you could do the same with whatever blocks of time you have. Like maybe it’s an hour three evenings a week, so that’s 3 blocks to assign.

The idea is that you still have quite a lot of unscheduled time, that will get filled up with socialising or family as well as cooking and general person maintenance. It’s just the blocks that you need to focus on projects.

But if you find the idea depressingly mechanical instead of calming, of course do not use it.

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