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Paul Gillen

Paul Gillen

March 16, 2022

How Filling Your Calendar with Blocks of Time Can Actually Give You More Time to do the Things That Matter

How often have you sat down to watch Netflix only to spend the time browsing through the seemingly endless catalogue of options? Unless you have a pre-conceived idea of what you want to watch beforehand, you’ve likely encountered this scenario.

Time is no different. When we have lots of free time we don’t always know what to do with it. The options could be endless. We can become paralysed by the paradox of choice!

My workdays are far more organised and structured than my weekend and unless I explicitly plan something for the weekend I could end up doing nothing and wondering what exactly I did with all my ‘free’ time. 

“when time becomes abundant, it can be challenging to make good use of it...

When we’re faced with abundance, it breaks our mental framework for how to manage that resource, and we go bonkers”

John Zeratsky

Block Time for What Matters

A few years ago I discovered a book that changed my approach to managing my time - Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. Among other things, the book introduced me to the idea of using my calendar to time block the things that mattered.

Inspired by this, I took to Google Calendar to create 3 categories of time blocks across my weekdays:

  • Personal Time

  • Laser Focus Time (for getting things done)

  • Collaborative Time (for meetings, workshops, check-ins etc)

This framework helps me to slot appropriate activities into the relevant time block. It's flexible, so things can be moved if needed but I can make that decision.

Mapping out the week in this visual manner provides me with a mental image of my week - perfect for my visual designer mind!

Time Blocking helps me create balance between personal and work life so that I can focus on what matters in each respective category. I just need to repeat the trick for the weekends!