It’s the start to another new week, and a new time to (possibly) be challenged with accomplishing all you want (or need) to accomplish.
Having a To Do list is important so you know what needs to be done — but sometimes the list seems a bit overwhelming and you may try to multitask and end up starting many items while finishing few.
Chunking your time can help you be productive and get tasks done — especially if one of the tasks is writing. Isn’t it difficult to find the time to write when it’s one of a list of things to do?
I have two approaches to chunking: individual tasks and similar tasks.
Basically, you decide on the top 2, 3, or 4 ‘must-get-dones’ for the day and choose an amount of time to dedicate to each. Chunk that time in your schedule
Since I’m still using a paper planner, I use a highlighter to mark off time periods – a different color for each task/project. If you’re using an online planner, say, Google Calendar, it’s very easy to select different colors for different chunks of time.
What’s the benefit of chunking time? You can be fully focused on the task/project at hand knowing that you’ve dedicated the time to it. Other items will be done later, but for the chunked period, shiny object syndrome and procrastination gremlins should remain at bay.
Chunking time helps you relax – you know you’re attending to a priority and won’t have to hope to make up the time later. Sure a task may take multiple days, but chunk what you need and take some pressure off your shoulders.
I don’t think there’s anything worse than hoping to get to an item or saying “I’ll start that as soon as I finish this, this, and this.” Chunking is setting an appointment for yourself to be focused on one and only one task (or a set of similar tasks, such as making phone calls, setting appointments, replying to emails, and so on).
Writing can often fall off the plate for the day if paying work is present, but having a 1-hour chunk of time to solely focus on writing is encouraging. I know everything else will get done, but for this 1 hour (or however much time), I have the singular focus — it’s quite freeing.
Have you tried chunking your time before? Do you see the possibility with it?
Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with businesses of all sizes. She’s always trying new things in order to use her time most effectively. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.