Updated: Jan 30, 2022
At times, balance can be difficult to find in life. Sometimes you may struggle with time management, and it may seem as though you are always feeling guilty for doing one activity, when there is another task that also needs your attention. Time blocking (also known as time chunking) is a particularly useful tool to help you to maximise on your time and to also allay feelings of guilt and anxiety while completing your tasks. The first step of time chunking is scheduling. Scheduling involves creating a schedule or timetable for yourself. A weekly timetable is usually best. Each day of the week should have its own column and each row should represent a different block of time (hourly usually works best). Once you have created your timetable you can go ahead and write in the permanent tasks. These are things that do not change. For example: A University student might go ahead and write in the times that they would attend lectures or tutorials, someone else might write in their work hours for their job. Other things might include things like weekly training sessions for sport. Once all of the permanent or immovable tasks are written in, the schedule can be printed. A3 size is great as it allows a bit of space for writing in the squares. The schedule can be laminated so it can be re-used (with white board pens). Alternatively, you can set this timetable up in a digital calendar on your phone or computer. You can then see when you will have available time left in your week, and you can begin to schedule things that are a little bit more flexible like: study, chores, exercise, time with friends, time to relax or time for your passions or hobbies. You can then write in things like appointments. It is important that you remember to schedule in the things that help you to feel relaxed to avoid stress and burnout and to ensure that you are including these things in your week. Not only will a schedule allow you to be more prepared for your week, but because you have blocked out your time, you can feel freer to enjoy all of your activities to their full potential. Because you have mapped out and appropriately allocated your time across all of your tasks, you do not have to feel guilty that you should be doing something else. When you are doing one thing, you do not need to think about anything else during that time.
You can find this information as a fact sheet and a blank timetable on this page and you may also enjoy this podcast episode.