Today I want to tell you about this amazing productivity tool I use with the most unsexy of names – Time Chunking.
Well, unless you’re talking about a chunk of dark chocolate being savored with a roasty, malty stout… then a ‘chunk’ is all sorts of sensuous goodness.
Time Chunking works like this – you chunk out time (minutes, hours) on your schedule to focus solely on a specific task. It could be putting together next month’s social media posts or decluttering your inbox. You work for that set period of time, not until the task is finished (which could take longer than the set time).
It is perfect for when you need to tackle tasks that are less-than-great, less-than-fun, but that need to get done.
When time is up, you move to the next item on your list. If you left something unfinished, you go back to it at a later time, but you don’t work on the same project for back-to-back sessions.
I’ve found this methodical and structured way of getting through a to-do list saves me so much mental energy, by always knowing what to do but also from the fatigue that can set in when working for a far-too-long stretch of time and the anxiety of having a lot on your plate without a plan of attack.
Here’s how it recently helped me breeze through a few days in my week:
We were fixing to go on vacation, so the days leading up had lots of random, but important tasks on the list:
- set up Client A’s new sales page and funnel
- put together and schedule Client B’s newsletter and corresponding blog post
- think through Client C’s rebranding strategy and logistics
- plan out and implement Client D’s customer care upgrades
- finalize homework for group program
- bake cookies for friend’s birthday
- roast up vegetables from CSA delivery (before they spoil)
- pack for weekend getaway
- take Big Dog and Little Dog for twice daily walks
Some tasks took total mental focus, while others did not.
So, I worked one hour on, one hour off. My ‘on’ hours were devoted to the most focus-based tasks, while my ‘off’ hours were for the fun activities.
Not only did I blitz through the list in just over half the time I thought it would take me, I enjoyed the entire process. I allowed myself to be fully present in what I was doing, versus watching the clock and worrying about how long a task is taking me.
Yes, there were tasks that I had to stop at a comfortable midway point and pick back up the following day. But, I did so with ease because the question marks and guesswork were taken out of the equation for me. I knew I’d start them again by the next day and I had a better handle on if I could finish it in the next time period.
Now, I’m off on a relaxing weekend getaway with The Photographer, and maybe a chuck of chocolate or two will be involved…
How do you get through an seemingly endless to-do list? Do you have a certain strategy? Tell me about it in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!