How to Calendar Block Your Week

How to Calendar Block Your Week

Calendars are one of the great starting points for newbies.

A flexible place to dump new events, activities and even tasks ready to get working on, all correlated to time or days, which helps many people plan their day. 

This week, we focused on Calendar Blocking. A technique endorsed by many productivity experts like Paul Minors and Mike Vardy to name a few of those using time blocking.  

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What is Calendar blocking? 

Calendar blocking is very simple. It's taking your calendar and using the blocks/events to space out time for all of your routines, work and social events. 

Essentially taking your calendar and blocking out every hour block to totally co-ordinate the day ahead. You may have heard of this technique before, many people call it time-blocking, however, time-blocking adds a few more advanced elements and asks a little more specific questions in how you spend your time. Mike from Productivityist has a smashing article on this. 

Calendar blocking can be done in many different ways but the end goal looks something like this: 

 This is an example of calendar-blocking in action with my own routine. 

This is an example of calendar-blocking in action with my own routine. 

Your Checklist for Calendar Blocking 

A shortlist of all of the things you need to do when getting started with time-blocking. 

  • Add Start/End Times

A recommended starting point as you work towards something like this is the start and end times. Start and end times will help you to determine the wake and sleep times, ready for everything to be sandwiched in between. 

the month ahead time block.png
  • Add Routine

The second step is adding the bulk of your routine events. This could be anything from walking home to your coffee shop visits, even your weekend schedule. People tend to add the gym, study time, work hours, meditation times, dinner times, and anything in and around that. 

  • Add Activities

So what's on for your week ahead. Starting plotting that out, whether it's a pizza with Steve and Rob or your badminton session with Dan, or even date night with your wife... add them all. 

  • Add Planning Time

Now you've added your week. Choose a date and time to review your calendar so that you can keep this healthy practice running. Thursday, Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays are a popular day to spend 20-minutes plotting out the week ahead, saving you time and effort. 

 This is the day view on Apple Calendar, with calendar blocking all in. 

This is the day view on Apple Calendar, with calendar blocking all in. 

  • Reviewing Your Day

After you've added all you need and have completed your first day, some great advice is to adapt your day to the exact/correct timings to help tally what actually happened. This is a nice reflective practice to help improve your success rate with calendar blocking. 

Creating Recurring Events to Save Effort

Recurring events inside of your chosen calendar application will save you time. 

This will save you so much time if you're able to do this as you can create a basic routine and then adapt it week to week as things are added on top. This is how you do that on Apple Calendar: 

time blocking recurring events.png

Setting up the recurring events in your calendar will save you hours per week and as long as your routine doesn't change, it'll be a keeper for the start of your week and planning ahead. 

 

Go Further with Calendar Blocking

Let's watch and learn. There are a host of other YouTubers who share their own calendar blocking set-up and it's worth exploring them, there are a few added below!

Above: Marianna's Study Corner, a well-known study channel with smashing insights! 

Above: Jason's video is a insightful watch for Google Calendar lovers, thanks to his recommendations on reflective day view after calendar-blocking. 

Above: Another insightful video from Tips with Trena. Calendar tips that will really help! 

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