Time blocking

it makes you twice as productive as those suckers who rely on lists.
Cal Newport

A time management and task management method that assigns periods of time to work on tasks.

The method

  1. Open your planner. A calendar app can work, but paper is preferable so that you are not exposed to notifications or other distractions such as your email and Slack.
  2. Draw blocks for pre-existing commitments. A block has a start time, end time, and what it's for.
  3. Draw blocks for the things you want to work on
  4. Commit to the blocks you have drawn. Consider using a Tomato Timer or Time timer.
  5. If interruptions or delays occur, redraw your blocks. Another reason why paper is advantageous is that you can see these corrections. A digital calendar will not.
  6. At the end of the day, review tasks you didn't finish, and new tasks that came in.[1] Consider doing this as part of a larger end of work day ritual.


Scheduling can be a prison, but can also be a defensive wall against external thieves of your time.

Protect your time or it will be taken from you


Other's thoughts

David Sparks describes time blocking in multiple blog posts. Sam Julien says he uses this

Cal Newport made an unlisted 10m video

Todoist article, with no ads!

Time blocking with Obsidian

  1. "At the end of every workday, review any tasks you didn’t finish — as well as any new tasks that have come in — and adjust your time blocks for the rest of the week accordingly." The Complete Guide to Time Blocking ↩︎