Not sure what is calendar blocking versus time blocking and other productivity methods? Here’s a quick breakdown.
Deciphering between various productivity systems and methods can be overwhelming. There are several to choose from, including Pomodoro, Getting Things Done, and calendar blocking.
One of the common questions we get is, what is calendar blocking, and how is it different from all these methodologies.
Calendar blocking is adding specific times to your calendar in which you plan to get a chunk of work completed. The methodology helps you maintain focus and accountability and better manage your time by allotting blocks to complete specific tasks so they don’t take longer than they should.
You can achieve this by manually adding tasks from your task or project managers into your calendar. Or, calendar blocking tools like Taskable make it super easy to drag tasks into your calendar.
The terms time blocking and calendar blocking is interchangeable. Generally, the preferred term is time blocking, but it’s a personal preference.
Not to confuse things further, but you can practice various types of calendar blocking. The first is creating chunks of time in your calendar for specific themes - for example, adding a window to your calendar for focus work.
The second is time blocking specific tasks into your calendar. So instead of just putting ‘deep work’ in your calendar, you set the particular task and anticipated start and end time into your calendar. This is sometimes specifically called time boxing.
You can do these methods together. For example, first block out time for deep work, and then add times for specific deep work tasks within that block.
The purpose of Pomodoro is to help with focus by working on a single task for 25 minutes, followed by a 25-minute break. One issue with Pomodoro is the short 25-minute interval is often not long enough for many people, who are just starting to get into flow when their timer goes off.
As an alternative to Pomodoro, calendar blocking allows you to budget time for specific tasks, and even breaks, ahead of time, ensuring you have enough time for each task to see it through to completion.
Getting Things Done (GTD) is a productivity system invented by David Allen. The idea behind GTD is to have a place to dump all the things you need to do into an external system where you can then triage and prioritize it accordingly. What often holds us back from being productive is our mind being overwhelmed trying to keep track of our backlog of things to do. Once you can put that mental clutter into a system, it removes it from your brain and lets you better plan and prioritize.
Calendar/time blocking is a perfect compliment to GTD. Once things are in your system and adequately triaged, the final step is to use your calendar to find the specific times you plan to work on your priorities.
We built Taskable to make calendar blocking simple and easy. Our integrations bring tasks from email, Slack, and your project management tools into a single view. And our built-in calendar lets you simply drag and drop tasks right into time blocks that also reflect on your Google (and soon Outlook) calendars.