In attempting to be productive and get our work done, it is easy to be uncertain how to do so. There are a million different systems and apps out there claiming to be able to turn us into productivity super-heroes. In addition, finding and carving out time to work on our tasks can be a burden onto itself. So, what do we do to manage our time and get things done. Timeboxing and Time blocking are two techniques when, used together, can help us find the time to get things done and schedule it. When combined with Google Calendar, the effectiveness of these approaches is increased significantly.
So how do you timebox and time block in Google Calendar? Enclosed below are the steps required to timebox and time block in Google Calendar:
- Go through your tasks and estimate the time necessary to complete them
- Open up Google Calendar
- Look for continuous blocks of time for each task on your list
- Double-click on the start time of your first time block
- Click on text box marked “Add title” and type in task name
- Set time duration by changing the end time for your time block
- Click the “Save” button to save your time block to your Calendar
- Your time block is now set in Google Calendar
- Repeat prior steps for each of your tasks until complete
Before we get started with the tutorial, if you are looking to learn more about apps like Notion, Todoist, Evernote, Google Docs, or just how to be more productive (like Keep Productive’s awesome Notion course), you should really check out SkillShare. Skillshare is an online learning platform with courses on pretty much anything you want to learn. To learn more about Skillshare and its vast library of courses and get 30% off, click the link below:
Now, let’s get started with the tutorial!
What are Timeboxing?
Timeboxing refers to the act of allotting a time period for a particular task. It’s a time management technique that can be used to keep you running on schedule instead of being counter-productive. With timeboxing, you have to adhere to a fixed time for a task that would otherwise take more time than required.
You have to be extremely strict with yourself while timeboxing. It’s a great way to be productive. Timeboxing is crucial because sometimes we end up spending way too much time on a task that doesn’t really warrant it. For example, while writing a report related to work, how often do you check your phone? With timeboxing, you have to make a conscious effort not to do anything but the task allocated to a particular period of time.
What is Time Blocking?
Time Blocking, on the other hand, is a time management technique that helps you organize your day into segments. This is done to ensure that you find time to complete all the tasks on your day’s to-do list without losing a minute. The primary difference between timeboxing and time blocking lies in the execution of the techniques.
Timeboxing vs Time Blocking
Timeboxing requires you to limit the amount of time you spend on a task, while time blocking essentially organizes your day to handle all tasks on your agenda. Sometimes, it’s challenging to stay highly functional throughout the day when you have a lot to do, and that’s where time blocking comes in.
Both timeboxing and time blocking can be done with the help of a few resources on the Internet. Google offers a few of the most productive tools out there that can help manage your time. One of those tools is Google Calendar. Let’s see how you can use it for timeboxing and time blocking.
Detailed Steps to Timebox and Time Block in Google Calendar
Go through your tasks and estimate the time necessary to complete them
Go through your task list and estimate how much time you believe it will take you to complete each task. This is the timeboxing part of the process. This exercise is an essential component of time management for two reasons:
- It is essential to know how long tasks take to block off time in your calendar
- The more you estimate your time and how long each task actually took, the better you will get at estimating the time tasks take to complete
This activity will help shape the time blocking part of the process as well.
Open up Google Calendar
Go to the Google Calendar page. Log into your Google account if you have not already done so.
Look for continuous blocks of time for each task on your list
Next, look in your calendar for open blocks of time in your day that fit your task. For example, if you have a task that will take 45 minutes to complete, look for an open hour block of time.
Double-click on the start time of your first time block
Once you have found a block of time in Google Calendar, double-click on the open block to bring up the Event configuration window.
Click on text box marked “Add title” and type in task name
You should now see the event configuration window as shown in the screenshot above. Click on the text box marked “Add title” and type in the name of your task. Press Enter when done.
Set time duration by changing the end time for your time block
Next, we need to set the duration of our task. Click on the time attribute after the “to” as shown in the screen shot above. A drop-down menu should appear with a list of potential times and the duration. Pick the duration (in the case of our demo, 45 mins) by clicking on it.
Click the “Save” button to save your time block to your Calendar
Once you have the event configured the way you want, click the “Save” button to save your event (task) to your Google Calendar.
Your time block is now set in Google Calendar
Your task in now saved to your Google Calendar.
Helpful Tips for Using Google Calendar for Time Blocking
If you want to use Google Calendar for time blocking, the first thing you need to do is ease your way into it. For example, put in 30 minutes at the beginning of your day for something relaxing like yoga or meditation. Use those 30 minutes to relax. You can also put aside 30 minutes to review your daily schedule or to create one to help block your Time on Google Calendar.
Another important thing while using Google Calendar to block time is to make sure that your calendar is set up beforehand. Furthermore, it would help if you used short and descriptive titles for your tasks to avoid confusion.
To make more productive use of Google Calendar to block time, share it with the people you work with or your friends and family. This is done so that they know when you’re busy working on something or free to talk. Not only will this help your co-workers set up meetings accordingly, but it will avoid being double-booked.
Is Google Calendar good for Timeboxing and Time Blocking?
The short answer is yes. Google Calendar is great for timeboxing.
If you know your way around the Google Calendar and its numerous features, you can manage your tasks and the time spent on them. Timeboxing is mainly used to limit how much time you spend on a task.
You can use Google Calendar to schedule your tasks and allot them the required amount of time. For example, if you can write 500 words in an hour, put it in your calendar and set it up with a timer. Remove all distractions and only work on writing those words for that hour.
Schedule your meetings with Google Calendar and share them with your colleagues for increased productivity. This will make time and task management easier since you won’t have to attend to any unscheduled calls or work on something you previously hadn’t planned. Timeboxing helps things get done on time, and Google Calendar is an incredible tool to help with that. To maximize productivity, integrate the Google Calendar with some timing apps to help the cause.
Alternatives to Google Calendar for Time Blocking
The Internet is full of valuable resources, and there’s no reason why you can’t use a few applications other than Google Calendar to help block your time. There are plenty of time blocking applications on the web that can be paired with Google Calendar to improve productivity. Some of these applications are listed below:
- Clockwise – Clockwise is an AI-powered calendar assistant that works with Google Calendar in the background. All you have to do is download the app and add the extension to your web browser. Also, Clockwise helps streamline your work events.
- Plan – Plan is an excellent tool for time blocking with an in-built to-do list. It easily integrates with your Google and Outlook Calendars.
- Planyway – Planyway is a drag-and-drop that allows you to organize your task management board with Google, Apple, or Microsoft Calendar. You can easily download the app for Windows, Mac or use it with the Chrome Calendar.
In conclusion, timeboxing and time blocking are both highly effective ways of managing your time with Google Calendar. The best part is that the Google Calendar can be integrated with several applications on the web that can make your job easier and your day more productive.
Get on with these techniques and become an organizing wiz before you lose any more time!
I hope this tutorial was helpful to you. Good luck and check out some of our other Google tutorials in the table below:
|Guide||Link To Guide|
|How to Use Footnotes and Citations in Google Docs – Detailed Guide||LINK|
|How to Sort a List Alphabetically in Google Docs – Step-by-Step||LINK|
|How to Use the Google Docs Outline Tool with Screenshots and Video!||LINK|
|Is The Google Docs Word Count Accurate? We Tested it to Find Out!||LINK|
|Google Keep For Students – The Complete Guide||LINK|
Want More Tips and Tricks? Subscribe to our Newsletter!
If you haven’t already subscribed, please subscribe to The Productive Engineer newsletter. It is filled with tips and tricks on how to get the most out of the productivity apps you use every day. We hate spam as much as you do and promise only to send you stuff we think will help you get things done.