Productivity: The Time Chunking Method

An hourglass with the words "chunk your time"

 

 

The Time Chunking Method

  • The first step in being productive is establishing a good reason for doing something
    • Need to explicitly state goal to yourself and make it personal
    • Reason needs to be compelling enough to motivate you; shift your mindset and you’ll be more productive
    • Provides a sense of accountability: Write down your reasons for taking action and put it on a sticky note àThere’s something powerful about having your goals written in front of you
  • How it Works: Schedule your entire workday in 30-min chunks 
    • First 25 minutes is spent doing a particular task or a batch of tasks 
    • After 25min, take a 5min break
    • Repeat 4 times, then take a 15min break
      • Work for 25min
        • Take 5 min break
      • Work for 25min
        • Take 5 min break
      • Work for 25min
        • Take 5 min break
      • Work for 25 min
        • Take 15minbreak
    • You can do whatever you want during a 5min break, as long as it fits in the timeframe
      • 5 min may not seem like a lot of time but that’s the point
      • Gives you enough time to get up and stretch your legs/get a snack, BUT NOT enough time to go down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos or social media
  • During 25 min work chunks…
    • Focus on performing a SINGLE TASK and IGNORE EVERYTHING ELSE

OR

  • Batching: focus on a group of small, related items on your to-do-list
    • Doing dishes, tidying up, doing laundry, etc. 
    • None will take entire 25min
    • Working in batches can be extremely time-effective; devoting an entire 25min segment reduces distraction; get a lot done without getting lost in a huge pool of tiny tasks 
    • NOTE: BATCHING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MULTI-TASKING; FOCUS ON ONE SINGLE TASK AT A TIME

 

A clock segmented with work and break time

Why is Time Chunking so Effective?

  1. Limits the amount of time the brain is forced to focus: We can only give full focus to a particular task for short periods of time, and 25 min work periods have been scientifically proven to be the most effective.
  2. Greatly reduces the tendency to procrastinateàAnyone can work for 25 min, not that bad and pretty manageable
  3. Reduces distraction that stems from attempting to multitask
  4. Pushes the individual towards actually completing tasks rather than just endlessly working on them àyou become aware of exactly how long it is taking you because of uniform 25min work segments
    1. Parkinson’s Law: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”
    2. Discourages Perfectionism

 

The Time Chunking Method: A 10-Step Action Plan For Increasing Your Productivity by Damon Zahariades

 

Samuel Cloyd

Peer Coach

Class of 2020