101 Planners » Productivity » Time Blocking

Time Blocking

Are you looking for a way to get more down in less time? Time blocking can help you focus, boost your productivity and achieve more. Download the free time blocking template and the ultimate FREE time blocking planner. This planner will make you more productive than you have ever been!

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What is time blocking?

Timeblocking is a time management method that encourages you to divide your day into blocks of time and assign specific work to each block. During each block of time, you focus on specific tasks that you determine in advance.

Therefore, time blocking encourages you to manage your time instead of your tasks in order to boost productivity.

Free Time Blocking Planner

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This free time-blocking planner will help you

  • be more productive
  • stop procrastination and do the important things you’ve been postponing
  • reduce stress substantially
  • promote self-care


If you only want a daily or weekly time blocking template (and not a complete timeblock planner) then scroll down.

How to Time Block

To time block, you need to create a simple chart with all of your time by day or week. You can use our free time blocking template to do this (see below).

  1. Create a list of everything you need to accomplish. You can use our free printable to-do list. Our free time blocking planner includes a to-do list created specifically for the time blocking method.
  2. Set specific durations for everything you need to work on. Don’t forget to include meals, downtime, and fun.
  3. Add these tasks to your time block template.
  4. Ensure that you are present for each activity at the specified time and that you stop when the time is up. Setting an alarm or timer can help.

Time Blocking Template

Many of the planners on this site have a section for time blocking. The following templates are dedicated entirely to time blocking.

Choose a time block schedule template from the selection below. Some are daily and some are weekly formats.

This is a simple block schedule template for one day (30-minute intervals).

Image | Typeable PDF

This daily time blocking template is broken down into 15-minute intervals.

Image | Typeable PDF

This is a weekly time block template for five days (Monday to Friday).

Image | Typeable PDF

This is a weekly block scheduling template for seven days (Monday to Sunday).

Image (Mon-Thurs | Fri-Sun) | Typeable PDF

These templates are all included in the time block planner above. Use them if you want a single time blocking sheet. If not, use the free comprehensive planner.

how to use color coding for time blockingPin

Color coding for time blocking is an effective method to manage your daily or weekly schedule with enhanced clarity and efficiency. To implement this, first choose a color palette where each color represents a different type of activity or task category – for example, blue for work-related tasks, green for personal time, yellow for exercise, and red for important meetings or deadlines. Then, when planning your day or week in your calendar or planner, block out chunks of time dedicated to each activity using its corresponding color. This visual approach allows you to quickly see at a glance how your time is allocated, making it easier to balance various aspects of your life. It also helps in identifying periods of overcommitment or underutilization, enabling you to adjust your schedule proactively. By using color coding in time blocking, you transform your planner into a clear, easy-to-follow map of your commitments, enhancing productivity and reducing stress.

The Time Blocking Method

The time blocking method will help you stay organized and make progress on all your goals, no matter what you need to do. Below is a simple list of questions and steps for you to get started with time blocking right away.

  1. What do you need to do today? Make a list of everything you need to accomplish and everything you hope to fit in, even if it’s not a necessity.
  2. When do you have energy? There are times in the day when you have more energy than others. Look at how much effort you’ll be able to put into each activity.
  3. Where can you combine activities? Are there things you can do together, such as going to the hair salon or barber and answering your personal emails while your hair dries?
  4. What goes where? Set up your time blocks based your answers to the previous three questions.
  5. Did you make time for yourself? Personal time and downtime are essential, and you cannot skip them. Schedule them.
  6. What if things go wrong? Distractions and accidents happen, so ensure that you also make time for those. If everything goes according to plan, you’ll have more time to relax, and if not, you’ll have time to complete whatever you planned to complete. In the beginning, when you start using the system, also schedule more time than you think you’ll need. People tend to underestimate how long things take.

Remember to stay flexible. Things are going to change on the fly sometimes. You have to learn to anticipate that and adapt when it happens, so you don’t end up stressed and wasting time when you have many better things to do.

The Benefits of Timeblocking

  1. Time blocking can help you focus on a specific task and avoid distractions. When we have too many choices we feel overwhelmed. The classic to-do list often includes many things we need to do. When we look at it we don’t know where to start. With timeblocking, we focus on one task which helps us focus.
  2. It discourages multitasking which is very unproductive.
  3. Time blocking ensures you don’t neglect things that are important but not urgent assuming you block them off. This prevents burnout and ensures you are productive in the long run. If we spend time determining what to include in our time blocks we can ensure we set aside time for all the things that are meaningful in our lives.
  4. Time blocking makes it easier to prioritize certain areas. It’s a very visual method so you can see how many blocks you devote to each area. You can scan your day or week to ensure that you have prioritized the tasks that are most important to you.
  5. You gain control over your schedule. You decide when you are going to read emails, work, meet with people, etc.

Who Invented Time Blocking?

It isn’t clear who invented time blocking. However, it has been adopted by many famous productive people such as Benjamin Franklin, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk.

Benjamin Franklin divided his days into blocks and blocked off hours for deep work and two hours for lunch. He detailed the activities he would undertake every hour of the day, including rest and chores (source).

Bill Gates and Elon Musk both use variations of this time management method.

Time Blocking Example

In the example below, this busy person works on whatever their boss tells them to do during work hours. The rest of the time, they have set out limits to how much time they have for each activity. Even if they aren’t ‘done,’ they will stop when the chart says their time is up, and by doing this, they avoid missing out on other daily activities. The person here has notes to remember, such as ‘take medicine’ or ‘head home by 7:45’ to remind them of important issues, but they do not plan to sit and complete every aspect of each activity in a single sitting. They also have room to adjust and add things on the fly.

Hour/Day M T W Th F Sa Su
12 am
6 Wake Up Wake Up Wake Up Wake Up Wake Up Wake Up
7 7-7:10 Brush Teeth

7:10-7:30 get dressed and pack briefcase

7:31 in car

7:40 Grab coffee and breakfast at the drive through

7:50 pull in to work

> > >  

7:45 meet the client at the job site

8 Work>> Leave the job site at 8:15

8:30 grab a late breakfast and remember to take medicine

Yardwork 1 hour
9 Work>> Arrive at office
10 Work>>
11 Work>>
12pm Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
1 Work>>
2 Work>>
3 Work>>
4 Work>> 4:30 Call in pizza order Precook meals for the week (approx 3 hours)
5 Drinks with Sally Pick up pizza at 5:15 Start dinner in the oven, then Homework Help for kids Work with Jane on her school science fair project for 30 mins, then Homework Help for the kids. Put dinner in the oven and Homework Help for kids. x
6 Head home for dinner Homework Help for kids Bowling League Night x
7 Homework Help for kids Kitchen Cleaning 20 mins Head home by 7:45 Cool food
8 Watch the News for 30 mins


Send kids to get ready for bed at 8:30

Send kids to get ready for bed at 8:30 Send kids to get ready for bed at 8:30 Send kids to get ready for bed at 8:30 Favorite TV Show


Send kids to get ready for bed at 8:30

Send kids to get ready for bed at 8:30 Send kids to get ready for bed at 8:30
9 Read bedtime story 20 mins, Lights out for kids 9:30 Read bedtime story for 20 mins


Lights out for kids at 9:30

Read bedtime story for 20 mins


Lights out for kids at 9:30

Read bedtime story for 20 mins


Lights out for kids at 9:30

Read bedtime story for 20 mins


Lights out for kids at 9:30

Read bedtime story for 20 mins


Lights out for kids at 9:30

Put dinners away in the freezer and pack nonperishable parts of school lunches for Jane and Joe


Lights out for kids at 9:30

10 Go To Bed Go To Bed Go To Bed Go To Bed Go To Bed Go To Bed Go To Bed


What is the difference between time blocking, time boxing, and time tracking?

While all three concepts revolve around time management, they approach it differently. Time blocking organizes the day in advance, timeboxing limits the duration of tasks to ensure efficiency, and time tracking evaluates and analyzes time spent retrospectively.

  1. Time Blocking:
    • Purpose: Organizing your day by assigning specific periods (or blocks) of time for individual tasks, events, or activities.
    • Visualization: Imagine your day as a series of blocks or compartments, each dedicated to a particular task or activity. For instance, from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM, you might block out time for a specific project, then 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM for email responses, and so on.
    • Benefit: Helps in structuring your day more effectively, ensuring that essential tasks have designated slots and are more likely to get done.
  2. Timeboxing:
    • Purpose: Setting a strict time limit for a task, event, or activity. Once the allotted time expires, you move on, regardless of whether the task was completed.
    • Visualization: Imagine setting a timer before starting a task. For example, if you’re brainstorming ideas, you might allocate 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, you conclude the brainstorming session.
    • Benefit: Prevents tasks from taking longer than necessary, which can foster focus, productivity, and decision-making. It also helps in preventing perfectionism or overworking on a single task.
  3. Time Tracking:
    • Purpose: Monitoring and recording the actual time spent on various tasks, events, or activities after they’ve been executed.
    • Visualization: Imagine using tools or apps to log the start and end times of tasks, or manually jotting down the duration after completing them.
    • Benefit: Offers insights into how you’re spending your time. Over time, you can analyze this data to identify inefficiencies, patterns, or habits that can be refined for better time management.
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About the Author
Photo of NicoleMy name is Nicole and I created this website to share the tools that keep me organized and productive and help me reach my goals. I hope that you will find them helpful too.

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