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Time blocking, a friendly debate with Paul Minors

My last video, named "Time Blocking SUCKS!" was received quite well after it was posted. After Paul Minors saw the video posted he suggested we make a video about the pros and cons of time blocking.

I thought it was a great idea, so here it is! Check it out and let me (us) know what you think.


Transcript

so last week I released a video called

time blocking sucks now it went down

really well it was on my youtubers on my

website I posted on LinkedIn and I also

posted it on the masters group that I'm

in with Paul - and he replies with

blasphemy I was all in good fun he

actually messaged me and said listen why

don't we make a video with for the pros

and cons of time blocking and not time

blocking it was a great idea so I'm

gonna put the video up now have a watch

of it see what you think it's a great

video we had fun doing it if you have

any questions let me know and I'll talk

to you soon see you after this hey

everyone my name is Paul and joined by K

and today we're actually gonna record a

quick time blocking debate video which

we're both going to be uploading this to

each of our YouTube channels and I guess

I'll give a bit of background this the

idea for this video came about I

recently had K on my podcast and we had

a great conversation but following that

K posted a video about why he doesn't

like time blocking and as a lot of

people watching my channel will know I'm

a big fan of time blocking and so I

thought why don't we why don't we have a

bit of a chat about the pros and cons of

time blocking alternatives to time

blocking why you might choose to or not

do it and so that's what we're that's

what we're doing today yeah that's it's

going to be kind of fun yeah so and km

they said we were talking at the start

maybe you want to explain like there's

no one best approach to it we're not

we're not trying to say one approach is

better here right no exactly I mean the

thing is there are always different ways

of doing the same thing and there are

opposite side of the spectrum so

obviously you know you Paul does the

time blocking thing I tried it many

moons ago and it just doesn't work for

me because of how how I work and what it

is so there's pros and cons for both for

sure the funny thing is when I posted

that video I didn't really think about

what you were doing I just posted a

video saying time blocking sucks because

I know soon as I posted it was like oh

yeah it's kind of funny and then when

you message me and I was like yeah this

is actually a great idea for a video so

when we start then when we start by each

showing our screens and just showing how

we use our calendar so yeah for those

that are like what is time blocking this

is my calendar and basically the

approach here is I'll explain the colors

in a second but what I do is if I have

something I need to do like a task on my

to-do list in asana that task gets a

block of time on my calendar so if we

look at let's look at yesterday Monday

which is just kind of gone and let me

just make this a little bit taller so it

it kind of oh hang on a sec let me just

go like that okay make it a little bit

yeah so Monday like I block out there's

time in the email for email in the

morning do some stuff with some sales

funnels publish a blog post I had to

write a blog post here set up some

Google Adwords change some pages on my

website so each of these blocks here

basically corresponds to a task and my

day didn't start like this with this

plan in fact my plan changed we actually

had a fire drill at the co-working space

where I work at about eleven o'clock so

this took longer than I thought and so

with the time locking even though I'm

saying yep I'm gonna do this task at


changing this calendar stays open on my

computer constantly and as I'm working I

will make this block bigger because it's

now taking longer to do that and so

something I was doing here in fact I

think this task here this was originally

here and I bumped it to make time to

finish this thing and so I'm constantly

revising my plan throughout the day and

I guess my why I like this is it means

that I can take all of my intentions

might ask for things that I want to do

and I can create a clear plan of when

I'm going to do them and it makes me

think about how long they're gonna take

as well so I don't commit to doing too

much so that's that's my account that's

my calendar and kind of basically how

I'm using it and the colors just to

explain it's not that important but the

colors green is basically appointments

with clients like hey and I have this

call right now

Blue is guitars yellow is I block out

time for walk and lunch so I can't be

booked red is kind of going to the gym

and and purpose of shared calendar I

tell Haylee when I'm going to be at home

and stuff yeah so so that's that's my

calendar yeah I mean it does look it

makes sense

I completely understand the reason of

blocking in and you probably saw it in

my video that I do block specific parts

as well for certain things obviously so

if I'm working on something and I need

that time then I will block it what I

don't do is I'll show you my calendar

where so with my calendar I it's so

sparse compared to big yeah and I use D

suite I don't have apps or anything

running if you know it's a cut nothing

running so I have three calendars a

personal business and our work that's it

now what I usually do Green is personal

so I just put personal things in there

blue is work that I've actually got not

work that I've got to do appointments

that have to be with clients

appointments for video calls and so on I

don't always put in my calendar actually

which is weird I guess because it comes

into my project management tool which is

to do this so I kind of know what's

going on it's gonna sell for a

consultant and and somebody that works

with so many clients you aware of all

your appointments exactly right I don't

I don't put them all in here because

most of the work that I do is like for

instance this week I've put focus points

here and focus to me means block it so

it is a form of blocking it's like okay

I got to do something there but I you

know I do a lot of work but I do enough

for what I need I don't overwork myself

you know I you know

the whole point of my work and as we

discussed in my pod in the podcast I was

on life to me is about living and not

working so I try to make my tools for me

in the way I don't want to be dictated

as to what to do so you know orange is

stuff that I'm doing for for business as

it were anything business-related green

is personal stuff and to it I don't need

to write it in here because I live on my

own with my dog so I don't really need

their it and yeah blue is stuff that I

actually need to do with the client so

I've got to be with the client or

whatever yeah but the rest of it is in

my project management tool the point is

to have like inboxes if you have too

many inboxes you just go crazy

so my inbox is my team my email

obviously my agenda and my to-do list

and I just like you who lives in a sauna

I live in my to do it yeah

and the appointments thing is kind of a

secondary things that I need to do I

know you have two screens I just have

one screen so your calendars open on one

and then Sun is open on the main one I

just work on one thing at a time

basically yeah I think there's a guy

called Karl Pauline who in the phrase

hard borders and it just made a lot of

sense to me as soon as he said it was

like well yeah actually that's just how

I'm working that's kind of cool yeah

and I get that the time blocking that I

do is like the harder more manual route

people ask me like do you sync your

asana to your calendar is that how

you've done it and I'm like no it's very

manual and I'd like to give you an idea

like it on a Friday I can't look at what

I've got coming up over the next week

and I go right I need to do this on this

day and this on this day and I have some

white space open so later in the week

you know you might have seen I had some

white space which

flexible I don't know what I'm going to

do yet but the point is I try and get

the big the big bricks in there and each

day like so at the end of today I'll

kind of look at what I have coming up

tomorrow check that all my tasks are on

there so it's and it's very manual like

I said you have to think about how long

is this gonna take when am I going to do

it and and having the calendar open

helps with that but it is a lot of work

and with that it's quite a hard habit to

for money and I've been doing it for

years now it's just second nature yeah I

can't imagine not doing it another way

but when people see this method they're

like oh well that seems quite intense

and it and it is but that's I think one

of the reasons it works because you're

used to it it's worked for you over a

period of time for someone to kind of

come into any one of these not just mine

or yours but any one of these systems

it's kind of difficult it's like well

how the hell you what the point is and I

think you were talking about it in one

of your podcasts don't copy someone

else's system yeah let the bits from it

that you think works you and then adapt

it to yourself yeah basically and don't

throw away the system that you have and

kind of this tool hopping thing which

again you spoke about before I've heard

about and I do I mean it's my business

it's our business to don't find tool so

we do it so we know what's going on but

it is do as do as I say not as I do

because this is our job any doodle stuff

this is the stuff but when you're

consulting with a client and they see

how you work you're like they're like

it's crazy so you have to you know what

posting what I'm doing what you're doing

what I'm doing is a complete opposite of

yeah and you know what's interesting is

something you said which is you you're

you're all about it's just life there's

no work-life balance you just want to

kind of have freedom in your life and

not be kind of told what to do and it's

funny because I'm basically the same

like I'm one the reasons I want to work

for myself and why I want to be more

productive and efficient is to create

that freedom my way of going about it is

just different and

now I even though the there's the plan

on the calendar I move things around all

the time and and that's how I know I can

get things done and in a sense create

freedom so even though we're very

similar in our end goals are very much

the same like it's just two different

ways of going about it it's really

interesting some ways going about it

again it's it's the end goal is exactly

the same work for yourself working your

own time be happy make enough money and

that's basically what I'm doing but my

method is again the complete opposites a

complete opposite but if if you put me

in your office and said work I think

it'll be the same the other way around

as well if you came in here and started

doing this totally your method it seems

I don't know if you've read getting

things done well but I think David Allen

he says that's your I think what he's

saying to do with the calendar which is

it's really I guess the time sensitive

stuff like you have that meeting with me

today you had a haircut for worth like

the stuff that is like yeah that's the

GTD approach of using calendar because

using GTD he's like no you don't you

only do it for time sensitive things the

other tasks and projects are on your

task list so I'd say you're probably

closer to GTD than I am I'm closer to

that the GTD method is a bit too rigid

as well for me for certain things we're

not going to get into that but for the

task part of it I don't do but yeah I

guess it is kind of the same it's kind

of similar to that I mean my assistant

is is todoist

my to-do list is my assistant and reason

Weiss my assistant is that I tell my

assistant to remind me to do something

whenever it was and it will tell me he

or she I don't know who it is will tell

me what to do so and it works insanely

well for me and if I show people how I

work some people like I want this and

other people like how the hell do you

live I mean like what I'm doing with

your time blocking sucks so there's so

many different kind of paths to get to

that end goal and you just basically

gotta find it and that's

the whole point of this video they

wanted to create for ya you guys yeah

but yeah it's interesting we do the same

work but we approach it completely

differently yeah

well this has been good um I need

anything else you want to add I think

I've kind of said all I need to but um

you know I think I think that's pretty

much it

again it's the tool isn't the thing the

system is the thing the principle once

you have the system figured out you can

you can if you want to bounce between

tools which is not the right way of

doing but the point is the system is the

issue is the thing not the tools itself

once you have the system in place live

your life yeah no I completely agree I

mean I very rarely switch tools I've

been operating on the same things like

Apple calendar Apple Mail asana but yeah

it's like it's funny actually with mail

just a bit of Sun I often you see all

these new male clients come out and they

look really cool you try them nothing

seems to work as well as Apple may also

end up going back so it like it's much

better for search more reliable just

funny is there you wind up trying what

you were doing anyway absolutely I mean

I am a mad guy Mac junkie and I've been

with Mac's since oh wow I don't know


grown up with these Mac apps I moved

over to the cloud apps because I just

wanted it to be simpler yeah no other

reason so Apple Mail is the best client

forget Thunderbird forget forget

anything however I would say right now

Gmail is better client but then if

you're not in that ecosystem you don't

move

stick with your Apple Mail because it is

the best scene there is yeah this has

been great it's kind of cool to make a

little video like this maybe we should

do more yeah we could do a curl our

panels like yeah this is cool

all right thanks Kay thanks for see you

later Joe so what did you think

do you go for time blocking or do you

not go for time blocking now the point

of

as I said in the video the point of this

isn't one's better than the other there

are two ways there are many ways of

doing the same thing but this is just

how we do it the thing is with me and

Paul we get on really well and we kind

of do things at the end goal is it is

actually exactly the same but just how

we get there is different so what did

you think

do you ty blach or do you not time block

which one's the best for you figure out

the system don't copy someone's system

as I said in the video it's best to

actually have your own system and just

take things from what you see in here

online if you have any questions contact

Paul or contact me and I'm sure we'll be

able to help you talk to you soon and

remember keep it simple chap

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