How to be Productive & Block Plan for Work and Outreach
“You can’t get where you want to go unless you start with where you are,” (Michael Hyatt).1
“While you can’t control everything, you can control more than you think, and you can live your life with a plan that will dramatically improve your chances of ending up at a destination you choose,” (Michael Hyatt).1
“Living in the light of eternity changes your priorities,” (Rick Warren).2
Whether you’re a business owner, pastor, secretary, community engagement supervisor, or any other role at a company or church, there is usually a list of tasks that need to be done. Do you have a list of these tasks priorities? If you don’t, making that list is a great place to start to increase productivity. Give it monthly or quarterly attention. Write it in your weekly calendar. And consider utilizing block planning (you’ll see an example of block planning in this post). Before putting your priorities together into weekly block plans, consider the following two success strategies.
2 Productivity Success Strategies:
1) Identify your most productive hours –
Everyone has a time of day when they’re most productive and creative. For some it’s early morning, for others late afternoon, and some the evening. Your most productive hours usually occur in a three-hour time span. Schedule your most important priorities during this time. Zealously guard these hours. Don’t let them be stolen by others or by lack of discipline. How do you know when your prime time is? You can track your work flow for one week and identify common times each day when you’re most productive.
2) Determine your most effective work environment –
Not everyone does their best, focused work in their office. Find a comfortable setting that best nurtures top performance. Perhaps the local coffee shop or a park is a place where you will not be interrupted and you concentrate better than your ordinary work environment. Whatever spot works best for you, plan to do demanding, intense, creative work in that space. Also, make your office space as inviting for productivity as possible. Consider putting up family photos that may make the room more personal or a whiteboard for brainstorming. Sometimes small additions to a work environment can really boost productivity.
Taking all this into consideration, the following example is what a model week block plan will look like. Remember this is a small sample. People’s plans will differ to be in line with individual priorities and will include full days from start to finish.
You’re in charge of your calendar. It’s one of the few things you can control. Block planning provides flexibility. If something comes up during one of your scheduled times, or your boss needs to see you immediately, you can move your planned block to an open white space. Just don’t move it off the calendar.
Remember, God is a planner. Proverbs teaches it’s wise to plan. Jesus says it’s foolish not to plan. God planned for our joy. We ought to plan for His glory in our lives and jobs.
- Michael S. Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2016).
- Rick Warren, “Rick Warren Quotes,” BrainyQuote, accessed September 13, 2017, https://www.brainyquote.com/ quotes/authors/r/rick_warren.html.