Learning to wisely manage your time is essential to getting everything done that you have planned for each day. One of the best methods for doing this is called time blocking. This is a strategy that assigns specific blocks of time for each task, ensuring you won’t spend too much time on any one thing. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Prioritize Your Tasks

It’s unusual for people to strategize their workday, but that’s the first step in using time blocking to your advantage. Create a list of every task you must accomplish within your workday, including responding to emails and returning phone calls. Next, you should prioritize these tasks from most to least important. Since people are more productive at the start of their workdays, taking care of high priority tasks first is a good idea.

Ditch the Time Clock

This primarily applies to entrepreneurs and those who spend a great deal of their time working from home. It can be a habit to stick to the time clock that you lived by for most of your working life, but that may be inhibiting your productivity. Instead, start working when you feel most alert and productive. If you’re a night owl, don’t force yourself to get up at 6:00 a.m. just because you think that’s what you should do. Work when you feel motivated and productive.

Organize Your Work Week into Themes

You can assign specific tasks to each day of your working week. You might spend one day meeting with clients, while another day might be spent marketing your business. By dividing up your week in this manner, you may be able to increase productivity where it’s needed.

Schedule Time for Nothing

You can’t be expected to work nonstop from sun-up to sundown. You will need breaks and time to unwind after a productive day. By scheduling blank blocks of time into your day, you’ll have the time to go for a run, meet up with a friend, or attend a special event. This will also give you leeway for unexpected changes to your routine. If a client is running late, or a phone call takes longer than expected, this blank block of time will help you get back on track.

Blocking time is often the only way busy professionals can meet their career and family obligations. This can also be used to help you make the most out of your personal time. By using a time blocking strategy, you can fit more into each day.