The Podcast

Episode #204: Thoughts on Time Block Planning

June 24, 2024

In today’s episode, I share my thoughts on Time Block planning, a method suggested by Cal Newport, among others. I discuss pros, cons, and my own approach to daily planning. I also discuss my recent decision to entirely eliminate Reddit scrolling from my life!

Do you have thoughts or feelings about Time Block Planning? Or do have another method that you love? Please share!

Episode that inspired today’s Time Block Planning Discussion is here: Is Time Blocking Oppressive?

Past BLP ep with Cal Newport: here

Past BLP ep with Oliver Burkeman: here

Oliver Burkeman’s book: 4000 Weeks

Best Today with Shunta Grant episode mentioned: here

About Progress ep mentioned (with Catherine Price as guest): here

Episode Sponsors:
Jenni Kayne: Find your new uniform at Get 15% off your first order when you use code plans at checkout!

Earth Breeze: Effective liquidless laundry detergent! Listeners can receive 40% off Earth Breeze by visiting

Crunch Labs: Camp CrunchLabs is 12 weeks of awesome build-it-yourself fun! Go to to sign your kids up for Camp CrunchLabs today and get 2 boxes FREE!

Mint Mobile: To get their new customer offer and your new 3-month unlimited wireless plan for just $15/month for the first 3 months, go to


  • Reply Grateful Kae June 24, 2024 at 10:45 am

    Liked this episode!!! 🙂 🙂

  • Reply Amy June 24, 2024 at 10:48 am

    I think I’d call myself a casual or lightweight time blocker. I eyeball my hard landscape and my priorities for the day and then mentally pencil in projects / tasks to open blocks. If it’s something I’m likely to procrastinate (hello, grading and report writing!), then I’ll actually write the block into my calendar. I think if I did it formally / all the time it would exhaust me!

  • Reply Brooke June 24, 2024 at 1:40 pm

    I’m similar to Amy in that I time block out important items at work or home if they are priorities or they require dedicated time. This esp true at work when I’ve got tasks that require deep work to focus and finsh. If I don’t time block at work (ie block time on my calendar), I’ll quickly have that time booked by on-off meetings and end up with only jagged bits of time instead of a focused block. But, I also use it for home too for top priorities. I know when in the evening I’m going to fit in my workout, as an example. Having a rough timeblock for my evening time at home is sometimes also helpful in determining when I’m trying to cram too much into that time.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 24, 2024 at 3:17 pm

      Interesting about the home use – and does make sense!

  • Reply Sophie June 25, 2024 at 4:03 am

    I love time blocking, I don’t find it stressful because like all plans I hold them lightly. I expect to have short breaks between my blocks so it’s not too flat out, I time block in lunch and a walk at lunchtime, and I’ll often leave an afternoon block as a TBC based on anything that develops during the day. BUT it does make me more productive because I’ll block off time in the morning to tackle a big task instead of getting sidetracked by smaller to-dos that don’t have the payoff. I guess, during an “Admin” block I’ll put in a to do list of admin tasks but can choose to do them in any order so not every moment is scheduled in advance.

  • Reply Lisa's Yarns June 25, 2024 at 11:27 am

    Time blocking doesn’t really work for me due to the nature of my job. This is a gross generalization, but it would kind of feel like an ER doctor time blocking and being like – sorry, can’t attend to that head wound because I’ve blocked this time for charting, or something along those lines. I am not at all comparing my job to an ER doctor, though, and they do probably have some built in time for charting during their shifts? But I also don’t have really big/deep work to do because my role is more responsive/client-facing in nature. But I do sort of time block on the weekends. We have a very set schedule, like my husband always grocery shops on Saturday am after I’m back from my run/showered. And then I come up with a 1-5-2 hour activity for the boys during that time and now that the youngest is dropping his nap, I block off 1:30-3:30ish for another out-of-the-house activity. But that’s probably not really “time blocking” – it’s more so putting the big rocks in our weekend schedule to make the stretch of hours more pleasant for everyone.

    • Reply Brooke June 25, 2024 at 8:05 pm

      I time block in “emergent work” into my work calendar. It’s like Laura’s concept of a backup spot. It’s not that the emergent work will happen at 2-4 on Tues/Thurs, but I have a block to move other items when the emergent work happens. I never know when that work will drop but it drops with regularity so now I just plan for it.

  • Reply Stacy July 16, 2024 at 10:49 pm

    I really like time blocking but don’t use it to schedule every minute or hour of my day. Instead, I’ll use it to protect time for important projects or tasks. For example, I might schedule a 2-hour block of time to work on a design project. I won’t plan out exactly what I’ll do during that time, but I know that I have that time to work on that project and that I won’t take meetings or do other work during that time.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.