I just picked up my pre-ordered copy of Cal Newport’s Time-Block Planner that was released a few days ago. It is larger and more substantial than I thought it would be. That’s a good thing in my view.
I’ve become a bit of a Cal Newport fan over the last few months through his books and his podcast. I can recommend his book, Deep Work for anyone trying to achieve focus and get meaningful work done. I certainly struggle with making the time to write once all my lecturing and associated administrative duties are completed.
A core element of Cal’s advice in Deep Work is the process of Time-Block Planning. This involves being particularly intentional in how the working day is organised. Planning how each minute is to be used at the beginning of the day helps keep the work focused on the most important things you want to achieve. It is too easy to get sidetracked by email, the news and other distractions such as social media.
I have been implementing this daily planning of activities by mapping them out on paper each morning over the last few weeks. The results have been very positive with more time spent on writing projects As a result, more pieces been completed or taken further along the pipeline towards publication. The addition of this blog to my personal website is part of that progress.
I plan to start using the Time-Block Planner in a few days as I want to be sure to implement it according to Cal’s recommendations. Once I have been using it for a couple of weeks I’ll report back on how it is working and whether I would recommend it to others. It costs around $20/£20 so is not cheap but if it helps me get more written without working longer hours then I’ll be happy. Watch this space.
Martin De Saulles
Writer, Analyst, Lecturer
I am a writer, analyst and lecturer. My writing ranges from books aimed at business and academic audiences to white papers and articles for trade publications including CIO, IDG, The Conversation, The Next Web and The Times Higher Education. I also teach several courses at the University of Brighton on innovation, technology policy and marketing.