The Time-Block Planner
A Daily Method for Deep Work in a Distracted World
by Cal Newport
Time blocking is a time management method long used by some of the world’s most effective people, from Elon Musk to Bill Gates, and promoted by some of the smartest thinkers in productivity, from Peter Drucker to Benjamin Franklin. Its core idea is that a task list is not enough to make the most of your limited time. You should instead partition your working hours into blocks assigned to specific activities. In doing so, you can more easily protect hours for deep work, while batching shallow tasks into efficient sprints. The clarity of these blocks also encourages you to focus intensely on one thing at a time, resisting the distracting allure of inboxes, social media, and idle web surfing.
For fifteen years, author Cal Newport has been extolling the benefits of time blocking. Now for the first time, this system has been captured in a daily planner that makes it easy for anyone to implement these ideas in their own professional life.
The Time-Block Planner opens with an introduction from Newport to guide you through the basics of effective time blocking. Ninety days’ worth of time-blocking pages follow, each divided into a grid that simplifies both building daily schedules and easily updating them as circumstances change. Weekly planning pages supplement the daily planning pages, each including a big idea about productivity from Newport, inspiring you to think deeply about the week ahead. A “shutdown” box sits at the top of each page so you can physically and psychologically end your workday with a check of the box–a ritual widely employed by many of Newport’s longtime readers.
You already know what work really matters. The Time-Block Planner will help you push aside distractions and other peoples’ demands for your time, and focus on accomplishing more of these deep efforts than you ever thought possible.