Block scheduling is typically associated with education. This is what Wikipedia says:
Block scheduling is a type of academic scheduling in which each student has fewer classes per day (e.g. 4) but each class is scheduled for a longer period of time (e.g. 90 minutes). In one form of block scheduling, a single class will meet every day for a number of weeks, after which another class will take its place. In another form, daily classes rotate through a changing daily cycle.
Blocks offer more concentrated experiences of subjects, with fewer classes daily. There may be a less regular rhythm of homework for any given class.
Conversion to block scheduling became a relatively widespread trend in American middle schools and high schools in the 1990s. Prior to that, many schools scheduled classes such that a student saw every one of their teachers each day. Classes were approximately 40–60 minutes long, but under block scheduling, they became approximately 90 minutes long.
Years ago I began to implement block scheduling in business because it addressed a number of challenges I was facing at the time. Constant interruptions. Inability to spend focused time on specific issues. Conflicting schedules with team members. Allowing unimportant, but urgent issues to demand most of my attention.
Lifehacking hadn’t yet been invented. Neither had lifestyle design. I was just a young business guy searching for a way to fix my problems.
One evening I thought back to an early college class required of all incoming freshmen. It included a variety of helpful tips aimed at making us successful college students. How was I to know that some years later a seemingly well-intended, but worthless class (or so I thought at the time) would serve me as a business leader?
In this initiation class we were introduced to study habits that included setting aside blocks of time for specific tasks or classes. It was a bit of a reverse of what most of us had been taught about homework. All my life it had gone something like this, “Have you done your math homework?” Homework or study was always approached from the specific task required. The task demanded the time.
Business life was no different. Something would come up and we’d have to jump on it. Then something else would happen, and we’d have to stop that…and change directions. It was like doing homework based on solely on the deadline imposed. And it would drive students – and business people – crazy!
In 1975 when I sat in this college initiation classroom I hadn’t thought of devoting a specified time period to a specific pursuit. Sounds odd, huh? Well, it’s true. I had grown up working through homework by doing math, then another subject, then another subject…until I had completed everything. Along the way, there may have been some reading required, or writing, or problem-solving. It was a mixed bag of activity without much organization. The objective was to simply get through it.
Business didn’t seem much different. Just get through it. Here’s a problem. There’s a problem. Sort through them. Any way you can. But unlike school homework, in business you never seemed able to get ahead of the curve. No sooner did you solve one issue, then four more popped up. Maddening.
The instructor advised us to devote specific time to each class. For example, if you had a Biology 101 class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, then decide when you’re going to devote time to your study for Biology 101. You could select an hour block of time on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7 to 8 or 8 to 9. Devote that time, and yourself, to that time slot for Biology 101. Don’t let the class work dictate your schedule. Instead, dictate your schedule to fit the class. It was a novel idea for me as a student. Through the years, I’ve found it’s a novel concept for most business people, too.
Today’s show is about how block scheduling can help you:
1. Reduce anxiety
2. Get more done
3. Make more money
If you’re uninterested in those benefits, then don’t listen to today’s show. 😉
Duke basketball fans are legendary. Just like Coach K and their years of fielding great teams. Speedo Guy was a student whose goal was to distract opposing players shooting free throws. His goal was to distract players away from their talent to successfully shoot free throws.
Universal wisdom tells us that distractions are counter productive. Focus, intensity and attention to detail. These are the tools of success. Distraction destroys these things. Don’t let yourself get distracted.
Well, universal wisdom isn’t true wisdom. It’s wrong! And we all know it.
Not all distractions are created equal. And they don’t all hinder us. Today, I’ll toss distractions into two categories and hopefully I’ll give you a few things to think about as you chase your dreams, try to solve your problems, build your business and try to simply live better.
Have you found a distraction that delivered high value to you?
There’s a light on in the attic.
Though the house is dark and shuttered,
I can see a flickerin’ flutter,
And I know what it’s about.
There’s a light on in the attic.
I can see it from the outside.
And I know you’re on the inside… lookin’ out.
Then there’s this…
Last night while I lay thinking here Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear And pranced and partied all night long And sang their same old Whatif song: Whatif I flunk that test? Whatif green hair grows on my chest? Whatif nobody likes me? Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?…
I’ve loved going up into the attic since I was a kid. Dusting off boxes, opening them up to see what hidden treasures they contained was fascinating. I’d look at stuff and wonder about the past. Getting lost in thought and memory was fun. Dreaming about the future was equally fun. How can you not think of the future when you’re remembering the past?
For some weeks now I’ve been wanting to pull out the stairs to the attic here. Today I went up there, turned on the light, dusted off a few boxes and opened them up to see what I might find. My hope was to dig out a few memories, connect a few dots and think about the future. Attics have often helped me do that…so I figured it was time.
Thanks to everybody (so far) for your feedback from episode 121. In today’s show I’ll begin by reviewing some of the feedback I’ve received. I had show notes (a very rough outline) that I quickly abandoned in today’s show. Time got away from me, as it is wont to do! You have only yourselves to blame though because the show is based on your feedback.
Here’s another show you can go back and check out after you listen to today’s show. You may find it helpful. It’s an epiphany episode (and those don’t come around nearly often enough). Yes, I reference Salty Droid in today’s show. If you know “the Droid” then you know part of the subject matter discussed in today’s show. Internet Marketing.
I admittedly have a bias in favor of one form of Internet marketing – affiliate marketing. My roots in commission sales likely have a lot to do with it. Just check out my resources page. It represents just a few of the products and services that I’ve used through the years…and found useful. If you trust me, you might consider them useful if they fit a need or desire. If you don’t trust me, then my recommendations have no value.
Every act of selling involves earning trust. Unfortunately, some sellers earn trust and they’re not worthy of it because they’re scoundrels. Buyer beware is still very sound advice and unlike our legal system, we ought to assume sellers are guilty of being scoundrels until they prove to us they’re not. If that sounds cynical, well, it is! But that cynicism has helped me live debt-free for much of my life.
Thanks for coming by the website to listen and watch. I greatly appreciate it. Your presence moderates my grumpiness and gives me hope that not everybody is an idiot (yeah, I’m looking at YOU).