5 Reasons Why You Can’t Time Block Effectively

Time blocking is a great strategy to increase your work productivity. However, if you find yourself unable to do it effectively, it’s probably because certain people or things are sabotaging your efforts.

Below are 5 common reasons why you fail at your time blocking endeavors and how you can remedy them.

Reason #1 Your Colleagues Come And Ask You Questions

Your attention will be immediately stolen when you allow people to walk by to disturb you non-stop.

So you should show them that you are serious about working hard in those focused periods. Not only should you educate them in advance, but you must set real solid boundaries to protect your attention bubble.

Set up a “Do not disturb, my next available time will be [xyz time.” sign so you inhibit others from talking to you unless emergency. Also, you should put on headphones even without music. This is a physical thing you can communicating to others to dissuade them from interrupting you.

Reason #2 You Are Distracted By The Instant Messaging

Whether it’s WhatsApp, WeChat, Skype, Instagram, Facebook, Tinder, OkCupid, OpenRice, Yelp or Uber, they all have automatic notifications to make sure you use their apps frequently.

It’s helpful at times, but you must commit to turning off these instant messaging during your time block sessions. Status updates or upgrade reminders are great, but not when you need an extra boost in your productivity to get things done.

Reason #3 You Are Interrupted By Phone Calls

Unless you work as a customer service in a calling center or a donation telephone representative, there’s really no point to always turn on your phone and allow time stealers to enter your life.

Be willing to turn your phone into airplane mode for that 60-90 minutes when you work, there’s low to zero chance of others not being able to solve problems without your presence or advice, maybe unless you are the president of the country.

Reason #4 Environmental Noise Annoys You

Whether it’s mindless chit chats between your colleagues or some mechanical noise in the construction site nearby, they will probably screw up your time block sessions.

So the best solution is always to change your work location if you are not in the power to tame those noises down. Things you resist persist. So accept the situation and remove yourself from it.

Reason #5 Ding! You Got A New Email!

And most likely, you will then open the emails just to have a glimpse.

You get hooked by the subject line and you start reading. You read and you find it interesting. You now desire to finish the entire chuck of paragraphs and send a reply to finish it. Maybe you get another email and now you just can’t get yourself out of such downward spiral.


Shut that email client off during your time blocking session! Set an auto responder message telling people about your next availability of reading their emails and maybe they can expect a response in the next 24-48 hours.

Stop reading emails and killing your productivity!