In the past couple of weeks, we’ve brought you a series on the concept of time blocking to help clarify how this simple practice could get more of your most important projects finished. Here’s the series up to this point in time:
- How to Leverage Time Blocking in Momentum
- Time Blocking Basics: Focus Blocks
- Time Blocking Basics: Admin Blocks
- Time Blocking Basics: Social Blocks
And now, last but certainly not least, we’re adding the last remaining puzzle piece: recovery blocks.
Your life is full. Between those focus, admin and social blocks, there’s a lot of work for any one person to take on week in, and week out.
The key to not letting your schedule overwhelm you to the point your energy starts to lag, is to give yourself (ample) time to recover. 🏝️ You don’t have to go to a literal island in the sun, but you might think about a nap, or meditation, where you can mentally go to your happy place.
Focus, admin, and social blocks are all energy output blocks. But like when a battery outputs energy, that battery also needs to be recharged.
Pro tip: We need to be more intentional about our recovery blocks than any other kind precisely because relaxing is often brushed over in favor of constant output.
What helps someone recover and recharge is different for every person. Reading or meditating might do it for some, where CrossFit might do it for others. It can be a good idea to keep a list of activities that recharge them and when they need or have a Recovery block on their schedule they can choose from the list. Some activities may rejuvenate you in some contexts, and not so much in others. What’s more important than the type of activity is what the activity does for you.
A major upshot to acknowledging and using recovery blocks is that it allows you to find dead zones in your day that can be repurposed for recovery. Recovery blocks can also be a good follow-on to a focus block. As a general rule, plan on a recovery block for every two focus or social blocks.
How to Use Recovery Blocks in Momentum
Here it’s a similar rundown to what you do to add the other types of blocks we’ve seen so far in your planner.
Essentially, you head to your Daily Planner in Momentum. This can be done by clicking the “Today” button, the arrow keys at the top to zoom in on the day, or the specific day of the week:
Once in the specific day of the week you’re planning out, add a task.
But make sure to hit “+ Add to Schedule” and include exact time parameters in your day — which will specify the length of the time block.
When it comes to recovery blocks, the time span will vary widely based on your needs and how much time you have available. Sometimes it might literally be fifteen minutes of listening to your favorite music, or lying down to rest your eyes for a much needed “screen break.”
Other times, for the nappers among us😴it might be as long as a focus block.
A short walk outside, a run, or even playing video games 🎮👾all count as recovery block activities.
And finally here’s how that kind of morning might look in the app!
A Note About Exercise
As we’ve mentioned, one of the easiest ways to add a little recovery to your day is through physical activity. It’s not just because it’s dedicated time away from your screen, however. Exercising after a focus block also has some huge bonuses you’ll notice immediately if you try it:
- Exercise triggers mentally and emotional processing. 🤸♂️
- Hitting the gym requires enough focus you have to let go of what you’ve been thinking about, but not so much it’s mentally taxing. 🧠
- You can undo some of the damage and discomfort caused from sitting at a desk. 🖥️
Final thoughts on Recovery Blocks
As we stated above, following your time blocks, even if it’s the best way to schedule yourself, can still be tiring. Make sure to plan recovery blocks frequently — even for every two focus or social blocks! 🛌💪
Resting and recovering is at least as important as intense focus, or any other kind of activity, because it makes all other activities possible.
You’ll probably agree with us once you start trying out recovery blocks and fitting these into the structure of your day, that we saved the best for last.
Once you start trying out your recovery blocks, if you feel like telling us about what recovery activity does it for you personally — send your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org. 🤓