If you’ve been following the series so far, you'll know time blocking is a technique you can use to master your day that keeps your priorities front and center.
Time blocking removes guesswork about what you should be doing at different times, and for various lengths of time, and therefore cuts out the decision-making needed to get started.
One of the most crucial types of time blocks are social blocks. Focus blocks help smooth the path to creating something — where social blocks are about connecting with someone (or many folks at once). We can tend to discount the value of social interactions because we don’t “get anything done”. That’s not true, actually. Productivity is about more than getting things done (sorry, GTD method).
It’s actually about how you can use resources available to you to bring about the most value in your life. And time is our most precious resource. Time you spend with friends, family, colleagues, and your tribe is valuable time.
Two important points to know about social blocks:
- Although it’s about other people, it doesn’t have to be in person (think Zoom).
- Social blocks don’t necessarily need to be about “social life”.
Meetings for work, lunch with coworkers, or coaching sessions all qualify as social blocks — namely any part of your work that requires real-time with other people.
Our work connects to our lives, and our lives are tied in lots of ways to our work. Momentum is built to support your whole life, holistically. Calling your parents, your grandmother, or a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while, or volunteering can all count as a social block. So can a meeting.
Making sure to put even the lowest-key social blocks in the app helps create a robust structure for your days, and weeks — where social blocks can help keep other blocks in place.
How to Use Social Blocks in Momentum
Including different types of blocks (focus, admin, social, and recovery) into the Daily Planner increases the chances you’ll keep the commitment to yourself and your people. To recap: Social blocks are 90–120 minute blocks of time when you’re primed and energetically in the right space to meet with other people.
When picking your social blocks, consider what times of day you feel most ready to meet with people face to face. It’s different for everyone, and it might even be different for you from day to day or week to week.
If you're a morning person and know your coworker is too, why not schedule that weekly 1:1 over coffee? ☕ If you know you're not ready for human interaction before your 2nd (or 3rd) cup of coffee, try to shift your schedule so you don't have early morning meetings.
Now all you need to do is drop those blocks into your Momentum app, via the Daily Planner.
Pro tip: Scheduling in another type of block, either focus or admin, between social blocks, creates a coherent flow.
Social blocks make great bookends to other types of time blocks because they keep our schedule locked in, and on track — since most of us honor commitments to other people more rigidly than we do for ourselves. As we’ve outlined in the posts on focus blocks, and admin blocks, head to the Daily Planning view with either the “Today” button or by clicking today’s date, e.g. “Monday, October 3”.
In the Daily Planning view, you’ll see “Today’s Tasks” where you can add specific tasks, and the option to add those tasks to your schedule. That’s how you can set up your time blocks, by creating 30-120 minute task blocks.
Usually social blocks probably won’t be “Emergent”, but it is possible a friend texts you randomly asking if you want to have lunch or coffee. Most importantly, by hitting “+ Add to Schedule” and creating a time period for the task, that’s how you can make a time block.
Once that’s done, you’ll see it show up on “Today’s Schedule” in the same Daily Planning view. Here’s how it will all look in “Today’s Schedule 📆”:
Ta da! So that’s the rundown of social blocks, and how these fit into the bigger time blocking picture. 🖼️ Next up, a universal favorite, recovery blocks!