Why I Ditched Time Blocking for To-do Lists

I first discovered the concept of time blocking during my college days. And it was a real game-changer for me. I could keep my life in order and accomplish my goals by putting my class schedule on my calendar and organizing other things like workouts, hanging out with friends, and working on my apps around it. It helped me stay on top of things beyond just my academic responsibilities. However, this is no longer the case!

The Conflict with Time Blocking

After graduating, I suddenly had all the time in the world for myself. It felt so liberating. No more external schedules to adhere to or deadlines to meet. And, while time blocking had been a game-changer before, I started questioning whether it still fit my new lifestyle. But I kept going back and forth with it.

There were times when I craved the structure and clarity it provided. It felt good to have a plan in place and to know that I was making progress. But then there were other times when I felt suffocated and rushed, as if every minute of my day had already been reserved or spoken for. That’s when I knew that I had to make a change.

Recently, I realized that time blocking had become a stress-inducing machine in my life. The once thoughtfully planned calendar had turned into a constant reminder of pressure. Instead of enjoying the moment, I felt compelled to rush through everything. Those self-created deadlines I imposed on myself were doing more harm than good.

Letting Go of Time Blocking

Once I got to this realization, I immediately took a step back. This totally defeats the purpose of working on my own and not having external schedules. And I’m on the opposite side of the lifestyle I desire to have.

So I opened my calendar and deleted all of the blocks and recurring blocks that were there. And, instead of obsessing over time blocks, I began planning my week by creating daily to-do lists. It is far more important that I complete the tasks and make progress toward my weekly goals than “when” I complete them.

A Little Insight

I don’t have to start work at 6 am sharp! I don’t have to go to the gym at the same exact time! And of course, I don’t have to start reading at a specific minute!

It doesn’t matter if I do things an hour earlier or later as long as I set my priorities right and make consistent progress. So why stress about it? By ditching the rigid time constraints, I freed myself from unnecessary pressure and made room for spontaneity and relaxation.


I think time blocking can be a lifesaver for busy folks with crazy schedules that they can’t control. But for me, it turned out to be the opposite. It added unnecessary stress and made me feel as if I were always on the clock. So, I switched to a more laid-back approach: to-do lists.

Productivity should enhance our lives, not tie us down. And, as Richard Carlson says in his book: “Life isn’t an emergency.”

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