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How to Time Block with Asana

How to Time Block with Asana

Alyssa Towns
Writer
April 16, 2024
Updated on:

How to Time Block with Asana
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There’s never enough of it. We’re always wishing we had more of it. And sometimes, we find ourselves wasting it. 

Our relationship with time, especially at work, can be complex and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and techniques like Asana and Clockwise, you can boost your productivity to create more time for what matters and stop wasting it on things that don’t. 

If you’re one of Asana’s millions of users, this guide is for you. Keep reading to learn:

  • How time blocking works (and how Asana can help)
  • A few (of the many) benefits of time blocking
  • The easiest way to block your time with Asana
  • How the Clockwise + Asana integration works and how to get started

Spend a few minutes with us to learn how to make the most of your time going forward!

Time blocking in Asana

Time blocking using Asana can be an effective way to manage your workday. But first, here’s a quick splash into what time blocking is and how it works so you can understand how Asana can help sponsor your time blocking efforts.

First, what is time blocking?

At Clockwise, we’re constantly researching and learning about effective time strategies, and time blocking consistently rises to the top of the list (and for a good reason!) Time blocking is a time management technique where you essentially schedule every part of your day, hour by hour (or by smaller blocks of time if you prefer something like the Pomodoro technique).

One of the best parts about time blocking is that it’s a simple concept, and anyone can use it, no matter your role or industry. All you have to do is assemble your to-do list and decide what you need to work on (your task list) and when you need to do each task (how urgent or not it is). 

You also need to estimate how long each task will take you (and you might want to consider Parkinson’s Law when you do). (Read more about timeboxing and limiting how long you spend on tasks!) Then, you block off time on your calendar for each task. Ta-da! 

Time blocking is a helpful method to reflect, prioritize, and identify your highest priority and most time-sensitive work rather than wasting the work week on less important tasks. It forces us to think critically about our work rather than going through the motions and picking up random tasks that might not drive results and progress.

Reader: Dive into Time blocking 101: Your guide to getting started for more.

Why Asana can help you block your time

If you are already an Asana user (or are considering becoming one), I have good news! Asana is the perfect tool to help you block your time.

Asana’s powerful project management capabilities enable you to create and manage your projects and tasks in one place. Plus, any tasks your teammates assign you in Asana funnel into your “My tasks” list. So, you already have a to-do list you can work with.

Choosing to use Asana tackles the most critical part of time blocking (deciding what you need to do) for you.

Benefits of time-blocking 

Time blocking is a well-loved time management strategy because it works. Blocking your time effectively offers many benefits. For a deeper dive into the benefits of time blocking, read 7 Benefits of Time Blocking. But if you want the TL;DR version, below are some life-changing benefits you can expect. 

Less procrastination and more organization

Blocking your time will allow you to grasp your to-do list, and not just the tasks on it, but how much you can accomplish in a given period. When you have your to-do list under control and centralized, you’ll spend less time wondering where to get started and jump into action. So, instead of waking up and anxiously sitting at your computer contemplating where to begin, you can sit down with your coffee, ready to conquer the first item on your list.

More time for deep work

We aren’t shy about the fact that we’re Cal Newport fans around here. Cal Newport introduced the concept of deep work—creative, focused, deeply human work. Periods of deep work can be hard to come by, especially in meeting-heavy cultures and working environments with burdensome processes, email overload, and other workday distractions. Time blocking creates space for you to do your best, most profound, uninterrupted thinking so you can focus and perform your best to deliver the task at hand. You might even find that more time for deep work help you beat burnout, too.

Less context switching

Context switching is a major buzzkill. Unless you are in the business of saving lives (and if you are, thank you!), nothing is ever truly as urgent as it seems, and bouncing back and forth between tasks and responsibilities only leads to declines in productivity, wasted time, and a diminished attention span. Fortunately, less context switching occurs when you fully take advantage of time blocking. You can structure your time to enable you to do different types of work by batching your tasks (in other words, working on similar tasks at the same time) when it makes the most sense for you and your productivity cycles. 

What’s the easiest way to time block with Asana? 

Technically speaking, you could use your task list in Asana and manually add your tasks to your Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook calendar, but that’s not the easiest or most time-efficient way (and we’re trying to save time, remember!) Manually time blocking can be time-consuming, not to mention you’ll have to work around meetings and other commitments on your calendar, which requires some strategic thinking and planning on your end (or, in other words, uses up more of your valuable brain power).

Instead, you can easily add Asana tasks to your calendar without ever leaving it with Clockwise. It’s super simple to make time to get work done, and you can add Clockwise to Asana for free.

What can the Clockwise Asana integration do for me?

Using the Clockwise + Asana integration is virtually a no-brainer for Asana users. There’s a lot of magic that these tools can bring to your workday planning when you use them together.

Time block with Asana and Clockwise
Schedule your Asana tasks using Clockwise

First, Clockwise is always optimizing your schedule to create Focus Time for completing your to-dos. Focus Time refers to two or more hours of completely uninterrupted work time that allows you to give a project or task your undivided attention. Clockwise not only saves Focus Time on your calendar but also rearranges your schedule to open up more blocks of it so you can block your time more efficiently. You tell Clockwise how much Focus Time you need each week, and it will automatically protect that time on your calendar.

With the tricky part of reserving time on your calendar for your to-dos out of the way, now you can easily add Asana tasks to your Outlook or Google Calendar from Asana. You can schedule your tasks in your Focus Time holds or choose to schedule them outside of Focus Time if you prefer, creating your ideal schedule. Plus, Clockwise can sync your calendar to your Slack status, so you can let your team members know you’re deep in thought during Focus Time!

Add asana task to calendar
Add Asana tasks to your calendar with Clockwise

And it gets even better—Clockwise will also automatically reschedule meetings and time blocks when you have conflicts. So, if you need time to wrap up the presentation that you haven’t gotten around to yet and add it from Asana to your calendar at the same time as an upcoming one-on-one meeting, Clockwise can take care of it for you. When you use flexible meetings, Clockwise can address conflicts as they arise so you don’t have to.

Get the Clockwise + Asana integration

Are you ready to try it for yourself? Setting up the Clockwise + Asana integration only takes a few clicks. You must be a Google Calendar or Outlook user (business accounts only). As long as that’s true for you, follow these steps to set up the integration:

1. Log in to your Asana account. 

Navigate to Asana and find the Asana project you want to enable the Clockwise integration for. Or, use the left-hand navigation panel to find the “My tasks” list, as you can enable the integration there if you prefer. Once you have the project you’re looking for or the “My tasks” list open, click “Customize” in the top right.

2. Add the Clockwise app! 

Select the “+Add App” button in the menu to explore the app marketplace. Search for Clockwise. (You may need to authorize the app if your organization has not already authorized the app in your domain.) If you don’t need to authorize the app, click the “Add to project” button, and the Clockwise app will automatically get added to your list of apps. 

3. Time to time block! 

Navigate to the project you added the integration to in Asana. Now, you should see Clockwise listed in your task options. It’s ready to use! 

Scheduling tasks in Asana via Clockwise

With Clockwise in your task options in Asana, you can now click “Schedule a task on the calendar (via Clockwise)” and enter your task details in the pop-up window. You will add: 

  • An event name (make it easy for you to remember this task!) 
  • How long do you need to reserve for the task 
  • When you want this task added to your calendar (e.g., within two weeks) 
  • Whether you want to schedule the task in your Focus Time or any time, followed by suggestions based on your current availability 
  • If the task is flexible (meaning Clockwise can resolve conflicts and move it) 
  • If you want the task to be public or not 

Schedule asana tasks
Add task details to your Google or Outlook calendar via Clockwise from Asana

Going forward 

Time blocking is a simple yet incredibly effective work management technique for beating procrastination, reducing painful context switching, and reserving more time for deep work. Manual time blocking, while helpful, can be too time-consuming and daunting. For Asana lovers, the Clockwise + Asana integration is your go-to tool for seamlessly transferring your Asana to-dos to your calendar. Sign up for Clockwise today and become a time blocking pro in no time!

Additional reading

About the author

Alyssa Towns

Alyssa Towns has written productivity and time management content for Clockwise for several years. Early in her career, she dove into time management strategies to effectively manage her workday calendar and 10+ C-Suite officers' calendars across various organizations. She uses her training in change management to write time management, the future of work, and career content that helps people change their behaviors and habits. In addition, she writes about artificial intelligence (AI) and other technology for G2's Learn Hub. When she isn't writing, Alyssa enjoys trying new restaurants with her husband, playing with her Bengal cats, adventuring outdoors, or reading a book from her TBR list.

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