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Time calculation, locking blocks and resolving timing issues in your session
Time calculation, locking blocks and resolving timing issues in your session

Edit the timing and duration of blocks in your session, and learn how to lock the starting time of a block

Andy avatar
Written by Andy
Updated this week

Ensuring that your session runs on time is a key part of effective facilitation. You can set and lock the starting time of your blocks in your session, as well as show the block’s duration in minutes - helping to make staying on schedule easy!

Block duration

Each block you create in your agenda has its own duration that you can adjust. Whenever you change the duration of a block in your session, the overall length of your session will be automatically recalculated. No more manually adjusting every single stage of the agenda as you adjust and design your session!

To adjust the timing, click on the left-hand side of your block and either add or remove minutes with the plus and minus icons or manually input the duration.

Lock the starting time of any block

By clicking on the block’s time on the top left of any block, you can adjust the starting time of each block.

If you’d like to set a fix starting time for any of your blocks (e.g. for the first block of the session, or for a lunch break), then you can lock the starting time for any of your session blocks by clicking on the lock icon next to the block’s starting time. To unlock the block’s starting time, re-click on the lock icon.

Adding a time lock to blocks is also a great way to get a visual indication of how much time you have left to work with until a break, or how much time you have left from your session. Try creating a block with a 0-minute duration and locking its start time to when your session needs to end. This way you’ll have an indicator of how much time you have left to use and can play what you’ll add or take away effectively.

The start time of your session blocks are displayed in a 24-hour time format by default, but you can change it to 12-hour format in your account settings.

Warning indicators for timing issues

When you lock the start time of a block in the Session Planner, it may create instances of unused time between blocks, or overlapping blocks.

Unused time between blocks

When you lock the starting time of a block, you may find a situation where gaps have been created in your agenda as the blocks you’ve added before a time-locked block do not fill all the available time. This is shown by a grey triangle next to the overall session time, as well as a vertical arrow between your blocks indicating a timing gap.

In the below example, you can see there is 5 minutes of unused time between the end of the ‘Break the Ice’ block (which finishes at 09:40) and the beginning of the next block which is locked to begin at 09:45.

If you want to remove the unused time, you could either expand the ‘Break the Ice’ block to fill the gap, add in another activity, or remove the time lock from the following block.

Overlapping blocks

If one of the blocks in your session has a time lock, and the block before it has a duration which is too long for the available time, then you will see a red triangle appear next to the overall session time as well as on the block which has a duration which is too long.

In the below example, you can see that the Remote sailboat activity is locked to begin at 9.45, but the block before it, which begins at 9.30 has a duration of 15 minutes which is too long for the available time.

In other words, your scheduled activities will not fit, so you would need to resolve the over-scheduling issue.

To remove the overlapping time, you can either reduce the time of the block which is before the time-locked block, or remove the time lock on the relevant block.

How can I set a fixed duration for my session?

To design your agenda within a specific time limit, you can create a time-locked block at the end of your session. You'll be able to plan your session keeping the 'unused time between blocks' notification as a guide to how how much time remains in your allotted plan.

This video will give some more information and examples on how to achieve this:

Time locking to different calendar days

When you put a time lock on a block, it always treats the block as being on the same calendar day as the starting block of your session. So if your schedule is flows over midnight, and then you add another time lock, you will get a warning about the time overlap issue.

Time-locking blocks within the same session to different calendar days is currently not supported, therefore you would need to remove the time-lock on the block that flows over midnight. Then the schedule will allow you to go over to the next calendar day.

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