On Sundays, I schedule a block of time to complete my planning for the entire week ahead. I make audacious plans and try to stuff 20 pounds of potatoes in a five-pound sack. Sleeping is overrated, bathroom breaks are an inconvenience, and eating is optional. Aren’t they? Every project on my list should only take a couple of minutes. Right? Oh, how very wrong. I know the trap of this misconception going into my planning session. I expect projects will require extra, unforeseen work, and I allow for my over-optimistic projections.
My first task is scheduling the non-negotiables. The dreaded 9-5 work hours, meetings, solid, unmovable deadlines, and self-imposed promises sort into this category. On days heavy with meetings and lots of interruptions, I put on my manager’s hat. I try to load these days with meetings, errands, check-in phone calls, and other short-burst administrative-type activities. If I must work in hourly task-changing mode, I pile it on and get as many of those annoying requirements handled as possible.
Where I have large blocks of uninterrupted time is when I put on my creator’s hat. These days I schedule tasks that demand deep concentration, require attention to detail, and kicking my critical mind to the curb, so I can allow my creative side to take over. Knowing I can focus and ignore the clock frees me and lets me find my project’s flow state.
Since I began scheduling my weeks, my productivity has soared, and the number of tasks I complete during the week has left me speechless. The main factor in effecting the changes lies in taking control. Grouping like tasks together and creating uninterrupted chunks of hours for time-intensive activities has made an enormous difference.
Do you schedule your week’s activities?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer