Purposeful Scheduling- A guide to productivity!

1st things 1st… If you take anything from this, you MUST schedule your day to win it. There are COUNTLESS (and I mean countless) books, articles, blogs, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. The list goes on and on and on. Why? Because so many people have issues with time management. BTW, that is not my picture and not what my desk looks like AT ALL! But I do have several notebooks, computer, calendar, folders and LOTS OF COFFEE!

How does this sound: You wake up in just enough time to get to work (I know, I do it too sometimes!) Stop by a drive-through to grab a coffee and a bite to eat, get to your desk 5 minutes late, check your calendar (you do have a calendar, right?), check your email, have two useless meetings you accepted without looking at an agenda, and then go to lunch. You spend an hour at lunch flipping through Instagram¬†only to be 5 minutes late back from lunch. Then you check your calendar (please tell me you have one), check your email, have another useless call or meeting without an agenda and then it’s time to go home. You (hopefully) go to the gym without a fitness goal and waste your time with more flipping through social media and then go home. You probably pick up something unhealthy on the way home, sit down in front of the TV and watch the same old shows you’ve seen on Netflix (read: more social media time because who actually watches the TV these days) until you go to bed. The alarm goes off, rinse and repeat.

Fairly close? Yea, I know. I’ve done that too. Hell, I still do it sometimes. But the only way to get out of that rut is to make your own schedule. You can schedule your day a myriad of ways, but let’s start with looking at some basic facts about a work week.

  • There are 24 hours in a day. Below you’ll find one way to split this time up. This doesn’t include weekends, which are free to work on everything!
    • Sleep 8 hours– I am a big proponent of getting enough sleep. My thought is that if I am pushing myself as hard as possible during the day, I need the recovery at night. Recovery is without a doubt imperative to peak performance. LISTEN TO THIS or at least read the notes!!! INSANE!
    • Work for 8 hours– This is your standard work day. But instead of what it looks like above, be focused, time-oriented with no BS meetings and calls clogging up your day.
    • Self-Improvement for 2 hours– Reading, writing, taking online classes, meditating, journaling, reviewing goals, calling friends/family to strengthen relationships, charity work, etc. etc.
    • Rest for 2 hours– To get the most out of your brain, you’ve got to give it rest periods throughout the day. I like to work for 50 minutes on and 10 minutes off. Numerous studies show this pattern of intense focus followed by a short break increases your performance massively. During this short break, you need to really break. Meditate, take a nap, go for a walk outdoors. Studies even show that going on autopilot and flipping through SM is a good way to give your brain a break. Read more on the Pomodore Method or the 52/17 Rule.
    • Eat for 2 hours– Breakfast- 30 min, Lunch- 30 min, Snack- 30 min, Dinner 30 minutes.
    • Work out for 2 hours– For me, Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu is about a 2-hour class. So that’s why I put it here. I don’t do this every day, and you don’t need to work out for 2 hours every day to stay in shape. The rest of the time can be spent on other items such as work, self-improvement, etc.
  • There are 7 days in a week:
    • Weekdays– follow something similar above for your weekdays. This works for me, but may not work for you. Make a schedule that does work for you.
    • Saturdays– schedule those long runs or bike rides, get out with friends, go on a hike, go have some drinks, whatever you like to do in your spare time.
    • Sundays– work on your faith, however you want and whatever that may be. Take the rest of your time to plan your week, review your previous week and make sure you are always on track with your goals. REST
  • What not to do:
    • Watch useless TV (But I LOVE CHOPPED!)
    • Spend time on activities that aren’t making you better
    • Unnecessary phone calls and meetings
    • Saying “Yes” to things that don’t move you closer to your goals
    • Procrastinating your big To-Do items. Do these things first thing in the morning. It will make your day so much easier!

So now that we’ve got some basic ground rules, let’s look at a possible schedule that may work for you!

  • 6:00 am – wake up
  • 6:00-6:30- morning ritual (more about that coming in another post) including review schedule, shower, stretch, etc.
  • 6:30-7:00 Breakfast
  • 7:00-7:30 Walk the dog, read the news, catch up on SM (this is important to my businesses)
  • 7:30-11:30 – 1st work block. Alternate b/w work and rest. During rest breaks take a walk, check social media, journal, meditate, sit there.. whatever you want.
  • 11:30-12:30- Lunch and learn- eat and spend some time listening to a podcast, watching youtube, reading articles, etc.
  • 12:30-5:00- 2nd work block. Same as above, 50 minutes on, 10 minutes off.
  • 5:00-5:30- Account for the day, see what was accomplished, what wasn’t and make a plan for work the next day. THIS IS A CRITIAL STEP!
  • 5:30-6:30- Physical Fitness- GET AFTER IT!
  • 6:30-7:30- Dinner- EAT HEALTHY and CLEAN, WHOLE foods.
  • 7:30-8:30- Spend meaningful time with your spouse, significant other, or friend.
  • 8:30-9:30- Get yourself prepared for the next day- chores around the house, meal prep for the next day, wash and fold clothes (this is where you can sneak in the TV TIME!), etc.
  • 9:30-10:30- Read an hour then Lights OUT!

I know what you’re thinking… this is insane. I have to schedule out every hour of my day? Well, some of the most successful people have their schedules down to the minute! Check out a day in the life of Richard Brandon here. That doesn’t have to be you though. Simply find something that works for your schedule and stick to it. At the end of the week, see what worked, what didn’t, and most importantly, where you can shave off some additional time.

At the end of a month, see how much better you are performing, reevaluate your next months goals and schedule and GET AFTER IT!

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