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194 How to Schedule Productivity

Hey, this is Anne with your Coaching on the Go.

When I’m looking at my schedule, the first thing I do is actually look at the schedule and look at how I have been allotting time. 

Does your schedule look fun to you? 

Does it look enjoyable, or does it look exhausting? 

When I started looking at my schedule earlier this year, my calendar, I started seeing how it looked chaotic and exhausting.

Every so often I go back into my schedule and my calendar and I look at what could make it more optimal for me – visually, how it feels, how it looks, what it contains. 

How could all of these elements work together in my favor to make me more productive and happier? 

So I looked at the calendar and I did some simple things, like when you look at the book, The Practical Magic of the Five Hour Workday, and when you study how people learn, you discover that blocking out 8 hours for work, or 4 hours in the morning with a half hour lunch and 4 hours in the afternoon, is not productive for a human being.

In fact, when you start talking to people who are highly successful, they do not work many hours per day. 

So I really began to look at that.

When I was a teacher, I knew that in a 90 minute block of time, the first 15 minutes of every hour were the best time to disseminate new knowledge, that’s when people were paying attention.

It’s said that a person can’t work very productively for more than 2 hours at a time without some sort of a break. 

So knowing that, I structure my calendar, without feeling guilty, to have blocks of time for work and blocks of time where I’m not doing specific work, I’m doing other things that I’m free to do.

So if you look at my calendar today, it looks like this: 

I wake up in the morning at 5:00 or 6:00. 

I meditate, I visualize, I write things down. 

I go to the gym or go outside, and I work out for an hour or so. 

I come back, I wash up, I eat. 

The first 3 hours of my day are structured so that I have time to listen, to wake up, to create a momentum.

There is not work in those first 3 hours.

I hit the scene of work at 9:00. 

From 9:00 to 11:00, I have a block of time that I work.

From 11:00 until 1:00, I have lunch, I have a walk, I have a nap. 

Whatever it is that I want to be doing, it’s downtime.

From 1:00 until 3:00, I’m back on. 

Then I have an hour of downtime.

Then I work another hour in the evening, any time I wish, but it’s several hours before bed I stop working. 

So this is an example of my most consistent calendar. 

Now, if you’re working for somebody else or you’re working on a schedule where you’ve got other people working with you, you feel like you can’t control that schedule, what can you do after 2 hours to get a break?

What can you do? 

Get up and walk around. 

What can you do to get yourself up, to give yourself a short break and to get back to work so you can be productive? 

These are your challenges. 

When you work for yourself, there’s a lot of benefits to it. 

One of the benefits is you get to set up your schedule.

So sometimes when it’s really nice outside – it’s not nice the whole year round where I live – I give myself a chunk of time in the afternoon to be outside, and then I do more work in the evening. 

I might do a two hour block in the evening, or 2 hours in the late afternoon and two more in the early evening, and maybe start out in the morning with an hour or two and give myself 4 hours in the middle of the day to really enjoy the day.

And then on top of it, I take that calendar and I make it beautiful. 

I’m a visual person. 

I don’t know how you operate, but when I look at the calendar, I want to look at beautiful colors. 

I want to look at a calendar that makes me feel good when I look at it, where I feel like I can breathe when I’m looking at it.

So today’s coaching is just around looking at how you are utilizing time right now, and using the understandings of productivity to give yourself time without guilt during the middle of the day, and in between work sessions, so that you are able to pick up the hunches and get back to work productively, and that you’re giving yourself a break.

The time that you take to just be, and sometimes while you’re doing dishes or you’re cleaning up something, you’ll get great ideas because that part of your brain is relaxed and you’re just doing a task. 

You’ll pick up something really important during that time. 

So even if you’re at work, what kind of tasks could you do that are shifting you?

Maybe you’re tidying things up, maybe you’re cleaning things up.

At the place where I used to work, at the place where I used to consult, there was a kitchen area and I would take some time to tidy some things up or prepare something for the group, and it would give me some mental downtime. 

So how can you look after balance in your day?

Your assignment today, your homework today is to look at your calendar, make sure that you’ve got blocks of time on and off of work, on and off of open time for relaxing, and that you’re treating all those times with equal value. 

I am super efficient right now and I hardly work many hours per day. 

I’m relaxed, I’m happy, and things come to me that make me very efficient, that didn’t come to me when I was grinding it out for an eight hour day. 

So assess your calendar today and throw me an email if you want some support there, or you want to share it with me in a picture. 

Have a beautiful day.