- 1 What is Fixed-Schedule Productivity?
- 2 Why time is so valuable and what you need to be willing to do to protect it
- 3 How to Start Applying this Productivity Method:
- 4 Performing important task in a consistent manner will assure you consistent results. Investing your time on something new will assure you extra success.
What is Fixed-Schedule Productivity?
Some people don’t like the idea of a fixed schedule productivity style because they like to be spontaneous. However, if you understand how to apply it you will see that not only you will get more things done but you will also feel more secure and happy.
Fixed-Schedule Productivity means focusing at one thing at a time by dividing your time between working and leisure activities and never multitasking. The fixed schedule productivity helps you focus on only a few things which are really important in life. This means also eliminating all the things which are not important in your life.
This is what the fixed schedule productivity means. Do you think it is worthy to incorporate it into your life?
I don’t know what you think about this system but I find it very natural and very rewarding to apply it. I like to identify the task which have to be done in a reoccurring basis and mark this on my calendar, I use Google calendar for this, it has an option which allows you to determine how often you want a task to get repeated on your calendar. And for example if you have set a task to be done every month it will appear on your calendar every month.
This is a great strategy to help you keep steady results by making sure you are performing a specific set of tasks every day, month, week, year, so achieving a certain level of standards during each period.
After you will start using this method you will see that that the time that you spend doing nothing or you are not sure what to do will decrease dramatically. When you have a calendar full of tasks which repeat every month, week or so, at every time of the day you will know what to do.
In my opinion, one should schedule the free time too, and during this free time you cannot do work related activities. Focused uninterrupted free time helps you be more calm and have a clear state of mind in the long run.
In fact, time-wasting activities done on a schedule make you feel better about yourself. Everyone has a habit to do some of those time-wasting activities, for example, I like to watch reality shows, some other people like paying games, this activities are a necessary evil, you need a quantity of them in order to feel good. And if you do them on a schedule you will feel good about yourself afterwards.
Below I will show you how I apply the Fixed-Schedule Productivity.
But before you try to apply it, you need to understand something:
Why time is so valuable and what you need to be willing to do to protect it
- You need to understand that you only have a limited amount of time in your life, in your year, in your month, in your day, so you need to dedicate it to activities which really matter.
- You need to strictly follow your schedule and not let others get in the way of it, even if in your schedule might be activities like napping, free time. You need to protect your free time too, doing those free time activities will give you motivation for the future activities.
- You have to be willing to do less, to give up some activities of less importance.
- You have to let go of the pressure from family and friends to engage in some activities which “are not on your agenda”.
- You have to accept that nothing big will happen if you retreat for some time and isolate yourself to do some things which are important for you. In fact, people may value more your presence if you sometimes become unavailable.
- You have to say yes only to the things which are really important for you. Protect your time, but be nice with other people and try to find an acceptable excuse when they ask “why”. Even though sometimes it might be better to just be sincere and show how important your time is for you. Always have a goal on your mind and exclude everything which does not include it.
How to Start Applying this Productivity Method:
- Think about the activities that you did during your last week and write in a calendar as much as you can remember how you spend every hour of the days. What time did you wake up? What were the things that you did? With whom you spend your time? How much time did you spend on each activity? What are the things that you did on your free time? How did you manage to relax and recover from one day to another? How much time did you spend on your job related activities or on your business related activities? You can also take a week as a test and write on a calendar exactly how you spend your time.
- Now organize your time for your next days like this:
- the things that your did during the first 2.5 hours of the day plan to do them every day, they are the most important activities
- the things that you did during the next 2.5 hours of the day, plan to do them every week
- the things that you did during the next 2.5 hours plan to do them every month
- the things which you did the next 2.5 hours plan to do them every year
- and then there are a couple of hours left on your day as your free time and dinner
- Plan every half an hour of your day, with a specific activity. Focus 25 minutes on the activity and then take a 5 minute break.
- Decide on a time in which you will go to bed every night and respect that decision (for me it is 11pm) and the same goes for the time in which you want to wake up (for me it is 7am). However, if you have the bad habit of going to bed late and waking up late you can change this with time and this will require extra effort.
- Dedicate your time in the evenings for your loved ones and leisure activities. Once in a while you might use this time for creative activities too, like writing a blog post. But you need to regularly dedicate time to your family and especially your partner otherwise a relationship can die or worsen.
- By trying to remember how you would spend your time during different periods of the year, identify some hobbies or activities that you would like to do on your free time. Dedicate your evening hours to these activities. The activities that I personally like to do on my free time are: watching reality shows, eating special foods, writing my blog, napping and listening to audiobooks and so much more and I plan plenty of my time to dedicate to them. I tend to plan my free time different during different periods of the year, I feel like there are some activities which are more adaptable to be done on certain periods of the year compared to others and just my habits are aligned that way.
- Add the times for the meals on your daily schedule. I have noticed that this particular thing also can help you not to gain weight because you have to eat only for example the lunch time and not before and not eat again after.
- My favorite step: When you have an activity scheduled on your agenda, divide that activity into even smaller chugs of time in order to increase motivation. For example, if your task is reading a book, you could decide that it would take you 5 minutes to read a page of that book so you just have to do the same thing several and this will make the task seem less tiring and keep your motivated by focusing only on the present moment. You have to focus only on doing that small chug of work on the best possible way, focus ONLY on that. And when that small chug of time finishes, you have to stop immediately and start focusing on the next. I feel like this is my secret weapon for motivating myself. You can achieve high amounts of success by focusing on the moment, if you feel like something is not on the right place, just let it be.
- For every activity that you perform on a regular basis, try to break it down into smaller chugs and define them, write what you need to achieve during these times when you plan your day. Don’t set these objectives with intuition because you might be wrong about how much time it takes to perform certain activities and put unnecessary pressure to yourself, but set them based on experience. I tend to set small objectives for 2-3 minutes, I think that this is the perfect amount for time for very small objectives. If you have a goal for your next 2-3 minutes it means that you must act now to make it happen.
- Think about the different kinds of tasks that you do and group different activities into similar ones. Always try to find ways to make things more efficient. Sometimes, a difficult situation, a new one when something comes in the way of you achieving a specific goal may force you to try new and more efficient ways to do things.
- Assign different kinds of tasks to different days of the week. During the first 2.5 hours of the day you do the same things every day, but during the second 2.5 hours you do activities which get repeated every week, so you can focus on a specific type of activity each day of the week.
- Create an income management plan related to your time management plan. See your weekly tasks as a way to make your daily tasks easier during your your next week, see them as an investment, and see your monthly tasks as a way to make your weekly tasks easier and more productive the next month and so on.
Using a fixed schedule productivity system will help you get more things done and achieve more. Since I have combined it with my concept of dividing my day into sections in which I have to do daily, weekly, monthly and yearly tasks during each of them, I am seeing a strong motivation and I am achieving more results with less effort.
Performing important task in a consistent manner will assure you consistent results. Investing your time on something new will assure you extra success.
There are two people who have inspired me a lot to adapt a fixed schedule productivity:
I write a lot about productivity methods but the fixed schedule productivity along with the Pomodoro Technique are my favorite productivity methods. Just try this method and then decide if it is for you.
And if you like, share your results in the comments section.