This is no profound realization, but then again, most things we need to remember most aren’t.
The most effective action I can take for increasing my productivity on any given day is to write a schedule the day before.
I’ve kept to-do lists, but the problem is the tasks on the list take longer than they should. I’ve tried scheduling open time without a specific task attached to it, like saying I’ll simply “edit” footage for 2 hours, but the problem is that this is ambiguous and I loaf around or sneak in unimportant things.
But when I assign a task to a time a day in advance, my productivity skyrockets.
This actually does several things:
- It removes dead space. – Especially the time spent scratching my head and trying to prioritize what to do next. This should done as little as possible during the day.
- It holds me accountable. – Time is precious and shouldn’t be wasted. Most tasks don’t take nearly as long as we estimate if we focus all our attention on them. It’s best if the amount of time you allot is just short enough to make you uncomfortable.
- It creates momentum. – When my whole day is written out in advance, I realize the costliness of procrastination. If I don’t do task A at 10:00 for 30 minutes like I planned, I won’t have time for task C at 2:30, which I really want to do. The chain will be broken if I don’t keep the schedule. This is motivating.
- It gives a sense of accomplishment. – Few things in the world feel better than knowing I used a day to its full potential without chaos, scatteredness, or procrastination.
It’s so simple. This is nothing you don’t already know. But do you do it?
Think of how many times you’ve been handed a schedule made by someone else for you to follow. Now think of how many times you’ve done this for yourself.
Try it today! (Sounds like an infomercial.)