Thursday, January 17, 2013

How I Schedule Productivity

Work expands to fill the time available.

Ever notice that?

If you have very little to do, it'll take you forever to it done. If you have too much to do, you can get overwhelmed, and then nothing gets done.

And then there are the schedules that are perfectly reasonable…except you get influenza for two weeks right when you have a minor family emergency that interferes with the time available for recovery naps right when you need those naps most…

This is why I make tiered schedules. I find I get more done, this way.

What do I mean by that?

Every week, I create four schedules, as follows.

Alpha schedule: What *must* get done.

Beta schedule: What I *intend* to get done.

Gamma schedule: What I *would like* get done.

Delta schedule: What I *could theoretically* to get done.

Once I have all those schedules figured out—takes ten minutes tops, and that's on Monday, when I'm planning the week—I ignore the alpha schedule.

Unless I hit a life roll—as in the aforementioned influenza + minor family emergency. In that case, I focus on knocking the items on the alpha schedule out of the way. That's what the alpha schedule is for: to direct me in what to do on those days and weeks that sabotage my intentions. Figuring out that schedule ahead of the emergency really helps eliminate the panic and stress levels, which helps the health. ^_^

Otherwise, which schedule I focus on—beta or gamma—depends on my health and commitments in a week.

And the delta schedule gives me things to do on those weeks I'm really productive and get everything done early.

But whichever schedule I focus on determines how much I get done in a week. So if I get stuck thinking about the alpha schedule…that's all that gets done.

Ergo, why I find it best to ignore that.

Do you have any scheduling tricks to share?


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