Theme Your Time Using A Weekly Planner
This is about Focus and Structure.
In this lesson you'll discover 7 productivity strategies you can use this week to create time for doing the things that matter most to you.
Every minute counts when you're doing something that matters to you.
Unfortunately, you run out of time.
So how can you create more time?
What secrets are being hidden from you on how to make the days longer?
Truth be told, there are no hidden secrets.
You have 168 hours to work with every 7 days.
You already know this!
What you may not is how to arrange your activities to maximize your 168 hours.
And in doing so, create time for doing what matters most to you.
Your arrangement of activities is key. Using a weekly planner and themed workflow will allow you to maximize time available. The is super important when you have a busy life and schedule.
- Begin your productivity week on Saturday.
- Agree to allocate your time in 15-minute blocks.
- Start each 15-minute block with a clear and definite outcome in mind.
- Do research and brainstorming before the 15-minute block.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique to minimize distractions and keep the definite outcome in front of you.
- Follow the 90-45 Time Allocation Rule.
- Structure each day around a specific activity or theme and take ACTION.
Begin your productivity week on Saturday
Beginning your productivity week on Saturday is a powerful momentum builder, especially if you are not scheduled to work. In lean manufacturing, there is productivity term called setup reduction.
For every manufacturing job, there are workers, raw materials, machines and deadlines. Before the machine can do its part, it has to be setup or configured (by the worker) for the result it needs to create. By scheduling like jobs back-to-back, manufacturers can reduce setup time, improve workflow and deliver on or before the deadline.
By thinking like a lean manufacturer, you can start doing things together which keep you focused and in your flow.
- If you're planning, then plan. Don't also try to implement.
- If you're assembling, then assemble. Don't also try to make improvements.
- If you're brainstorming, then brainstorm. Don't also try to determine the best solution.
Each process requires something different from you and when you mix certain activities together, the result is conflict, stress or waste resources.
By combining the setup reduction technique with the large block of time you have on Saturday, you can make significant progress towards creating your desired outcome on or before Friday.
Agree to allocate your time in 15-minute blocks
15-minute time blocks are short enough for you to stay focused, yet long enough to complete a small task. If you need longer, just add another 15-minute block.
This approach is different from...
- Start working.
- Stop when you're finished.
Working this way opens the door to neglect and disappointment.
15-minute blocks allow you to advance gradually, while also satisfying other responsibilities like parenting, maintaining your home and serving your spouse.
You can download our 15-minute Power Blocks templates:
- The 7DS Week (Saturday to Friday)
- The Standard Week (Sunday to Saturday)
In addition, each file has an AM start time (for those who work days) and a PM start time (for those who work nights).
Start each 15-minute block with a clear and definite outcome in mind
The 15-minute block is about immediate action. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve when you show ready to perform, with a specific and clear outcome in mind.
Do research and brainstorming before the 15-minute block
Research and brainstorming are part of getting ready to perform. Nearly everyone has a cell and internet access. As you discover the tools we'll share and learn to use them, you'll begin to capitalize on commutes, breaks and periods of time which involve waiting for other processes to complete.
Use the Pomodoro Technique to minimize distractions and keep the definite outcome in front of you
The Pomodoro Technique is simply a block of uninterrupted and defined workflow, followed by a break. We recommend using a phone app so that the tool is always available. Work intensely for 30 minutes at a time, then break for 15 minutes before starting again.
Follow the 90-45 Time Allocation Rule
Allocate at least 90 minutes (15-minute block x 6) for Saturday. Again, Saturday is about establishing momentum for the rest of your productivity week. The more time that you can allocate on Saturday, the further you can advance toward achieving your goal on or before Friday.
Allocate at least 45 minutes (15-minute block x 3) per day for the remaining 6 days. The remaining days (Sunday to Friday) require you to consider other activities such as getting the children ready for school or daycare, preparing meals, going to church, driving to work, grocery shopping and a host of other things.
We recommend a 'do it first' strategy.
- Know what time of day your mind is sharpest and most creative.
- Schedule your 15-time blocks during this period of day.
- Do it before you have to handle other responsibilities.
Author Daniel Pink has written a book titled When: Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing where he discusses two dominant “types” of internal clocks -- Morning People and Night People.
He proposes that WHEN you act is just as important as WHAT you do.
Structure each day around a specific activity or theme and take ACTION
We use a themed workflow process called The C.O.N.T.R.O.L. Sequence.
It's a weekly planner tool designed to give you back control over how you experience life, today and in the future.
By using The C.O.N.T.R.O.L. Sequence to frame and guide your daily agenda, you can systematically reposition yourself to gain dominion in 6 critical areas of your life:
- How you use TIME.
- How you nurture RELATIONSHIPS.
- How you establish and develop the right HABITS.
- How you protect and share MENTAL ENERGY.
- How you care for, feed and strengthen yourself PHYSICALLY.
- How you make, use and grow MONEY.
The C.O.N.T.R.O.L. Sequence frames and then guides you in manufacturing or producing something helpful, relevant and marketable every 7 days - which is essentially, your solution to the problems of the people whom you serve at HOME, at WORK and in your CHURCH.
We use this framework to regularly publish new content and create new products. Each day is facilitated by a worksheet which guides your core activities and collectively leads to the Friday Launch.
For more information about how you can start using The C.O.N.T.R.O.L. Sequence, click here.