Writing has become my main hobby and fills my work week.
Having a structure to my week and days is critical
I love writing, writing about business, non-profit organisations, communities, health and advisors is my full-time job. Without a structure in my work week and daily activities, I believe my productivity will slip dramatically and my focus on thought leadership would diminish.
There are obviously interruptions all the time, but by scheduling each day’s activities and focusing on particular topics, it allows me to stay focused as well as accommodate other activities and interruptions in my life.
How I structure the week around the topics I am interested in
I believe that one of the best ways to become more productive does not require any great skill or intelligence, but rather the discipline to become a master of your work routines.
The following is the weekly routine I have been following for the last six years. A routine that helps me to produce a level of output in my writing that defies disruptions and other excuses.
- Monday – Marketing and social media.
- Tuesday – Relationships, business, non-profits, communities and
- Wednesday – Management, operations, and finance.
- Thursday – Planning, product development, innovation.
- Friday – Health and well-being, lifestyle, technology.
- Saturday – Projects, personal,
- Sunday – Free-for-all and time for thinking and reflecting.
No longer do I have the problem of getting started, my writing just seems to flow the minute I sit down at my computer. I believe I have created an environment and the right routines to maximise my output while doing the things I like doing.
“If you had problems sleeping last night, then that’s a good sign you need to start doing organising your time differently”. Peter Sergeant
How I organise my day
I enjoy an early start to the day as there are no disruptions, and I find the hours between 5.00 am and 8.30 am are my most productive. I don’t have to wait for ideal conditions, I already have them.
- 30 am to 5 am – Rise and shine, feed the dog.
- 00 am to 8.30 am – Work
- 8.30 am to 9-00am – Breakfast
- 00 am to 12 pm – Work
- 00 pm to 1 pm – Lunch
- 1 pm to 5.30 pm – Work.
- 30. pm – Drop dead time.
- 00 pm to 4.30 pm – Sleep
Everything else I want to do including hobbies, I fit in as required and if I miss a topic it has to wait until the next week. This routine allows me to have flexibility for both business and private activities and basically have a very organised approach to getting things done.
Should I feel like a break, I take it, there is no good ‘flogging a dead horse’. If inspiration won’t come I stop and visit a nice place in our garden or elsewhere and just relax, think and reflect on what is going on and needs to be done.
I keep to this routine every day without variation simply because I believe that it is the repetition that becomes the important key to productivity.
While it may take you time to develop the routines best suited to the way you want to work, it will be well worth it in the long run. Some might say a tight routine like mine will not be conducive to creativity and innovation. Well, I find the routines I have set intensifies my creativity and gives me insight into becoming a better thought leader.
What are the things that help me to do this?
- A supportive family.
- A home based business.
- A good contact, task and project management systems.
- No having to commute. What a stress relief and time saver.
- Established routines I like to guide me.
- Good habits and discipline come with practice.
A word on handling emails
Handling emails have become a big chore each day, but it has to be done. It is important to handle emails well as most of them will be from customers or will contain information I have been seeking.
I find any sloppiness in this area only leads to problems, frustrations and stress that I don’t need or want. So developing a system is of utmost importance, to you and your stakeholders.
Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google, has two acronyms he follows religiously for managing and sending emails – O.H.I.O. and L.I.F.O.
O.H.I.O. stands for Only Hold It Once. That means if you see an email that takes less than two minutes to respond to, respond immediately.
L.I.F.O. stands for Last In First Out. That means handling newer emails first. He says this works because then the older stuff gets taken care of by someone else.
[read more=”Personal Experience” less=”Personal Experience”]
There is no perfect way to organise your work week. All the best businesses and non-profit organisations all have different ways of organising their work week. Some do it really well, others don’t.
When you allow bad habits to take over, they can impede your productivity significantly. Bad habits are insidious, they creep up on you slowly until you don’t even notice the damage they are inflicting.
We all have our own unique way of organising what we have to do, the important thing is that it works best for you, so that your bad habits are at least minimised by your routine.