I am glad you are being inspired by my progress. Unfortunately, I think Sean would throw a brick at me if he knew how much time I waste. I have been lax on my system, but you have reminded me to practice it more strictly.
Sean has you started in the right direction. I use Google Calendar rather than a spread sheet. But the spread sheet definitely has its advantage. I use Google calendar to schedule specific things, and then I create “blocks” of time for more fluid or short tasks.
Create a major task list, commonly called “to-do” list of everything you need to get done. Quickly sort it into priority order. You use a spread sheet, so that should be easy to do. List the tasks in one column, the priority in another and sort on priority. Also, create categories for your tasks. For example, yard work, house work, and IMB. Don’t waste too much time on this. This list is fluid and will constantly be changing. Plan to spend no more than 50 minutes creating the list and 10 minutes adding priorities. Sort the list by category and then priority.
Schedule Phase I
Schedule fixed periods such as work at job, Dr appointments, and family time. Then, block off times for each day for each category of task. Times can be in 1 hour or 1/2 hour blocks. For example, schedule 2 hours for IMB, (2-1 hour blocks or 4-1/2 hour blocks. Try to keep one hour per category minimum, even if you divide it into 1/2 hour blocks. It’s proven better for efficiency.) Do this for each category.
Make adjustments for special categories. For example, you prefer to do all your outdoor chores on Saturday, then, only block them out on Saturday. Make adaptations to your liking, personality and lifestyle.
Schedule Phase II
Sometimes I do this in the evening, but mostly, I do it first thing in the morning.
Schedule your specific tasks into the appropriate time block for ONE, and only one, work day. Your priority is writing articles. So, replace the category blocks for “writing” with “write 5 web articles”, the top priority item in that category.
Do this for each category.
At the end of the day, schedule a “debrief”. Use this time to update your task list, and maybe your schedule. You might want to write a journal entry about how you did for the day.
During the day, as you work on a task in a time block, if you complete the task, start on the next one for that category. If you have 2 hours blocked off for “Write 5 articles” and you finish them within the 1st hour time block, then, start the next priority item under the Writing category, write emails, for example, and replace the rest of the “write 5 articles” blocks with “write 5 emails”.
If you prefer, you might move on to the next category. Rinse and repeat all day.
At the end of the day, update your prioritized task list. This list is ever evolving. You’ll delete the items you complete, add items you discovered and delete items you realize you really don’t need to do. Maybe you’ll start making enough money to hire the kid next door to cut your grass.
A few important notes:
NEVER READ EMAIL OR GO TO FACEBOOK BEFORE STARTING TASKS! Only schedule emails and Facebook, etc. to be done after you have completed your tasks and before an extended break such as lunch or supper where you do something non-related.
Performing tasks that generate reactive response sets your mind into a reactive state. Your best productivity will come from being proactive. Always try to be proactive when you start your tasks. Lunch will get your mind off being reactive, and when you return to work, you’ll be proactive again.
Work no more than one to 1 1/2 hours straight and take a 10 minute walk between sessions.
Try to do the same type task at the same time everyday.
Try to work without being disturbed. I bought an open/will return at sign from Walmart to hang on my office door. My family understands to leave me alone and be quiet outside my door when it is posted. And, more importantly, they know WHEN I will be available for them again.
I hope you find this helpful. I’ll touch it up and make a PLR article out of it soon. 🙂