A 15 Minute Fix for the Productivity-Challenged

25 05 2012

Infinity time spiralMy project load is vast and all-consuming enough (thank you, new and loyal clients alike!) that I’m going to step away momentarily from the next DMT Artistry, LLC rebranding adventure – logo redesign – and attend strictly to my clients.

However, that won’t prevent me from imparting a piece of productivity wisdom that I learned ages ago from my father, and resurrected from my memory files only a few short years back.

I know for a fact that I’m not alone in quietly pipe dreaming that I could multiply myself 10 times over. SOMEONE needs to tackle all those career, social, family and life obligations that strap on army boots with cleats and gleefully trample our schedules and our sanity.

Happily, 15 minutes in the morning can solve our dilemma.

The Extreme To-Do List Makeover

Before you stride purposefully out the door on your mission to make something of your day, grab a sheet of lined paper and jot down all of the “to-do”s on that day’s agenda. Getting them down on paper not only helps unload your brain burden, but also jogs your memory about tasks that might otherwise have slipped through the cracks.

If it’s a long list, consider labeling each “A”, “B” or “C”, according to its level of importance. And if you’re really in the spirit, pre-estimate how long each task will take.

Now, write out the hours of the day, leaving 4 lines between each hour. You’re going to plan your day out in 15 minute increments.

Yes, you read that right… I said 15 minute increments. Blocking tasks off in hour-long lumps is not remotely helpful, because it’s rarely remotely accurate. The more detailed you are, the easier it will be to follow your schedule.

It can be difficult to start blocking when you see all those blank lines staring you in the face, so start by scheduling the easy things for which you can already answer “when?” and “how long?” – i.e. shower, breakfast, drive to work, lunch, drive home, dinner, favorite show, bedtime, etc. You’ll be surprised by how much time these must-do minutia require!

Done? Good. Now you’ll see your free hours broken into manageable chunks. Start with your most important “to-do”s, make your best estimate regarding how long they will take, and write them in where they fit best.

Be sure to block off free time to relax, nap or have fun. We don’t want you comatose by the end of the day!

Take this schedule with you and refer back to it frequently throughout the day. Modifications will be necessary. No big deal. You have placed yourself in control of your time.

And that’s the key – putting you back in control of YOUR TIME. Productivity will follow like a faithful pet.

For anyone using a Franklin Planner, this system may seem familiar. But if you find your productivity slipping, check yourself to see just how diligently you ARE using that planner!

I challenge you, readers, to try this at least once, and report back with how it impacted your day.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I have a website build scheduled for the remainder of the hour…

“Much may be done in those little shreds and patches of time which every day produces, and which most men throw away.”
  ~Charles Caleb Colton

Next Week: Topic to be determined

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2012 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.

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2 responses

25 05 2012
warero

Reblogged this on ProduSoul.

5 06 2012
Fred

I get tired just thinking about all this productivity. Think I’ll block in some more naps and fun time.

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