Learning From the Past
I’ve had bouts of productivity this year, however I feel none were as good as the one I had at the end of December. I want to make this a consistent thing, and I from my previous attempts I have realised some mistakes which I think I should work on.
Earmark Time for Contigencies and Unforeseen Events
When I first seriously set goals and attempted to achieve them in the December of 2019, I set goals for the month, divided them by 31 and started working on them. That obviously meant that I would have to work on them every single day , and I didn’t mind that but there are always things you don’t expect. I had a few of those in December, and that meant that I had to work extra hard on some days which wasn’t only difficult, but also counter-productive. I didn’t complete my tasks as well as other days, or worse, pushed myself too much that it made doing anything else difficult.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Consistency
One thing that remained a constant for most of December was consitency. I would set goals every night for the following day, divide the day up in blocks of 3 hours ,and get working. That worked really well for me. In the month of January, I knew I had commitments that would mean breaking this flow, and I thought getting back would be easy. That hasn’t been the case, and it’s been 6 months, I’m still not on the same level of productivity as before. It’s much better than January or February, but not nearly as good. This time, I want to eliminate all sources of distractions that can break my momentum.
Make a Well-Defined Schedule
Till now, I always had to-do lists. I would just try to work in blocks of 3 hours on any of my goals. In the past few weeks, I have been working on my language goals, consistently at a particular hour. Now I would like to say that I have good control over my mind. But having conditioned myself to learn at the same hour every day, has made this like feeling hungry at hours when you normally eat meals. I automatically know what I have to do when I see the hour hand of the clock at the right place. Deducing from that, I know I can be a slave of such temporal conditioning. Therefore, I’m going to make a well-defined schedule. A schedule that says exactly what I have to do, and at what hour.
Set-Up for the Month
With the past mistakes considered, I now have to lay down a plan for the coming month. Currently, I am working on 5 things:
- Academics – Study for my ongoing exams
- Languages – Work mostly on Arabic, Spanish, and French
- Business – With sales picking up, increase my production
- Health – Lose fat, gain muscle, and improve flexibility
- Blogs – Make progress on all blogs
Before I make the schedule, I need to decide how much time to give to each of these 5 things. I plan to sleep 8 hours a day. That leaves me with 16 hours. Academics are a top priority with my exams going on. I have over 20 books to read, and I also need to practie writing essays . So this needs to be given at least about 6 hours a day. Now I am left with 10 hours. I’ll spend 2 hours on languages. 2 hours each on my business and my blogs, and an hour on my Health. I am left with 3 hours, which I’ll use for breaks, miscellaneous activities, and for whatever I feel like doing.
Now, to appropriate my time. I came up with this schedule:
Saturdays will be my buffer days for contingencies, if I have any during the week, that day’s work is done on saturday, and if I don’t, I’ll just repeat one of the weekdays on Saturday. Sunday, will be a day to think, reflect on the previous week, plan for the week ahead, and do whatever I wish to do.
This starts in about 8 hours from now, let’s see how this goes. I’ll be posting daily updates about this.