Becoming In- distractible: Schedule your Day
"People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time, they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy." - Seneca, the Roman Stoic philosopher
If you find yourself working around the clock on tasks that you are supposed to finish in the office hours then today's technique is definitely for you and will help you improve your time management skills.
Do you know that not maintaining a calendar is a formula for getting constantly distracted? The idea behind this is if you don't know what your plan is for the day, everything you do is a distraction. Everything you do will take you off track because you didn't define what you wanted to accomplish for the day.
I would like to share about a technique called Time Boxing or a Zero based Calendar which is already popular with some of the world's most productive people like Elon Musk and Bill Gates. This technique basically means that we have to literally schedule every minute of our day, even the time when we day dream or use social media.
Things like Watching TV, Watching Netflix, Reading news articles, using social media that we commonly label as distractions are not distractions, until that is what you want to do and make time for it in your calendar.
Time-boxing is like effectively making and keeping up a meeting with yourself. Pick a task, plan when to do it, determine how long it will take and block it on your calendar. Time-boxing not only keeps us focused on the task at hand but also gives us a sense of control over them because when we time-box our activities we are naturally single tasking and not multi tasking.
We've usually heard that to be productive we need to create a To – Do List but what happens when we create a to – do list? We write down all the tasks to be completed but since we don't allot a time when to work on the tasks we end up procrastinating. The most common mistake made by all of us is that we all decide on what to get done but we don't decide on when to get it done. A To-Do list which is not time bound is useless and that's exactly why we need time-boxing.
Some of you might think that planning every minute of your day might be very rigid but trust me this is going to change our lives. If we are going to have that "I don't know. I don't want to plan my day. It seems like a lot of work" attitude then our life is going to be tough. Bill Gates and Elon Musk, two big personalities in Tech get the same 24 hours a day as we do but if they are able to plan their day ahead by time-boxing all their activities then why can't we do it ?! So let's try to create a time boxed schedule everyday to become more effective. We will see more about what kind of tasks to prioritize and schedule in the coming days. I'll also share a template for time-boxing over mail, hope that helps!