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Scheduling Time To Blog, Write, Work And Live

Posted by on May 9, 2016

Back in 2009 I wrote a post titled How I Write Blog Posts. I talked about the process I go through when I’m trying to figure out what I want to write and how I want to write it. I’ve also given lots of tips on blogging in general.

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I thought those things were fairly simple and would help a lot of people out. Yet over the years I see more people who write comments saying they can’t figure out how I have the time to do any writing at all, let alone all the writing and other things I do. Truthfully, writing is the easy part; the rest of it isn’t always so smooth.

That is, unless I schedule my time out in advance. When I do that I accomplish a lot of good thing and push forward on others. I thought I’d share some of my processes in that regard because I’m about to put it into practice over the next two weeks, Monday through Friday, as I get prepared for my wife finally coming back home after 9 months. I think it would be nice to spend some time with her before she’s off again; I might talk about that part at another time.

Just so you know, I’m changing things up a bit this week. I always schedule my time the night ahead and usually that’s as far as I go. This week I’m scheduling out the entire week in advance because I have some things planned that I need to schedule around and I’m also going to be trying to get more rest to see if that helps my concentration any, which I mentioned in my previous post.

The first step is to schedule what time I’m going to wake up. Usually I start my real schedule pretty late, like around 11AM, for those times when I figure I’m probably not going to bed until 3AM or so… sometimes later. Over the course of the next two weeks, the plan is to go to bed by 1:30 and wake up at 9AM. Luckily, with Android I can set the alarm so it’ll go off at that time every day I need it; this week only Friday won’t be scheduled like that because I have a meeting at 8:30 on Friday with my consultant’s group.

Next, I set something that many of you won’t but it’s not a bad thing to do. I set my alarm to tell me to write something in my gratitude journal and then to eat something. This is something I started last June and wrote about on my other blog talking about 5 Steps To A Better Day. Thing is, I don’t do the gratitude journal every day, but I’ve noticed when I do that my days actually do go better. I also realize that waking up earlier means I’m going to have to eat something earlier, which I rarely do, but this might help give me more energy.

Now it’s time to plan the rest of my day. There are things I have to work around, such as today, where I’m being interviewed by someone on the topic of values for a podcast; isn’t that kind of cool?

Here’s how I’ve learned to plan my days. I plan them in time chunks depending on what it is I need to do. For instance, if I need to write a blog post, I schedule an hour. As I’ve started writing some longer posts I’ve found it takes longer than 10 or 15 minutes to write one, but by scheduling an hour it allows me to decide if I’m going to write two blog posts or not. Hey, y’all know how many blogs I’m writing for these days. πŸ™‚ For the book I’m working on I schedule an hour also.

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For email I schedule it in 30 minute chunks. Meals get 45 minutes. I also schedule in rest periods, but with my normal scheduling pattern I usually only schedule one break a day, which doesn’t include a second meal period. This week I’m scheduling two periods a day, but the second rest period will also denote the end of my work day. In my previous post I mentioned that I don’t sleep much, so this week it’s my intention to try to get a total of at least 5 hours sleep a day, and if it takes naps to get there then so be it.

As an example, here’s my schedule today:

9AM – Wake
9:15 – Gratitude journal & eat
10AM – Podcast interview
10:45 – return business call from Friday
11AM – work on book
12PM – research VA’s for research project
1PM – rest period
2:15 – post office
2:35 – email
3:15 – article for business blog
3:45 – work on book
4:30PM – pick up Scott from work

That’s pretty much how I do it. I can schedule my entire week based off the first day of the week. For instance, I obviously won’t have another interview this week that I know of, and I really will only have to address writing blog posts one other day this week, which means I can work in some walking time, which should work well since it’s finally going to hit the 70’s here by Thursday. I also won’t have to go to the post office again, and if I do the research properly I won’t need to do anything on the VA front again… but if I do one more day should handle it.

What this means is that I’ll be able to work a couple more things into the week such as marketing time, research time for my consulting business, and maybe a bit of local networking… which I almost never do because I almost never schedule it.

The thing about scheduling things is that you can alter plans when you can and still get most things done. For instance, you’ll notice above that I’ve already had to throw out my second rest period because I agreed to pick up my friend from work to take him to get his new car; aren’t I a nice friend? πŸ™‚ Also, my new book is a priority that I’d love to finish way sooner than the 2 1/2 years it took me to get through my last book; whew!

Truthfully, all of us can accomplish great things in short chunks of time. A couple of years ago I purchased an ebook from a friend of mine named Marelisa FΓ brega titled The One Hour A Day Formula that helped me get part of my mindset in check. I realized that I can’t sit down and write for hours at a time like I could 10 years ago. Breaking things up works well for me, and it’s worked for a lot of other folks you may have heard of. Anyway, check that out, and this isn’t an affiliate link of any kind so I’m not getting anything from it; how many of you would do something like this for free? πŸ˜‰

That’s my way of scheduling, using the smartphone of course. What do you think, and are you ready to try scheduling your time to see how productive you can be? Let me know; enjoy the week!
 

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12 Comments »

I actually love the scheduling idea. I could only do that on my off days. Too hard to do while working, I never know how late I will work. Tours is all about the salesperson getting the people and that takes time. So that may be out for me. But I will give it a try in the future. Again, I love the idea and thanks for posting your schedule.

May 10th, 2016 | 3:46 AM

No problem Tomeka. If you were doing office work this type of thing would work better for you than for what you do now. But this type of schedule would keep you current on your blogging, videos and bingo! πŸ˜‰

May 10th, 2016 | 9:54 PM

Some good things to try here! I do OK with scheduling at work; it’s outside of work that I never seem to do everything on my list. I’m going to try scheduling out some evenings like this and see how it goes! I am also a sucker for trying new productivity things period but I always just seem to revert back to my old habits which aren’t bad necessarily, they could just be better!
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May 10th, 2016 | 8:47 AM

I hope it works out for you Miss Krys. I use my smartphone alarms to keep me on track and have lots of different song clips to select from so I won’t grow immune by hearing one thing all the time. Let me know how it works when you give it a shot.

May 10th, 2016 | 9:55 PM
Rasheed Hooda:

That’s a pretty good way to plan. I like the idea of setting aside specific chunks for specific tasks.

I am going to give it try and see how it works for me. It’s all about developing habits for me. That’s what I am working on these days.

May 10th, 2016 | 10:53 AM

Good deal Rasheed. I have to admit it worked a lot better on Monday than it did on Tuesday, yet I still got to all but one thing because I was able to move some things around to get to it all. That’s always a good feeling, and trust me I needed something to feel good about today.

May 10th, 2016 | 9:57 PM

Scheduling is a pretty good idea. But, then again, its hard to get done a work within the time I estimate in the scheduling table. Sometimes, it gets cluttered. Any suggestion?

May 11th, 2016 | 7:30 AM

Rocky, it all depends on the type of work you’re doing and whether it needs to be completed all in one shot. Because I’m pretty familiar with almost everything I do, I have a good idea of just how long things are going to take me. I start scheduling based on that. Then for those things that I’m either not so sure about or might be for something that I know is going to take days or weeks to complete, then the idea is to force myself to at least work on it in chunks to get towards completion.

When I was a full time employee, I had to schedule time to get away from the work for lunch and meetings. Sure, my work got interrupted, but if I didn’t do all those other things life would have been fairly miserable. We all have to recognize that not everything we do is so critical that it has to be done “now”; we can take breaks and come back to it. Doing things this way keeps us from waiting until the last minute and then rushing to get things completed.

May 11th, 2016 | 11:47 AM

Nice job scheduling. I wish I did better. I kind of schedule in my mind, but I end up doing a lot of improvising and getting distracted.

You stay up later than I do, but you also sleep later. I think I’m on Eastern Time even though I’m on the West Coast. For me it’s up at about 5 every morning because I have to get my wife off to work. But even when she’s not working I’m up by 6 usually. Funny because when I’m back east visiting I can usually sleep until about 7 or 8 and it feels normal.

But you’re doing more of what I always think about doing but never do. A blocked out schedule like yours provides more of an incentive I think to get things done more effectively.

Lee
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May 11th, 2016 | 10:24 AM

Thanks Arlee. Yeah, I do keep some odd hours, and last night I went to bed about 15 minutes after the alarm went off telling me to leave the computer. lol That’s the thing about scheduling; you can still be flexible when you need to be but it’s nice having the suggestions. Ticking things off your list that you wanted to get to but usually forget always feels pretty nice.

May 11th, 2016 | 11:49 AM

Hi Mitch,

Looks like we both have busy schedules. I think the key is to be flexible and adjust to changes as our schedule changes.

I pretty much go by a schedule too. I have to otherwise, I’d be all over the place. Like you mentioned, the good thing about a schedule is we can alter plans and still get things done.

Thanks for sharing your strategy with us. Good luck on your book!

Have a great weekend!

Cori
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July 8th, 2016 | 4:22 PM

Thanks Corina. Unfortunately, once my wife came home I stopped working on the book and my schedules have gone off the rails. I’m starting back on my process this Monday, even though my wife isn’t leaving town until the following weekend; gotta get back into a rhythm. πŸ™‚

July 10th, 2016 | 12:24 AM
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