It’s all about pre-dawn productivity in my life these days, which you’ll know if you read my last post.
For the first time, I have been viewing moonsets and sunrises as a regular thing. Did you know that sunrises are gloriously flamingo-hued after a snowstorm?
But I digress. While I do take time to appreciate the view outside my window each morning, I try to use the early hours as efficiently as possible. For me, that involves both calendar blocking and project batching.
Calendar blocking is simply creating a time slot on a calendar for every item on one’s to-do list. And for me, that truly includes everything, even things that I do every day.
That approach works for me on several levels. First, adding daily activities such as having my devotions and working out ensures that they will get gone.
If it’s on the calendar, I don’t procrastinate about it.
Second, seeing all my tasks laid out daily, weekly, and monthly allows me to plan ahead.
Some examples: I have a time slot for one major household chore every day except Sunday. I always write blog posts on Wednesday evenings while my daughter is at dance class. I spend the last Saturday morning of every month meal planning for the next month. I take one day per month to do the bulk of our grocery shopping for that month. Two mornings per month, I pay bills and do detailed household budget work. You get the idea.
As I’m filling my calendar, I prioritize two or three must-achieve goals for the day (beyond the usual daily activities of devotions, exercise, home-schooling, etc.) and schedule those as early as possible in the day to ensure their completion. For me, that often ends up being tasks related to freelance writing work, such as interviews, emails, or research.
While calendar blocking has been a revelation on its own, I’ve really geeked out over task batching. ‘Cause one can never save too much time, you know.
(Remember the I Love Lucy episode called “Lucy’s Schedule”? She just added “extra” hours to her day, which worked in the short term, at least…you Lucy fans know what I’m talking about.)
Back to batching. Batching involves grouping tasks together logically for ultimate efficiency.
For example, I try to write all three blog posts for the week in one sitting. Getting in and staying in my writing groove means I’ll spend less time blogging overall. I also batch daily activities, such as time spent in the kitchen. I find that I’m much more efficient if I knock out the majority of the food prep for the day right after I’ve finished dealing with breakfast.
A point to consider: blocking and batching does take time and forethought in itself. I am watching a whole lot less TV in the evenings these days – which was not a healthy habit anyway.
But I am accomplishing so much more: cooking more for my family, taking better care of myself, and turning focused attention to my Savior every morning.
Do you geek out over efficiency and productivity techniques as I do? Do you have any tips for top productivity? I welcome your insights as always.
Regarding today’s topic, here is a perfectly lovely and appropriate Scripture from the wisdom of Solomon: