Why my Schedule Looks the Same, Every Single Week.
Updated: May 11, 2018
It’s all about Building Powerful Habits around your Top Goals
I am obsessed with planning and structuring my days. And while it definitely is a weakness on the spontaneity side of life, it’s my secret weapon in the areas of life where efficiency and effectiveness matter. One could argue that’s a big portion of life…
This is how my typical week looks like:
It looks a little bit like my high school schedule where I had guitar lessons on Monday afternoons, volleyball practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays and tutoring lessons on Wednesdays and Fridays.
And it all comes back to one thing:
Building powerful habits around my most important goals.
I have designed my week in a way that it reflects my priorities and goals while still fitting in the things that I need to do to keep my life running (e.g. cleaning my apartment and paying my bills).
Here is a quick overview of the my calendar blocks:
Yellow Blocks: Work; deep work in the morning, easier work in the afternoon
Violet Blocks: Meal Breaks, Rituals, Relax Time
Grey Areas: Admin Stuff
Red Areas: Freetime and ME-Time
Light Blue Areas: Workouts
Dark Blue: Social, Networking
I won’t go into too much detail in this post here, but if you are interested in knowing more about the specific blocks, what they contain and how and why I do them — click here to get my full weekly schedule including cliff notes.
Now, my goal with this article is not to tell you HOW you should design your week. That’s entirely dependent on your own priorities, your environment, the type of work you do and the people in your life.
No — my goal is to show you how designing your ideal week and using it as a default template can improve your life by 10x. Here is how:
It allows you to focus on your top 3 priorities
Whenever I update my goals, I update my default weekly template and decide on the habits and time blocks I need to achieve my goals. Right now, my single-minded focus is on growing my business which is why most of my day is blocked for work without major interruptions like lunch meetings or fancy workout classes at the other end of town. I also work from home and thus are able to cut out commute time.
Priority number 2 and 3 right now are my relationship and my health which is why I plan for daily workouts, 1-hour meal breaks that allow me to cook my own healthy food and reserve time to relax with my boyfriend in the evenings.
Everything else (social, admin, fun stuff) is reduced to the minimum in my weekly default template. It is the minimum that I know I NEED to sustain my 3 top priorities — business, health and relationship. For example I know I need a ME-evening per week where I go for Yoga class, read a book in café or take a long bath — this helps me to really switch off. I have also blocked untouchable times for meeting friends, dealing with admin stuff and having a guilt-free Saturday off.
It saves you a lot of time
It saves you time when planning your week, because you just need to follow your template and fill in the missing parts like who exactly you will meet for dinner, which yoga class to attend and which project to work on in your deep work time. It also saves time when making decisions about WHEN to do your workout, meet a friend or get your errands done. There is already a spot for it. It saves you even more time when you have batched things like grocery shopping, cleaning and admin stuff because you just get it done in one go in your dedicated time spot.
It makes sure everything gets done
Work gets busy. Life gets busy. And before you know it, your apartment is a mess, you haven’t worked out in 3 weeks and have not got any work done because of all the meetings and events you attended. Having a default schedule prevents just that: not getting things done at the expense of other things that might not even be that important to you. The more you treat your default schedule as untouchable, the more you can be sure that everything gets done — especially your high priority projects.
It keeps you balanced and prevents burnout
When I first got started with my default schedule, it took me a few weeks to experiment and find my “optimal balance” schedule. At first I made mistakes like completely over-scheduling myself, planning every minute of every day until late at night and planning too much time for things that were not that important.
But over time, I found the schedule that works best for me right now — as a Solopreneur, working from home, living with my boyfriend and focusing single-mindedly on building my business while still maintaining my health and my relationship. I know that if I keep to my schedule, I am at my happiest, most productive and most balanced. If I derive too far from my schedule on the other hand, I either end up over-worked and burnt out or too busy to get anything important done.
Please take this with a pinch of salt. I definitely don’t think that sticking with your default schedule at all cost is the best way to go. But knowing how your ideal week looks like and aiming to spend your days close to it can do real wonders for your productivity and happiness. In order to get there though, it takes some deep work on yourself to find out what really works for you, what your priorities are and what you need to stay balanced and at peak performance all week. Furthermore, don’t forget to adapt your default schedule every time a major variable in your life changes like where you live, which work you do or what your goals are.
ARE YOU READY TO UPGRADE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY?
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