THE SECRET ART OF SCHEDULING

In this section, we are going to give ourselves deadlines for our tasks. A study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology claims that when you repeat to yourself “I will partake in X habit at Y place at Z time”, you will exponentially increase the likelihood of doing it.  This is why scheduling your task very precisely can help you get through your to-do-list.

WHY SCHEDULE

I remember thinking that scheduling and planning was pointless. I thought to myself that “I wouldn’t follow through anyway”, making the whole process useless. Until, one day, Randy Pausch replied to that with “You can’t change the plan if you don’t have one to start with”.

Failing to plan is planning to fail. – Randy Pausch 2008

Plan each day, each week, each semester. Set deadlines for everything. Schedule when they should begin and end. Don’t let tasks go on indefinitely, especially for intense of stressful activities.

If you can, trick yourself into earlier deadlines or set a personal consequence for being late. It is important to take 30min to schedule time. Pinpoint what your desired result is for each task and to then take another 5min to see if you managed.

As Helena Segura (2016) clearly stated, we cannot have “so much structured that one little change will throw us out of hand”. On the other hand “we cannot be like my surfer friends in LA who have no ambition or drive”. We need to have that balance in the middle, that flow.

HOW TO SCHEDULE

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You are basically preparing your battle field for when it comes to the Doing section. To plan the ideal day/ideal week, you need to pinpoint your “non negotiables”. These are basically no distractions blocks of time in your schedule that you will not sacrifice for last minute unplanned events.

They will be filled with the important tasks that will help you reach the top of your pyramid. You can also use them to finish other important tasks you made out of your to-do-list.

Each block of time is designated to one task alone. It is crucial that you do not attempt multitasking, and instead focus on one task at a time.

If you do not pay attention to what has your attention you will give it more attention than it deserves. – David Allen

LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF

The “when” depends on your peak creative time. Your creative time is the time in the day where you feel the most inspired and productive. It is quite important to find your creative time… and defend it as much as possible. Once you’ve figured out what time of the day your creative juices are the most present within you, pinpoint what time of the day you feel less productive.

From there you can schedule the very important tasks during your creative time. Similarly, you can schedule your fun activities / breaks during the less productive time of the day. Separate brainless and strategic tasks to become more productive.

To sum up, pinpoint the times of the day where you feel the most proactive and creative. Secondly, define the times of the day where you are barely functioning right. Then allocate your important tasks to your “productive time” and your social breaks during the times of the day in which you feel less productive.

WARNING

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Days always fill up: only plan for 4-5 hours of real work per day. – David Heinemeier Hansson

The important part of planning is that you don’t pack your time table super tight. You need to schedule time for social events, self-care and space in between tasks in case anything happens or if you need to commute.

Meticulously planning every hour of the day doesn’t allow for the unexpected to happen. This can throw a wrench into the entire day. Instead, plan for 5h of real work daily and remember to schedule time for interruption.

EXTRA TIPS
  • group both meetings and communication (email or phone) together to create blocks of uninterrupted work. A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon.
  • leave time for fun to cut off when you need to.
  • don’t work all day every day: according to the New York Times, for every 10h of break, performance improves by 8%.
  • don’t bring it home: when you are home, you relax. When you come back to your work, your mind will be refreshed.
  • you should schedule are check-ins with yourself throughout the day to go back to your early priorities, ambitions and goals. Ask yourself if they’re lining up with that reduced to-do-list and if you need to adjust.

NET (NO EXTRA TIME)

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Tony Robbins, America author and life coach, made a big difference in my life when he suggested making the most out of my NET (no extra time), also known as transition time/time pockets. By that he meant optimizing those moments when you can’t physically do your important tasks: when you shower, travel, commute to work… We already mentioned that focus is key and we should not multitask, ever, during our blocks of time, as its destructive. Tony Robbins gave an exception to the rule: use your NET as an opportunity to listen to audio books or podcasts while you are doing mindless activities.
MY SOLUTION TO READING

I am sure I am not the first person who has said that reading books is extremely important. If you are like me, you don’t really prioritize reading time in your daily routine, and that’s sad because I know I am missing out on a whole world of practical solutions and/or fantastic stories.

But then, I walked in to the beautiful world of audio books and I soon realized that I ended up “reading” one book a week!! How?! Think of all the dead time in your timetable, i.e. mindless activities that you have to do such as driving to uni or going on public transport. If you are in London, for instance, you’ll probably commute minimum 30 minutes there and back.

You can find some recommended great audio-books that are 5 or 6 hour long. And just like that, you make the most of your wasted time. If you don’t want to spend money on audio books, there are plenty of podcasts out there that are pure gold such as Pat Flynn’s podcast. And podcasts are free.

In conclusion, take the time to calculate how much NET exactly you have. Determine how many hours a week that adds up to and chose an audio book you’d like to listen to during that time. Pro-tip: pick an audio book that is directly in line with your pyramid.

BONUS

HOW CAN WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER (ONLINE OPPORTUNITY)

If you are struggling to find experience and are interested in Copywriting, Marketing or Entrepreneurship then we are looking for people to become editors of this website. I will form you and teach you everything I know. If you want to get involved with this blog then please do not hesitate to contact me via this Contact Form or via my Instagram account. This is a unique opportunity. Again, you can contact me for more details on how this may help you!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR YOU

Over the years I have created many guides and checklist that aim to help you save time. Here are a list of them just in case you might miss out on a few:

  1. My 1st E-Book: a resource that has help me become a boss at Time Management. Moreover, it has also helped me create more time for what I love and get to my goals faster. It is lengthy, however it is arguably the best Time Management piece of research out there.
  2. The Time Management Actionable Sheets: a summary of my E-Book. These sheets have conserved the absolute essential actions you need to take to make the most out of your time. Do not skip any steps!
  3. My Before & After CV Transformation: a resource that has collected my CVs for the past 7 years to help you not only craft a great CV, but to also show you that everyone can start mediocre and grow exponentially.
  4. How To Land a Job Faster Guide: a resource that aims to give you all of the tips and recommendations I have used during my career. This will help you avoid some common mistakes students do when starting off with their job applications.
MY OBJECTIVE IS AND WILL FOREVER BE TO HELP YOU

To conclude, the aim of this website is to help you have the best fresh start at University and with your career. There is nothing that gives me more happiness and joy but to hear your positive feedback on how helpful my content has been. Contact me if you have any feedback for me!

BEST OF LUCK WITH IT ALL!!!!

Much affection,

Francesca Michaud

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