How to Schedule Your Day

Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come.

My thesis is so very close to being done, and it’s time to make the final charge so that I can stop writing about it and you can stop hearing about it.

My goal is to have my thesis finished and submitted by August 1.

To facilitate this plan, I’m conducting a bit of an experiment this week.

Because I work in the evenings, I tend to have a lot of free time during the day, and deciding how to allocate that time is often difficult. Sometimes I take so long to decide what to do that I don’t end up doing much of anything.

To combat this issue, I’m scheduling out each of my days the night before, à la Shawn Blanc.

For example, on Sunday night I planned out my Monday, which looked a little like this:

9:30 AM: Wake up. Check iPhone (Twitter, RSS, messages, etc.)
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Thesis. Fifty-minute blocks, ten-minute breaks. (Via BreakTime.)
12:00 – 1:00 PM: Workout. (Push-ups, goblet squats, overhead dumbbell presses, kettlebell swings, pull-ups, chin-ups. x2. Ten-minute run.)
1:00 – 1:30 PM: Shower, shave, dress.
1:30 – 3:00 PM: Prep and send QLE VIP Newsletter No. 1.
3:00 – 4:00 PM: Stop at Post Office. Drive to New Haven.
4:00 – 6:30 PM: Late lunch with Rich.
6:30 – 7:00 PM: Drive to Newington.
7:00 – 9:00 PM: Work.
9:15 PM: Home. Write. Rest.

It didn’t work out perfectly down to the minute, but having the day planned out was incredibly useful for knowing exactly what I should be doing right now.

One nice thing about scheduling your day is that you know exactly how long each thing is going to last. One of the barriers to working on my thesis, for example, is that it seems like such a huge task. But if I know I’m just going to work on it for two hours — and at noon, I’m done for the day — it’s much easier to concentrate and get a lot done during that time. Getting my least favorite thing out of the way first is a great feeling.

Fortunately, my dentist appointment today is scheduled for 9:40 AM.

I’m only working part-time while I finish my thesis, but this system can be applied to anyone’s work day. I recommend trying it out and seeing how it works for you.

Thanks for reading! Want more? Grab the free QLE Manifesto. Perhaps follow me on Twitter. Need something? Email me.