Plan different types of day

Image credit: | izuboky


“He who knows most grieves most for wasted time” – Dante
One of the things I talk about most often here on is time management (check out my three part series for some of my favourite tips.) We all have the same amount of time in each day, yet the decisions we make about how to use it can be the difference between productivity and chaos.

One crucial aspect of time management is planning different types of day. Entrepreneur Dan Sullivan advocates free days, focus days and buffer days (each defined as a 24-hour period, midnight to midnight). 

  • On free days “do not engage in any business-related thinking, communication, or actions”.
  • On focus days spend “80 percent of your time on the activities that create results for your business”.
  • On buffer days “handle all of the details that would otherwise distract your attention on a focus day… catch up, clean up messes, delegate, and learn new skills”.

This is a great way of making the most of your time. I would offer one crucial addition – build time into your calendar to reflect. 

Regular relaxation techniques such as meditation, prayer and exercise can develop the ability to access theta brainwaves, meaning you are more likely to experience breakthrough ‘aha!’ moments that save you time.

Renowned communicator Canon J. John recommends this rhythm of reflection:

  • One hour per day,
  • One day per month,
  • One week per year.

This is a good addition to Dan Sullivan’s approach. I currently schedule at least one rest day per week, and at least two retreat days per year.

If you are an activist, remember that reflection is an activity. Decide ahead of time what activity you will do with your reflection time and put it into your calendar. This could be taking a walk, stretching while listening to a song, or going out with a co-worker for a snack and asking each other bigger-picture questions. The most critical thing is to step away from your computer so that your focus is relaxed and your mind drifts. (So no, checking Facebook does not count as reflection!)

I’ve found this to be an hugely helpful way of managing my time. Sign-up below and I will send you my free guide – 10 Commandments of Time Mastery – for more of my thinking on this, and let me know how you’ve found it by commenting below or liking and commenting on my Facebook page.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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