George Smiley's new routine
I'm going to try a new routine for myself to see if it helps me stay more focused. It borrows to some extent from The Now Habit, and it makes use of Outlook.
I'm laying out the basic idea here. Any feedback about your experience with similar efforts will be appreciated. And I hope my daily checkins will reflect how well I stick with this routine.
I've divided my workday during the week into alternating 30-minute and 90-minute segments.
The schedule goes like this:
7 AM: Check email , check in for the day at PA.
7:30: 90 minutes focused on editing/writing tasks--including, perhaps, outlining or even pre-writing planning.
9 AM: Check email and go through my email and my physical in-basket for 30 minutes.
9:30 AM: 90 minutes focused, first of all, on phone calls for projects. If I literally have no calls to make, use the time to review interview notes and focus on what needs to be followed up from past interviews on current projects.
11 AM: Unless the weather is bad, get out and ride my bike or walk to my business post office box. Come home and have lunch.
The idea here is that this gives me some outdoor time, some exercise, clears my head. I think of it in the spirit of the Now habit as planned fun that can keep me focused because I know it's coming up.
12 Noon (after lunch): 90 minutes of work; might be calls, might be research, might be editing/writing.
1:30 PM: 30 minutes of email and physical in-basket work.
2 PM: 90 minutes of work, again might be calls, might be research, might be editing/writing.
3:30 PM: 30 minutes of email and physical in-basket work.
4 PM: 90 minutes focused on reading, web surfing, checking my "read later" folders, etc. Again, this is "reward time" in the spirit of the Now Habit, aimed at keeping me from being distracted during the day by web surfing especially.
5:30 PM: I'm finished for the day; go up stairs and help dinner started so my wife will have a jumpstart when she gets home from her work.
That's the daily routine. It would have adjustments for certain days to accommodate other specific recurring routines, but that's the big picture. I want to stick to it, but not feel that i have to follow it slavishly in the event that circumstances demand flexiblity.
I'll be implementing it starting Monday.
Again, feedback is welcome. My biggest concerns are that I'll rebel against it. I hope to use this place to keep me accountable and to help me stay focused.
Have a good weekend, everyone!