I read an article a few weeks ago about a writer who decided to radically change her writing schedule and found as a result that she was able to see a significant increase in her ability to be productive and get things done. I was inspired to adapt this for my own writing and work life, but I thought the strategy could also be applied to my home life as well.
After a couple of weeks of changing this one thing, I decided that my experiment was a resounding success. I got more writing done than ever before. I completed projects in less time. As my productivity increased, my stress level decreased, and as an added bonus, the side effect was that my life and work satisfaction level rose as well. Now, it's time to share.
This strategy takes time blocking and task focus to a whole new level. It is useful on both a mental and physical level.
The secret, use an Extreme Focus Blitz whenever possible. What this means is not only do you focus on one job, one task, or one project at a time, you do it for as long is reasonably possible. It can be applied both in the office and at home.
Some work examples:
Instead of writing three blog posts at a time in a block, I now write an entire month's worth in an eight-hour day. How? By sticking with this same task all day, I become more efficient with the repetition, I avoid the time and effort necessary to start and stop and the quality of my writing is increasing. Once I stay in the zone for a long period the ideas and words flow more freely, which also makes the tasks more enjoyable.
I complete client projects and articles, marketing, administrative tasks and anything else I can in that same manner. Projects now take me less time, so I'm effectively earning more per hour and I'm finishing well before deadlines.
This could also work for meetings, appointments, team projects, billing, data entry, creating documents and lots more. Clearly, there will be some jobs that are unable to be done this way, but if you think outside the box, you'll see that this could apply to more than you might think.
Try this at home:
I was skeptical about how I could use this practice at home. I have specific routines and I am pretty organized as a rule, but I decided to just give it a try for a week or two and have been pleasantly surprised by the result of changing this one thing.
Instead of doing laundry every day, I now do it once a week. I am a bit a data nerd, so I tracked my results. It used to take two hours (wash, dry, and fold,) to do each load, about 10-14 hours per week depending on volume. It now takes me 6-8 hours on Saturday or Sunday to do all 5-7 loads. That saves me 4-6 hours. While I know that the hamper never stays empty for long, at least for a time all the clothes in the house are clean.
I used the same strategy to wash my windows, do errands (shopping, post office, library, dry cleaners, etc.,) mop floors, and any other cleaning or household management task I could think of.
I'm still working at finding ways to apply this, but I have discovered, much to my shock, that I will literally save more than 20 hours per month. That's a whole day! Imagine what you could do with an extra day each month…
The added bonus is that by accomplishing such a significant amount of progress in one area instead of a bit of progress in many areas, you experience a greater amount of satisfaction in a job well done. And with more visible results. This has enabled me to better enjoy the remainder of my time and look forward to the next project I can put to rest.
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