The last few weeks, since I started using my weekly template (see Experiment: Week-At-A-Glance) have been a productivity powerhouse. I was blasting through my lists, making progress like I haven’t in months…
And then allergy season hit. Four days of migraine with sinus problems. Needless to say, not much got done. I looked at my weekly list with dismay. There was no way I was going to catch up. Then I saw the article about Schedule Calibration that got me thinking. My to-do lists were too heavy, and overwhelmed me when I missed a few days.
The thing I like about my weekly template is that I can balance my work load over a week, looking at which days don’t have many tasks, and slotting in the non-critical project work. This allows me to make progress, while control my to-do lists from spiraling into a mass of over-productivity.
However, I have seen that while I do commit to work on certain tasks, I need not necessarily commit to them on a certain day. For example, I want to make sure I knit on a project for two hours every week. I break this down into eight fifteen minute knitting sessions. If I were to put these on specific days, I would feel obligated to sit and cross it off.
To combat this, I put a section of weekly boxes (hand drawn) on the back of my weekly list for these tasks. The knitting task would get eight boxes, and would be labeled “Knit 15 minutes”. This is a goal, rather than a hard-and-fast-to-do. This frees up those days when I don’t have much energy or time, but rather allows me to aim for the same amount of work over the same whole time period.
The second item in my calibration is to forgive myself if I have committed to a day’s work and just don’t get certain things done. I forgive the task, then put it on the next available date.
I am all for committing to tasks in a closed list, but at the same time, life interferes with the limited free time I have outside of work.I will not allow myself to feel bad because I didn’t get to something.
In the end, I will have taken better care of myself by listening to what my body and mind need rather than plowing through a list, regardless.
Photo by AndiH