This is a walk-through for the simple daily template I use to structure how I spend my day, keep my focus, and get more done.
For more information about this daily template, go check out the show notes for Episode #26 of The Blog Program.
Hello, there… David Risley here and we’re doing a little bit of a different kind of a video blog entry because this time I’m not going to be on camera, myself. I just want to show you my daily template that I’m starting to use.
Now, I’ve had this kind of a concept for a little while in my business but I got this recommendation to use Evernote for it, recently on my Mastermind group and I’m finding this working pretty well, so far, so… I shared this on my latest episode of The Blog Program. And if you’re not a subscriber to that podcast; I would encourage you to go over there and subscribe, obviously. But, I shared my daily template over there and what I wanted to do with this Video Blog entry is simply show that to you.
So, here it is… This is April 21, 2014; that’s the day I’m recording this. Here’s the breakdown:
At the top of it; it’s my Daily Task List… So it’s basically, any of the tasks that I say that I’m going to set out to do on that given day. Now, obviously; I’ve already – as of today got my Blog Post for the week, done. I’ve prepared the podcast which is Episode 26 of The Blog Program and I am now recording the Video Blog.
Now, underneath that, I’ve got my morning routine. Now, a morning routine is just simply those things that you typically do every morning. I’m going to be making this morning routine probably a little longer. But as of now, all it is is drinking a glass of lemon water; it kind of just helps jumpstart the body and if you want to read a little bit more of stuff like that; feel free. It’s that that health stuff is not really what I talk about.
That’s something that I do every morning, a little bit of stretching and movement. Now, I didn’t do like an actual 5-minute stretch this morning; which is why that’s not checked off. But one thing I do is do a little bit of push-ups and stuff sometimes in between. I’ll talk about that in a minute. And then of course I got to get the kids out the door; that’s something that I have finally do these to attend to and they are what they are.
Now, in my case, when I have a full work day to get things done; then I usually break it up into morning and afternoon. Now, my morning; I give myself 50 minute focus blocks and I have three of them. Now that is what I’m finding is the “key”.
So what I do is – I know what my tasks are, and then I set this little timer that you can see moving here; to 50 minutes. And I just call it “My Balls To The Wall” 🙂 Because that’s really what I’m doing. In whatever task that I need to get done; I go balls to the wall on it and I work on that. And to me it’s a game to see how much I can get done before this timer gets down to zero.
And then, once that timer gets down to zero; I go into a 10 minute flex time which is basically; it could be finishing up something that I was working on during that 50 minutes, it could be allowing myself to go on to Facebook and screw around; deal with a few emails, get up and stretch, go get a glass of water, go to the bathroom; whatever. It’s flex time. So basically that time when I’m not pushing myself balls to the wall. Once the 10 minutes is up, then I go to my next focus block of my balls to the walls time. That’s just my slang for it. 🙂
So, I give myself three of those, and then a lunch break and then I do three more, basically same exact set-up in the afternoon. Now, a one point that I will make here is that – you work with the manner of available time that you have. Not every single day of the week I have an entire full work day at my disposal. Sometimes I got things to do outside of the office so I don’t have a full day to work. And so therefore, I won’t have as many focus blocks that day. So you just have to work with the available time.
This template that you’re seeing here on my screen is the ideal set-up if I have the full day at my disposal. Like for example, I know that this afternoon I’ve got a 3pm call with my Academy VIP Members’ schedule; it’s not going to fit nice and cleanly into a focus block so, you know it is what it is; I’m not going to sit there and stretch that. But right now, I’ve got the time fully at my disposal and I am my third focus block of the morning; as you can see with the timer going there, and that is what I’m doing. It was on my list to get the Video Blog done and that’s what I’m recording.
Now, at the end – I’ll just go over this real quick. A couple of things… the Review, the Friction Points and the Need to Systematize.
Here’s what they are:
The Review is basically, just me at the end of the day typing how things went. Did I have any problems; just anything that comes to mind. How did the day go? You know, it’s just kind of a time to sit back and reflect a little bit.
Friction Points are basically things that come up where I find that something was interrupting me. Let’s say that I have some tasks to work on, I was having a hard time making forward movement on it; I will make note of those things. Those are things that were slowing me down or interrupting me. And the reason I make note of them is because you can’t really fix anything if you’re not making note of the problem, first.
And so, one of those things that I try to do; is that when I have a constraint that’s popping up or something is slowing down my productivity then I want to note it down so that I can then go into this third area which is “Need to Systematize” and I could come up with some idea that I can change things so that in the future that Friction Point is not constantly happening.
So, it’s just a way of – at the end of the day putting back on the Executive Hat and really looking at how my day went and going, “Okay, great”. What lessons that I learned, what I can change so that tomorrow will be a little more productive than it was today.
That’s the entire gist of it.
Now, other people might have a different type of system than this. I just find this one is nice and simple and it works really well. It’s more of a template because at the end of the day, our time if fairly fluid and we need to find something that works with us. And for me, the focus block idea works really well.
There’s a technique called the “Pomodoro technique” where it’s the same basic idea but they do 25 minute blocks (I think it is) and then a 5 minute flex. To me, I find 50 minutes works a little better. It’s really hard to get much meaningful done in 25 minutes sessions like that. So for me, breaking up into an hour; works 50 and then 10 just seems to work better.
So I encourage you, put this to use. And again, I do this inside of Evernote. So you’ll see this in Evernote, I’ve got a little notebook called “Daily Worklongs”. So everday, I just have a date there and then I also have, therefore, a running record of whatever I was doing which is also helpful when you’re looking back and you look at your stats and see if they’re going up or down and like, “Okay, stats went up, great! What did I do to make that happen?” Or you can actually go back and look at the history and see what you were doing on that particular day. So, it can be pretty helpful.
Alright? Hope that helped. Talk to you soon!