It’s no surprise that the secret to productivity is time management. But it doesn’t help to be vague with how you manage that time. Productivity guru Mark Struczewski goes into the details of how structuring your time can help you make the most out of every hour of the day. Making use of his helpful One Big Tip is just one way that he helps entrepreneurs reach their goals.
Scheduling to the Max
Most people know that they should practice better time management if they want to increase their productivity, but few structure their time in a way that makes the best use of their attention. “We all have the same 24 hours every day,” he notes, “and a lot of people are just floating through time and they're not having any idea what they should do next. A lot of people are just going, ‘Well, whatever happens, happens.’ And that's not a good productive attitude to have.”
Mark’s answer to this is to schedule every hour of your day for the following week. This can seem overwhelming, but he recommends just taking about 20 minutes to sit down and plot out how you’re going to spend each day—even your downtime.
“If I go to Walt Disney World,” he says, “my planning for the day is that I'm going to spend the day with my wife at Walt Disney World—and that's the only thing I do that day.”
The 50-10 Rule
You may be worried that scheduling every moment of your day could easily cause burnout—especially with work. But Mark’s One Big Tip is to use a variant of the Pomodoro Technique that he calls the 50-10 rule.With the Pomorodo Technique, you set a timer for 25 minutes and work on a specific task as much as you can until the timer runs out. After that, you take a five-minute break to stretch, use the restroom, grab a snack, or whatever you need to do. Then you go back at it for another 25 minutes before taking another break, and that makes up one hour of your day.
Mark’s variant combines the two sessions and breaks into one 50 minute work session followed by a ten-minute break. He also uses those 50 minutes to tackle very specific tasks. For example, rather than schedule something like “read and answer emails,” he’ll schedule the time to read and answer two or three specific emails that are high on his priority list. Putting every task down on paper and then scheduling a time slot to finish it is Mark’s key to increased productivity.
If you’d like to learn more about Mark and his productivity coaching, you can visit him at markstruczewski.com where you can see his courses, videos, and podcasts.