Time Theming Is An Expert-Backed Strategy To Make You More Productive
September 27, 2017
Written byJoanie Faletto
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Getting stuff done is as easy as sitting down and grinding it out. Well, slow down, tiger; long-term productivity doesn't work like that. Just like how your college all-nighters were unsustainable, the occasional burst of frantic to-do list tackling requires recovery time, too. One way to make every day productive without wearing you thin is "time theming."
Piecing Together Productivity
Wish you could get more done in your day? Productivity strategist and author Mike Vardy shares his best productivity tips in a 44-minute Skillshare class to get you there. (If you didn't know, Skillshare is an online education platform with more than 17,000 classes on things like productivity, marketing, photography, design, and more.) For Vardy, step one is simply understanding the formula for productivity. Hint: It's not just a calendar and a to-do list.
"It's about intention plus attention," Vardy explains. "The problem with most people is that they're either doing one or the other and they're not marrying the two." Having intention without attention means you're set on a specific goal, but aren't looking at the steps to get there. Having attention without intention means you're just spinning your wheels with aimless busywork. Sounds fun.
A framework is a tool that will put these two components to work together; this could be an app, planner, notebook, whatever. Vardy describes it as a "structure to give you overarching focus as you work." And it's crucial. A goal without a framework is like a road trip without a car or a map. Good luck with that.
Your framework should fit three criteria: it needs to be simple, durable, flexible. Think of it like a little machine: Put your goal into your framework, and the goal will be broken down into actionable pieces as it works its way through. Ideally, you'll only need to establish a framework that works for you once. From there, just drop in your to-dos, dreams, goals, and million-dollar ideas, and it starts doin' the work for you. Set your intention, and your system helps you plan out where to place your attention. (Vardy's Skillshare class illustrates specific examples of what this can look like. Take the class right now by clicking here: http://skl.sh/curiosityproductivity)
You Get A Theme! You Get A Theme!
One main focus of Vardy's Skillshare class is "time theming," and it's one strategy Vardy himself uses in his productivity framework. One way to do it is to assign an overarching theme to each day of the week. For example, let's say Mondays are for administrative work and Tuesdays are creative days. On Mondays, don't even think about your creative tasks; those are on your list waiting for you tomorrow. This concept eliminates that panicked feeling of overwhelming indecision when you stare down your endless to-do list. Instead of asking "What do I do first?" you can ask "What day is it?", and the former question is answered for you.
Vardy recommends theming your months, too. Themes all around! For example, imagine you have (or want to start) a YouTube channel. Tending to your YouTube account can be your focus for the month of October, and your daily themes can inform the way in which you'll work on the larger task for the next 31 days. On Monday admin day, you can link your accounts and organize your publishing schedule. On Tuesday creative day, you can write scripts and shoot your brilliant videos. Boom. By the end of October, you'll be a viral YouTube sensation. Maybe. We're not saying it's impossible...
For the full scope of this method, get all the productivity tips by taking Mike Vardy's Skillshare class right here. But why stop there? Skillshare is an online education community with 3 million members and more than 17,000 classes on just about everything. Besides Vardy's productivity class, you can find expert-led, top-of-the-line classes on photography, marketing, graphic design, and much more. You can get two free months of Skillshare Premium membership right now by clicking here.