5 Simple Steps in Creating a Productive Daily Schedule

By Alan Jackson

January 10, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

5 Simple Steps in Creating a Productive Daily Schedule

There’s simply a lot going on around us. It tends to be hard to keep your eyes ready when there are such countless things occurring around you: interminable online media warnings and rocky messages. It is feasible to have useful days.

You must also commit to following a daily schedule. If you’re not able or willing to follow a schedule every day, you can simply stop reading.

If you are interested in learning how to create a productive daily routine, then you have come to the right place. Let’s take a look at five steps that you can follow to increase your output, reduce wasted time and achieve peak efficiency every day. Let’s get started if you are ready to take control of your life.

Here are the 5 Simple Steps in Creating a Daily Schedule:

⓵ Find Your Perfect Work Schedule

Before you can make the most of your day, it is important to understand your personal work style and physiology.

Find Your Perfect Work SchedulePhoto: drscottlear.com

If you are a morning person, you might find it easier to prioritize the most important tasks in your daily routine. It would be a mistake to put those tasks off until the end of your day.

You can go even further.

First, gather data to determine your ideal work schedule. Begin by keeping track of your current work habits for approximately two to three weeks. Track your work habits for two to three weeks. Note the times you are most productive and note any distractions.

It accomplishes two important things. It will first help you pinpoint your most productive hours. It will also help you identify distractions that eat away at your time. Once you have these two facts, you’ll be able to create a schedule that maximizes productivity.

⓶ Block Off Your Productive Time

Once you have determined the best times of the day for you, you can create your schedule. Next, block that time off and make sure it is reserved for your most important work. By blocking, I mean you must ensure there are no distractions and you can still use them for work.

You may have to set your Wi-Fi to turn off during these hours in order to avoid falling into the internet rabbit hole. To let people know that they will have to wait for a reply at a later time, you may need to include an auto-responder in your email. You can also use a time-locking application to stop you from using too many smartphones.

Block Off Your Productive TimePhoto: blog.rescuetime.com

You need to make sure you have everything you need for the task at hand. You can then schedule your most important tasks each day in those time slots, and you can be reasonably certain that you will get it all done.

If you think this is extreme, I’m here to assure you that it’s not. And I can show you why.

Look at the numerous studies that show that workers are only productive for three hours per day. Now go back to step 1. You should be able to come up with an average daily productivity figure that is close to this number.

You wouldn’t be reading this article looking for a way to make your life more productive. Instead, you’d be writing one.

This is why you need to be vigilant about protecting your most productive hours. Maximizing the amount of work you do in those hours will maximize your output. It’s as simple as that.

⓷ Schedule Appropriate Break Times

You should not allow periodic breaks to interrupt your most productive times. It may sound strange, but we are more productive when we work in short sprints. Even stranger is the fact that we are more productive when we work in sprints, according to statistical analysis.

You did read it correctly. This means that you should dedicate almost an hour of your 8-hour workday to non-work-related tasks. This will help you focus better in your work sprints, and allow you to get more done. You don’t have to feel guilty!

Schedule Appropriate Break TimesPhoto: hrwatchdog.calchamber.com

This is the best part: it also applies to your less productive hours. This means that you won’t waste time between peak productivity hours. Even though you won’t reach peak efficiency, you will still be able to accomplish more than you did previously.

This particular method requires that you work in shorter sprints (25 minutes in total) with shorter breaks between. It can increase productivity, but it is also difficult to create a schedule around it. It’s obvious why: most people’s workdays include mandatory meetings and check-ins that last more than 25 minutes. (Whether your schedule should contain these is another matter that we’ll discuss shortly). This means that you will be trying to squeeze as much time out of your day as possible.

Your options are greater when your sprint time is closer to an hour. To get your half-hour and 15-minute meetings out of the way, you can group your task-filled sprints together during your most productive hours. Once you know how long your average task is, you will see that this approach works better than the Pomodoro method.

⓸ Schedule availabilities within the shortest possible windows

The problem with the information we have covered is that you will not be working alone. This means that your coworkers, family, and even scammers will do whatever they can to disrupt your day and reduce your productivity. Although they don’t intend to do it, the effect is the exact same regardless.

You will need to plan your day to accommodate these calls and face-to-face conversations. There are two ways to manage all those time-consuming tasks without making your life more difficult.

Schedule availabilities within the shortest possible windowsPhoto: freepik.com

First, set aside time to do these tasks. Second, let others know you will not be available any other time. This will allow you to avoid any distractions you might otherwise face. You don’t need to be embarrassed about answering emails and phone calls as they arrive.

However, this won’t stop others from requesting your time. You can’t cancel every meeting on your schedule, even though there is strong evidence to suggest otherwise. However, you can change the default terms of meeting requests.

This is how it works: If you have a calendar system that allows people to request meetings, you can lower the default meeting time. This is possible in Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, as well as other scheduling apps. You can change your default time to suit your needs. This translates to five-minute windows for Elon Musk. For most of us, it should take ten to fifteen minutes.

This works because it makes people ask for more, rather than consuming it automatically. Guess what? Most people won’t notice or ask you about the fact that your availability windows have been shortened. This is a time-saver that will save you instantaneously.

⓹ Avoid multitasking at any cost

Despite your belief that you are a multitasker extraordinaire, I have bad news. It is impossible to be such a thing. This has been proven by numerous studies. You will be less successful the more you try. You will also make more mistakes and spend less time cleaning up.

Avoid multitasking at any costPhoto: theconversation.com

The takeaway from a daily scheduling perspective is clear. This is why you need to make sure you have a space in your daily schedule for each task that is important to you. Also, avoid cramming unscheduled tasks in there. You can do more than that.

It is because our brains have difficulty switching between tasks. This is why we humans struggle with multitasking. Researchers call this a switching cost. This means that we subconsciously waste time trying to adapt to new tasks. This means that completing two tasks simultaneously will always take more time than doing them sequentially.

This knowledge can be used to your advantage by scheduling the same tasks in parallel during your individual work sprints. You’ll be able to accomplish more in a shorter time frame and also save time. It’s much more than you realize when you consider how much time you save over the course of a single day.

Last Thoughts

You’ve come this far. Now you need to know how to create a daily schedule that maximizes productivity. You’ll be able to keep to your schedule, even when the world around will try to stop you from doing so, and you’ll be able to compete with your peers.

Try not to be proud of yourself when you finish your work early. Instead, get on with your lives while others struggle. Instead, offer your assistance in arranging their schedules. You’ll find that they will appreciate the tips of an experienced expert.

Alan Jackson

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