Structuring your time to maximize productivity
This week, we're going to talk about how to structure a week in a way that allows you to spend your most productive time on your most important work.
Here are a few takeaways from this week:
- Identify what your most important work is, and devote most of your time to that. Rick was spending some of his most productive hours on reading and blogging, neither of which are priorities for his business.
- If you have things you have to get done (e.g. client work), try to knock that out early in the week so you can focus on your other work without distractions hanging over you.
- There are two types of work: transactional (meetings, phone calls, routine maintenance, etc.) and creative work (writing, strategy, programming, etc.). Transactional work can be done effectively even when you're not at your most productive, but creative work can't. So try to devote your most productive hours to creative work.
- "Flow state" is when you're in the zone and getting a lot of work done. When working on creative work, one hour in flow state can be more productive than a day of normal productivity. But it's hard to get into flow state, so the key is to protect it once you're in it. To do this, try to structure your days to allow max flexibility to stay focused if you do enter flow state.
- The downside to giving yourself unstructured time for creative work is that it can be hard to manage your mental health. It can lead to stress and burnout because it doesn't follow the "hours worked = productivity" equation of more structured work. Combat this by expecting to go hours or even days without being very productive, and give yourself time to recover if you do end up having a productive streak.