A few weeks ago I came up with a schedule for myself to follow during the evenings. It was a slotting system of topics such as Probate Investing, Short Sales, Blog work, etc. If you missed the post you can see it here Creating a Schedule is Not Easy.
I’ve been working it for the past couple weeks and I’ve had mixed results. It wasn’t for a lack of effort, but more because things took longer then expected or the power went out or some life event occurred which trumped my schedule. These things are bound to happen and my schedule was just not flexible enough to handle interruptions. I had some Open blocks of time in there but those times where early in the evening and quite often got eaten into by heavy traffic on the way home from work or a last minute phone call from my boss.
As with everything, my schedule is a trial and error experiment.
Helped me focus more on the topic of the day. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I would solely be doing probate investing tasks and then on Tuesday and Thursday I concentrated my efforts towards short sales. This worked out very well and I got more accomplished.
It forced me to work on my blog for only 1 hour a day instead of eating up multiple hours fiddling with this and that. I needed to be razor focused on what I wanted to accomplish or it wouldn’t get done in 1 hour. Success!
Lastly, I was winding down my day about an hour earlier then I used to which helped me get more sleep and have more energy the next day. This is so important because if I’m tired, it takes all my energy just to get through my 9 to 5 leaving me little ability to concentrate on investing after work.
The Not So Good
It was like playing a game of Jenga some days. The whole stack would come tumbling down If one thing came up and got in the way. I was packing to much into one evening that it caused me to not finish many of the tasks. When I don’t finish a task it affects my mood, negatively. I know it shouldn’t but I guess that makes me human.
There was no time in my schedule to go to REI Networking Meetings a few times a month. I’ve actually joined another one recently (Jon Zorrer’s) and it meets every two weeks, which is great, but not for my schedule.
It created a lot of pressure as I attempted to fit everything in. I usually work well under pressure, but how long can someone work under pressure before they get burned out?
Because of some of my troubles with my initial schedule, I went back and read some of the comments from my last post and found Mathew Russo’s which said…
I too work better when there’s a schedule to follow, but I have found that timeblocking more than 40 – 50% of my day becomes very difficult to manage. Carefully observe what percent of your assigned tasks you are actually getting to, because your brain will quickly label the schedule “unattainable” and then the whole thing will crumble.
I found that to be 100% true and plan to adjust my schedule to only timeblocking 40 to 50% of my evenings to certain tasks and once I accomplish those tasks for that day, the rest of the evening can be filled in with less important items such as reading.
Hope this has helped some people as this experience has helped me.
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Its always good to adjust and improve. I might suggest that you keep your most important priorities always near the top of your list. Did I make real progress towards my long term goals today?
I have the same problem. Have you read the book 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey.? There is a segment in the book where he talks about how to manage your time. It's a unique approach that is similar to to the timeblocking that you mention, but takes it to the next level.
It's all a learning process, especially since everyone is different. The most important thing is that you tried it, you've identified what worked (and what didn't), and now you have feedback to modify your plan and keep moving forward.