How do you plan your day

By your energy levels, or something else? I work from home and I’ve just finished restricting my tagging system to include time and energy levels. And now I’m looking for seamless ways to navigate my day bc my designated “Do Today” feels like it’s too much at times, when really, it’s just giving me all the data for the day at once. There are times when I’m tired, times at my desk, times when I’m ready for deep work.

So I’m wondering, once you’ve got your tasks organized, how do you execute?

Have you looked into Time Blocking? Kourosh Dini discusses it here:

You are not alone!

Sounds like you might be taking too much stuff on for each day…? Maybe there are some less important things that you can ignore?

Would it help to have themed days? Where you focus on tasks that are related? My projects are quite varied, which is nice, except that it takes me quite a lot of time to switch. Having themed days removes this changeover cost.

I try to use a timer to get up and away from the screen.

I ignore email until about 2pm, when I’m staring to flag. If things have gone ok that day, I’m usually keen to get back to the main project and I just want to get in and out of my inbox ASAP. I used to head to my Inbox first thing. This was terrible for me BC I’d spend ages writing long perfectly crafted emails. I find email rules helpful to send to specific folders. The mail in each folder will be more-or-less expected and I can archive/mark for action.

I try to plan tomorrow around 3-4pm. I’ll look in Omnifocus/Reminders, etc and drag into my Calendar. If I’m theming, I might put a job into a particular day later that week.

I’ve used OmniFocus as my second brain to store all the projects and associated tasks. At the end of the day, I look at my Due Soon perspective or the Forecast perspective to look for overdue, due today, and due soon tasks. I write a selected number of tasks from the Due Soon perspective on to the index card or Bullet Journal. Then I look at a perspective that shows available tasks. If there are any tasks that aren’t due soon but I’d like to work on them, I’d write a couple of them down on the index card as well.

That index card becomes my stuff to work on for tomorrow. I try to fit those in to my schedule tomorrow. I can time block those tasks in between appointments/meetings or do them whenever I have free time.

I thought about this a while back here:

Another way to filter down my overwhelming list of available tasks into something manageable every day can be found here:

I just discovered this recently but it echoed a lot of what I wrote about at Effective Remote Work when I wanted to work on a manageable to-do list.

Honestly I do not have the luxury of using energy levels, my clients could not really care less how I feel they just want the work done 😳

I have started to organise by focus (high, low and medium). Every morning I get a perspective sorted by focus + flagged which I then work through. I also keep a communications, perspective (tagged calls, email etc) as well as one for Agenda items and one for things I may also wish to consider doing. when I have cleared the focus ones.

The high focus tasks tend to be things like work on “Design Project X” where the tasks are usually just tagged “project work” as I only need to see these when I have decided to work on them, usually afternoons when I am awake. I make heavy use of “Meta Tasks” for example “Process Communications” which repeats twice a day and is tagged with @medium_focus. This keeps me from list overwhelm and allows me to focus on specific projects or areas.

I used to tag by home, laptop etc but working from home meant that most tags were irrelevant. The @Focus + Flagged set up allows me to see both what I need to do and what I could do in some sort of reasonable order.

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I agree with the @TheOldDesigner about this. I might not have the energy and I’ll work on the easy, fun stuff first if I see “low” energy tasks. It felt like I was over-engineering OmniFocus with more tags and labels than needed.

Instead I just noted what my “power hours” were. What times of the day did I feel good for brain-intensive work or deep work. Then I’d schedule my “high energy” tasks or deep work into those blocks. For the times when I’m brain dead, I might take a break and do some light physical tasks or brain dead admin paperwork. If I was given a choice, I’d probably do all the lower priority, easy tasks and pat myself on the back for finishing a whole bunch of those tasks instead of forging ahead with the higher priority tasks. That’s what I’m trying to avoid.

Time blocking my power hours works better than an OmniFocus perspective sorting my tasks by energy levels.


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