So you want to get things done, right? You want to take control of your life and check those to-dos like a champ. I assume you do. Otherwise, you are here by some weird space-time continuum accident.
Personal Development Hour
Starting today, I want to you have an hour to yourself every week. Dedicate that time to your personal development. Whether it is reading a book, watching a video of a conference talk, or creating a "hello world" app in a new programming language, try to focus on things that will move you towards a greater goal of your choosing.
Now, go to your calendar and create a weekly event that lasts for an hour. Call it "Personal Development".
The only rule is that the event cannot take place on Mondays or Fridays since those are very low in productivity and better for planning events and meetings. The time of the day is up to you. Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, make sure you pick the time when you are at your best productivity-wise. Also, make sure you will not get interrupted during this period.
For you to use that personal development hour to the maximum, you have to create a second event in your calendar.
This time, it is a weekly event that will take half an hour, called "The Planning".
Make sure it is scheduled a day before your productivity session. The purpose of that preparation phase is to not waste the first 15 minutes of your productivity session to think "What am I actually going to do today?".
Keep in mind that this planning may sometimes take as little as 5 minutes, but it is crucial to the process that you have a calendar event scheduled to remind you about getting prepared.
When it comes to planning your work, remember to always create S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself. It is important that you break them down into actions that take 10, 15, 30 minutes. This will ensure that every personal development hour will bring you the feeling of satisfaction out of completing at least one or two items every week.
The Status Update
The third of the events is meant not only for yourself. This is the part where you will need an accountability buddy. Someone that will hold you to your words and account for your goals.
Find someone that you can trust and feel comfortable to share your goals with. Ask them to spare you a half an hour every week for the conversation about your goals.
Make this a scheduled event so that you will feel the pressure of being accounted for what you have done this week. Then, at the meeting, discuss what you have done and what you are planning to do.
Finally, take a look back now and then to improve the process and figure out what works for you best.
Now, open your calendar and start your journey to better productivity.