Tip of the Week: 5 Steps to Schedule Your Way to a More Productive Day
In a busy business, everyone from the CEO to a new hire could use more hours in the day. Whether clients are in need of improved service or their internal systems need attention, many businesses find that not enough can be done towards achieving all of their goals within the allotted amount of time. However, one productivity expert may have a solution.
Well-known productivity expert Brendon Burchard has created a system that he claims will give your company personnel the coveted boost to their output that he has dubbed the 5×50 productivity formula. In the program. Burchard provides five goals to meet in your day (to be completed in 50-minute intervals) that are meant to optimize how your precious time should be divvied up to promote maximum efficiency. While this may not be the one-size-fits-all instant fix many seek, it may allow those who commit to it to enjoy the benefits of producing higher quality work at an increased rate.
The five steps are as follows.
Step 1: Sleep for 50 more minutes.
Naturally, being tired can’t be of help to anyone’s productivity levels, and so Burchard suggests adding 50 minutes to the amount of time spent asleep. This is regardless of how many hours an individual may need to feel well rested, as the theory is that if your productivity is suffering, you’re probably tired, which in turn means you aren’t getting sufficient sleep. In this case, tacking an extra hour to the time spent in the land of Nod certainly couldn’t hurt.
It’s important to note that this is not a “one and done” part of the 5×50 system. In order for a practitioner to experience its benefits, this practice will need to be sustained over a consistent, extended period of time.
Step 2: Take 50 minutes to center yourself.
In this case, “center yourself” doesn’t necessarily mean to meditate, although that can be an option, if you so choose. This time is meant to be spent taking care of yourself however you see fit. Therefore, any activity that engages you and prepares you for the day is best. Maybe you squeeze in a workout, a quick jog, or some Tai Chi. Maybe you think about how the rest of your day is to be structured, or you reflect on the experiences of yesterday. This span of time is for you to take care of yourself and your needs.
Step 3: Blocking out your time in 50 minute increments.
When the time comes for work to be done, Burchard suggests that blocking out and scheduling 50-minute periods to work towards a goal allows for improved levels of focus. Another benefit to this approach, according to Burchard, is that (like many of the other steps in this plan) it takes the practitioner out of “reaction mode,” where all time is spent responding to the needs of others, and allows all attention to be committed to a single task.
Step 4: 50 Minute breaks to revitalize.
In keeping with the adage “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” the 5×50 approach takes the importance of breaks into account in all aspects. With the rare exception, everyone will suffer a reduction in their focus and willpower unless their time working is broken up by brief breaks.
If possible, the Pomodoro Technique may be an effective tool to use in order to preserve both productivity and perseverance. Once selecting a task, set a timer to 25 minutes and work diligently until it alerts you that the time has passed. Take a brief break and repeat the cycle, keeping track of how many were completed until you complete four repetitions. At that point, increase the break to between 15 and 30 minutes. This rotating schedule will keep employees well rested, but also attentive to their task at hand.
Step 5: Rejuvenating yourself for 50 minutes each evening.
After what should have been a highly productive day, you will need to refresh yourself to prepare for the next. This period could contain one of many activities, very similar to how the day began. Again, your approach should be whatever works for you, be it journaling, exercise, or meditating.
These five habits may (or may not) be effective for you–it all depends on your individual personality traits and how you’re wired to best do things. However, there’s no harm in trying it out to see if it works for you. Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever tried any productivity regimen before, and if it worked for you!