A few months ago, I read an article about Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and current chairman of Twitter and the founder and current CEO of Square. Yes folks – he has two jobs. Each workday, he puts in sixteen hour days: eight hours at Twitter, then another eight hours at Square. So what’s his secret? A great work ethic and tons of discipline must be a given, but Dorsey also assigns each day of the week its own focus:
- Monday: Management meetings and “running the company” work
- Tuesday: Product development
- Wednesday: Marketing, communications and growth
- Thursday: Developers and partnerships
- Friday: The company and its culture
- Weekends: Hiking and “reflection, feedback, and strategy”
I was so drawn to the concept that I jotted “themed days” in the journal where I record random thoughts and inspiration. In the working world, I suffered from the whatever-screams-the-loudest-is-what-gets-my-attention syndrome. Although there are situations where work emergencies cannot be avoided, it can also be a slippery slope. Before you know it you’re perpetually in “putting out fires” mode, which comes at the expense of attending to tasks that are important, but not as urgent. Ironically, now that I have all this free time, I find myself in a similar predicament, instead with fun distractions. What I need is a system to balance my time so that it leaves enough room for organic exploration, but provides enough structure to assure that I attend to all the important areas of my life. If this concept of themed days works for Jack Dorsey to help structure a life full of demands for his time and attention, would it work for someone like me who has an abundance of time? Hey, it’s worth a shot.
First, I identified categories that I think need my attention if I want to have a balanced life: professional/career; health/fitness; financial; education; recreation; charitable; adventure/travel; family/relationships; and spiritual. For each category, I noted several short term or long term goals. Reflecting on these goals, I then developed the following schedule. Hopefully, I’ll have Jack’s discipline and stick with it!
Mondays: Playdays – As the name suggests, Mondays are for playing. So many of us dread Mondays, so I like the notion of starting the week off in a playful and creative state of mind. Today will be devoted to pursuing creative projects including developing this blog, pinning away on Pinterest to put together a mood board for my new apartment makeover (more on that in a future post), working on DIY and craft projects, and otherwise feeding my creative soul! No more Sunday night blues for me!
Tuesdays: Professional Development – Tuesdays are for learning new skills and technologies that will help me in the professional world; networking and conducting informational interviews; and working on tasks for the organizations where I volunteer.
Wednesdays: Personal Development - Wednesdays are for doing things that will contribute to becoming a well-rounded person. Exploring, pursuing, planning, or learning about personal passions such as travel, decorating, photography, reading, cooking, etc.
Thursdays: Housekeeping – Thursdays are literally for housekeeping and taking care of those pesky items on my to-do list: laundry, tidying up, grocery shopping, cleaning out my inbox, organizing my contact list, paying bills and making sure my financial house is in order, organizing my closet, scanning all my paper files, etc.
Fridays-Sundays: Recreation, Adventure, and Socializing – This is the time to explore all the treasures in my backyard of San Francisco, catch up with friends and family, and just LIVE and have FUN. Sunday evenings are for reflection and gratitude– practicing yoga, evaluating the past week and planning for the week ahead.
Exercise wasn’t assigned it’s own day because it should be a daily activity. Well, let’s hope.
If this seems a little overkill, it is. Then again, I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to learning about time management, productivity, and personal development. I’m curious to hear about how you go about identifying and tracking your goals, if at all. Go ahead and leave me a comment!