I recently posted a video about one of my oldest and most successful work strategies: fixed-schedule productivity. The idea is simple to describe:
- Choose a schedule of work hours that you think provides the ideal balance of effort and relaxation.
- Do whatever it takes to avoid violating this schedule.
These simple limits, however, can lead to complex productivity innovations. In my own life, the demands of fixed-schedule productivity helped me develop what became my time blocking and shutdown ritual strategies.
In my video, which is actually a clip taken from episode 193 of my podcast, I call this my “oldest” productivity strategy. I don’t think that’s literally true, but it is old. I went back and did some digging and discovered that I first wrote about this idea here on my blog back in 2008, meaning I had probably been deploying it for at least a couple years before then. In 2009, I wrote a more epic post on the topic for my friend Ramit Sethi’s blog which was subsequently featured on Boing Boing. Which is all to say, fixed-schedule productivity has been bouncing around for a while.
Anyway, watch the video if you want a more detailed discussion of the strategy, why it works, and how I’ve used it in my own life.