For so many years I am following a rigid schedule for my self. Primarily it is all about waking up early, I have always been early riser and do important things in the morning. I have tried in the past to work/study late but that never really worked out for me. In fact I can hardly do any productive work after 5 PM.
Here is my schedule that I am following these days. I made little change in it, instead of 4 AM I am going to wake up at 3 AM. I really need an extra hour to finish never ending tasks.
- 3:00 AM - 6:00 AM: Do the most important thing to survive
- 6:00 AM - 7:00 AM: Go to gym
- 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM: Breakfast and get ready
- 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM: Go to office
- 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM: Primary Work of the day
- 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Lunch & rest
- 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Secondary Work of the day
- 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM : Miscellaneous tasks
- 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM: Go back home & rest
- 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM: Social media promotion & dinner
- 8:00 PM - 8:30PM: Sleep
I follow this routine everyday, except Sundays when I don't work or work very less. For rest of the days I follow it religiously. Also it is not possible to stick to the schedule all the time, sometimes I have to meet people, travel, but otherwise I don't make any excuses.
Why such a tough schedule?
First of all this is not difficult at all. I realized over the years trying lot of methods to being productive and everytime I came to know that there is no secret method for being productive, except working hard. I remember the time when I was in school, kids have fixed schedule and they follow it continuously for so many years, then in college our way of study changes a little bit, we can bunk classes and also have liberty to "not follow" the schedule.
When we enter professional world, things get worse. We are totally free to choose our schedule. That is why most companies have fixed timings for employees. I believe it is not bad actually you need someone to force you to work hard, of course to some extent only.
Now working in a startup is totally different, you will always have a passion and strong desire to achieve something big, but as a human being we tend to fall for various distractions. Everyone around you will be enjoying life (or they seem to) where as you are working. Your friends will be posting pictures of rafting in Rishikesh and you are busy compiling sass files.
Life is not easy for guys like us, so what do we do.
I am just extra strict with myself, I allow no space to get distracted, I follow a schedule and try to balance work-life so I don't feel exhausted. In my schedule I have 1 hour of time for gym.
I walk to my office, which is like 1.25 Kms from my place, so walk atleast 3 Kms everyday minimum.
I allow myself to check facebook and twitter feeds too.
I do most of my productive, important work early in the morning.
I use tools to manage my tasks
For keeping track of enormous to-do activities I use org-mode, it is by far the most powerful tool and take my word it is the best way to manage not only your to-do but as they say "your whole life".
For all official work we use JIRA, and I can tell you 100 reasons why your company should be using it
For you guys if you really want to get more productive, there is on book that you just can not afford to miss.
The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr
(This is my affiliate link)
This is one book that you should be reading, it has lot of interesting use case (yeah we IT guys use this term a lot) rather stories of people struggling to manage their work and feeling burned out. After reading the book you will realize how important it is to maintain a balance of work with other activities.
Following a schedule and staying disciplined is most important.