✏️ 30-Day Productivity Challenge — Day 10 — Structure is EVERYTHING

✏️ 30-Day Productivity Challenge — Day 10 — Structure is EVERYTHING

👋 Hey Friends,

Welcome back to the 30-Day Productivity Challenge by the famous YouTuber, former doctor and now writer Ali Abdaal. 

I today want to show you why structure is EVERYTHING.

⚖️ Quick recap

Yesterday we talked about why it is important always to ask yourself whether your work is busy work or actual productive work. The difference between these two is the simple thing that one brings you closer to your vision of life and the other one simply doesn’t. We have also talked about how ego destroys not only your product but also your whole perception of the world, your social relations and your surroundings.

Today, however, I would like to talk about how structuring my day with a calendar has significantly changed my life over the past year.

🎯 Why structure is important

The biggest enemy of productivity is procrastination. To procrastinate means that you put off doing something with the excuse of either doing it later or not having the time for it. Both of these excuses find no relevance when you accept these two facts:

  1. 👻 Putting things off because you can do them later requires that there will be a future. Although it is unlikely, there is a chance that you will not be alive tomorrow. This is a little overdramatic to highlight a simple point. No matter how you perceive the progression of time, you are living in the here and the now. At every instance in time there is nothing except the now, and when you choose to accept that, you’ll see that it is inappropriate to put off things.
  2. 🗓️ When you say you don’t have time for something you want to do, you actively confess that you don’t make the time for the specific thing. If you have watched TV all day and say that you don’t have time to read 30 pages in your book, this is a self-excuse for saying that you have decided to spend the time watching TV and not reading.

Especially, point number two highlights the importance of structure. It is never wrong to watch a bit of TV, but doing so as an unintentional excuse not to do the things you should or want to be doing isn’t good.

I had watched some TV before I started writing this exact article, but I have actively selected to rest for an hour.

📆 How you can intentionally structure your day

The best way to both plan out your productivity and your intentional rest time is to use a calendar. This way, you don’t have to think about when you have to do what, but you have a look at your calendar and just do the things that you have listed as important for yourself.

This comes with the additional benefit of removing that extra fear of thinking about what you are going to do in the time you have. We often get stressed by having all these things in our heads for which we need to make some time. But if you already planned your day, you don’t have to worry about the things you need to do because you have already done it.

To show an example, this is what my planned week has looked like until now:

You can see that I have made blocks for my most significant goals to intentionally work on them when I need to. I have also put resting sessions as time blocks in my calendar. We can see that I try to structure my day around the goals I want to actively fulfil this year. Through this structured plan, I now don’t have to worry about what I am going to do and when I am going to do it because it is already written out for me.

Last but not least, here’s a quick tip for intentionally resting:

⏱️Set a timer for your resting session and use the 5-second rule to end the resting time by counting down from five to zero and then instantly stop the resting session and get back to work.

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Thanks again and I'll see you soon.

Victor (@observethecosmos)

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