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« Follow Up to the Productive Day Challenge | Main | A Few More FVP Stats »
Sunday
Jun072015

The Productive Day Challenge

What I am going to do is define what I would need to have done in order to consider tomorrow (Monday) to be a productive day. I will be using FVP as my time management system.

I am going to use my list as it is - which has most of the tasks on it already. I’m not going to cheat by moving them all to the end of the list.

I’ll report back on how many of the tasks I succeed in doing.

So here goes - I would consider tomorrow to be a productive day if:

I have zero inbox at the end of the day in


Email
Paper
Evernote Inbox
Doing the dishes


I have walked at least four miles [5.17 miles]
I have done 100 press ups
I have done The Plank exercise for at least 90 seconds [110 seconds - ai yai yai!]
I have sold our unused car for scrap [got £60!]
I have, as Press Officer, edited the photos for yesterday’s Croquet Tournament, Friday’s Golf Tournament and last week’s Golf Club Dinner.
I have done at least one day’s Glossika French lesson [2 days’ Lessons]
I have listened to at least one chapter of Genesis and St Matthew’s Gospel in the original languages [2 chapters Genesis, 1 Exodus, 2 St Matthew]
I have sorted out my regular donation to the Bursary Fund
I have invited L to take part in September’s Charity walk
I have checked whether R has decided to take part in the walk.
I have emailed an update to those who have already agreed to take part in the above Charity Walk
I have said the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary
I have telephoned my dentist re work needed
I have read at least something in the Qu’ran and the Hadith
I have notified my bank about my forthcoming trip
I’ve written a second draft of my paper for the Finance Committee about Running a Legacy Campaign
I sorted out a new contract for my smart phone
I’ve sent details of my expenses to my financial adviser
I have revised my plan as Press Officer
I have revised my plan for publicity for my new book

And I nearly forgot…
I have kept up to date with the comments on my website [17 replies written today]

Reader Comments (20)

Which question are you asking?
June 8, 2015 at 1:29 | Unregistered CommenterNico
Good luck, Mark!
June 8, 2015 at 3:14 | Unregistered CommenterKyle Nesgood
Nico:

No question.
June 8, 2015 at 8:29 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Kyle:

Thanks!
June 8, 2015 at 8:29 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
This astounds me in the number and size of tasks you're taking on. (I would set aside a day for "Sorting out contract for phone" alone!)

I feel incredibly unproductive compared with the people who post here - which is why I tend to keep my head down and almost never post about my own experience ("the forum wants to hear from the productive people - not from the likes of me").

Doubtless if I accounted for my own activity in a better way, things wouldn't seem quite so bad.
June 8, 2015 at 8:51 | Unregistered CommenterChris Cooper
Chris Cooper:

There's a lot of difference between writing a list down and actually doing it!

At the end of the day, productivity is being able to do what you want when you want.
June 8, 2015 at 9:50 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I'm loving this - very inspiring!
June 8, 2015 at 10:19 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Cumming
Just wondering, Mark. Do you think of 'Dishes' as a kind of Inbox? Or is that just an accident of where Dishes is placed on your list above?
June 8, 2015 at 11:37 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Cumming
@NeilĀ : Dishes are things to do that come in continually, like paperwork and e-mail. The inbox metaphor makes sense.
June 8, 2015 at 11:54 | Unregistered CommenterLaurent
Neil Cumming:

"Zero inbox" applies to everything that fills up during the day and needs keeping on top of. That definitely applies to doing the dishes! And "Comments" too.

I struck the five "inboxes" out as soon as I cleared them. If they're not still clear at the end of the day, I'll remove the strike-out.
June 8, 2015 at 11:55 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Mark,

1. The thing that strikes me is the contrast between this approach and the "pick 3 things to achieve today" approach. I'm now not sure whether the latter approach is ridiculously slack, or whether it is aiming at a different type of goal.

2. "I struck the five "inboxes" out as soon as I cleared them. If they're not still clear at the end of the day, I'll remove the strike-out."

Is there a particular reason for doing this rather than rewriting (on the assumption that more will arise) and then dealing with them at the time? Or rewriting when more arise?

Cheers,

Will
June 8, 2015 at 14:51 | Unregistered CommenterWill
Yes, that makes sense.

Mark, do you find that listing in advance the tasks you want to do today in order to make it a productive day has helped you focus while working the list?
June 8, 2015 at 14:53 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Cumming
Will:

<< The thing that strikes me is the contrast between this approach and the "pick 3 things to achieve today" approach. I'm now not sure whether the latter approach is ridiculously slack, or whether it is aiming at a different type of goal. >>

I think you're misunderstanding the purpose of this. The list on the blog post is for the purposes of showing readers that I can achieve what I want to achieve by using FVP. It's not intended to be an approach to productivity itself.

<< "I struck the five "inboxes" out as soon as I cleared them. If they're not still clear at the end of the day, I'll remove the strike-out." Is there a particular reason for doing this rather than rewriting (on the assumption that more will arise) and then dealing with them at the time? Or rewriting when more arise? >>

The list on the blog is purely for public consumption. I am not using it to work off. I am using my normal ongoing FVP list - and on that I am constantly re-entering the five inboxes.
June 8, 2015 at 14:59 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Neil Cumming:

<< do you find that listing in advance the tasks you want to do today in order to make it a productive day has helped you focus while working the list? >>

There are a few things on it which I would probably not have done today otherwise, but on the whole it's a pretty average day's work.
June 8, 2015 at 15:02 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I too was astounded at the size and scope of this list, all to be done within a single day. I just estimated the time I think it would take me to do all of these (without adding any time for breaks or all the other incidental daily activities), and it totals 12 hours 45 minutes. And Mark is supposed to be retired!
June 8, 2015 at 18:36 | Registered Commenterubi
Thanks, Mark.

"I think you're misunderstanding ..." not for the first time! :0(

How's the list of metrics for tomorrow building up? If I got that much done in a day, I'd be quite pleased with myself. Perhaps I'm simply not trying hard enough on the average day.
June 8, 2015 at 18:46 | Unregistered CommenterWill
Will:

<< How's the list of metrics for tomorrow building up? >>

You can see exactly where I've got to. I'm crossing things off the list as I do them.
June 8, 2015 at 19:17 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
This kind of posts are fascinating. I remember a few years back someone created a pdf (Andreas?) that illustrated an entire day using AF4(?). Would be great to see this with FVP.
June 8, 2015 at 20:41 | Unregistered Commentersobertruth
Outstanding - Congratulations, Mark!
I'd be interested to know how your motivation and energy levels held up, but I think you deserve a good night's rest before you answer any more questions...!
June 8, 2015 at 23:40 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Cumming
Neil Cumming:

<< I'd be interested to know how your motivation and energy levels held up,>>

Absolutely fine. As I said somewhere it's really just a normal day's work for me.

More tomorrow.
June 8, 2015 at 23:46 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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