Chris Ducker has spent years studying and implementing time management techniques, and writing about what he's learned. He agrees with a growing number of my peers that schedules beat to do lists. In fact, in a recent episode of his podcast, he broke down the top 5 things he's done over the years to get more done AND increase his free time. His rules:
- Track your time.
- Give yourself less time than you actually need.
- Schedule everything. Literally everything.
- Speed up your consumption time.
- Save email until after lunch.
Why schedule everything? He explains:
"It’s only since I’ve been scheduling everything that I’ve had more free time than ever. When I left my calendar open and clear, I worked probably 16, 17 hours a day. I never saw the bloody finish line, because I always had something I could be getting on with, because my calendar wasn’t dictating what I should and shouldn’t be doing. Now, however, that I schedule every little thing into some block, I work a 6-hour day. I never work a Friday. I haven’t worked a Friday for almost 4 years now. So, not only am I more relaxed and more productive when I’m at work, but I get to spend more time with the people I truly love and cherish.”
As for tools:
“I don’t use any sexy to do lists...I just use my Calendar on my iPhone.”
As a content marketer (let's just say writer/podcaster), this guy is way more successful than 99.9% of all writer/podcasters. I think we can learn from his example, and the examples of other evangelists for this method, like Garrick van Buren and Patrick Rhone. The calendar may be the most important and underused tool on your phone.