During my previous experiment with schedules, one of the questions that arose was how larger projects would fit into a workflow that allowed only one day per week to work on any given project. Despite the many benefits of such a constant variation of work (increased motivation to make progress, a fresh start every day, etc.), the reality is that a project that would take 2 weeks of work would end up taking 2.5 months to complete, which is obviously not ideal.
A new experiment: 2 for 1
This week, I have begun experimenting with a schedule that allots two days per week to a project instead of just one.
I will still be grouping multiple projects together on the same days as I have found that it helps to keep my eyes from glazing over as can happen when working on one thing for too long. The projects are grouped together strategically (related workflows, thought processes, etc.) to maintain as much momentum as possible throughout the day. I have also injected a day (Wednesday) where I do something completely different to optimize the transition between the first half of the week and the second half.
- Top-Secret Project
- Site Maintenance
Some of the main benefits one may expect from such a schedule are:
- Better use of momentum — Momentum is a powerful tool, and by allocating two consecutive days per week to a project, I will be able to harness the momentum from the first day to make even more progress the next day.
- Increased focus — With fewer projects to juggle, I can focus more attention on specific projects.
- Faster project completion — With more time to work on a given project, I will be able to complete the projects faster
- Increased availability for new projects — There are always projects on the backburner. By completing current projects faster, I will be able to start working on the awaiting projects sooner.
Though one additional day may seem trivial, such a change to the schedule is not without its pitfalls:
- Less variation — Variation was one of the best things about working on a different project every day. The daily change was refreshing and kept boredom at bay. By focusing on fewer projects during the week, I may become bored with the repetition.
- No progress on other projects — In order to spend more time on certain projects, work will need to be stopped on other projects. It pains me to put a halt on some projects, even though it provides more time to another project.
- Less pressure — This is a big one. By allocating more time to a project during the week, I am essentially extending the deadline for the tasks I have scheduled. I will need to remain vigilant to avoid the Wimpy-esque thought that I can “take care of it tomorrow.”
The middle road
I admit that one of the primary motivations for changing my weekly schedule is a lack of patience— I want to finish certain projects, and I don’t want to wait. However, by taking the middle road and allocating only one additional day to each project, I’m hoping that I will benefit both from the variation of a daily schedule and the increased time of a more selective schedule.