See the list of themes at the end of the discussion!
1. Decide to what extent you want to utilize these:
2. Consider using the three basic type of days, alternating as needed: Free day, prep day,
3. Select the theme days that make sense to you, and schedule in, in your quarterly or yearly planning,
those which you'd like to be sure to use. (You can always reschedule them, if need be, but it is
essential to put them into the calendar, so they don't just not-happen!)
We scatter our energy all about, being concerned about too many things at once. And we often feel pressure to take care of more than we can take care of in a day.
Special "focus" days, which I call "theme days", where you just focus on one type of function or objective, make life easier, less pressured, and one heck of a lot more productive.
And your brain is more confident that you will take care of things, since specific times are set aside to do all that is vital and important.
This is a supplementary strategy to the 80/20 Way Of Living that all who use this site should implement as a way of living life!!!
WHAT IS A THEME DAY?
It's a day, or at least 4 straight hours, where you commit to just doing that one theme, so that you can get more results that you want by focusing on that one theme. A "theme" is a topic or type of activity you focus on for a period of time. It is a specific and distinctive quality, characteristics, or concern you focus on. Like the "theme of a book", where it might be on, say, justice, a "day" is focused on just one theme.
Although a full 24 hour, from midnight to midnight (to keep it pure) is the best idea, there are some themes that may require less time and/or you may not have that amount of time available. So I suggest, as an alternative, that you use, at a minimum, 4 exclusive hours. 6 would be better in most cases. 8 even better probably.
THE BEAUTY OF A THEME DAY
That is the beauty of a theme day: it is just about the theme and it is a day you give yourself permission to not try to do other things or to feel guilty or conflicted about other things.
You get to make more progress sooner by focussing on one kind of result, if that is what you want.
A funny thing happens when you do this. You don't "miss" any time; it is as if you expanded the amount of time in your life. Everything else seems to get done anyway, miraculously, in (technically and actually) less time, but not seeming as if there was any extra pressure. In fact, one feels calmer and better and is normally a little more productive - perhaps because of less conflicting items on the brain or because of feeling better about having done whatever you did on the theme day.
And it can also help develop an ability to think and/or feel better (such as a self-care day or a day using the logical brain).
And it is easy, as virtually anyone can do something for a day!
WHAT ARE KEY EXAMPLES?
Although a number of experts use these exact terms, I like the way that Dan Sullivan (the genius of personal productivity) deals with it at www.thestrategiccoach.com. (Any entrepreneur or a person whose pay is subject to personal productivity should consider doing at least a year of his coaching program. At least read his books and booklets, as listed on the site.)
He suggests that we take
1. "Free Days" - Where we do no work at all. The "theme", in a sense, is rejuvenation, a necessary ingredient to freeing the brain and psyche up for creativity and productivity and just plain feeling better. Hang out, walk around aimlessly, even tv or a movie, reading as you wish, no business...
2. Prep Days - Then he has "preparation days", where one can focus on just preparing for "productivity days" but without any pressure, or conflict, to produce. Sometimes called buffer days.
3. Productivity Focus Days - Here you do no prep work. You do harvesting of results and that for which you are paid. You've already "prepped", so you're ready to rock and roll! On these days, you manage, delegate, think, catch up, learn, fix, clean up messes...
The recommended ratio is, in order: 3:1:3.
A "cleaning" day, a "study" day, a "novel reading" day, a "nature" day - anything can become the subject of a theme day. See the brainstorming of some ideas at the end of the page.
HOW DO I MANAGE TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN?
I would recommend that you insert theme days during a time when you have a greater perspective, such as over 90 days, or even a year for some types of cases.
Create your own list, using the list below for some ideas and keep that list in your Reminders Notebook (or planning notebook) so that you can re-access it when you're doing your planning.
DURING THIS DAY I WILL...
At the top of a sheet put: Theme for the day is ____________.
Then below that "This is why ____________________".
"The date I schedule for this is: _______"
Then list "What I will do during this day"
BRAINSTORMING FOR WHAT THEMES FOR A DAY
A health day.
A "Calm" day - Where I keep myself calm the whole day, moving smoothly,
slowly, accepting no "uncalm" thoughts.
A "Slow" day - Similar to a calm day, but one moves without any hurry to get
things done, but still moving forward (pausing as needed of course)
A "Worry" Holiday - No worries, no criticisms, just living life as it goes, for
the whole day.
A "Do what's right" day
pleasures. (I don't recommend a TV day, as it doesn't feel good later, nor
does a shopping day work as it has similarities with work.)
GET IT DONE, FINISH-IT DAY
Finish off any old projects, procrastinations ("non-procrastination day"?)
Day to digest, finalize workshop learning (instead of putting your notes aside
you finish up your understanding and decide what to implement; I think 2
days is better, however)
Self-improvement day - I use this to focus and complete and move ahead on
my enhancing my attitude and life skills, instead of spreading it out over
Clean-up day - List and then work on "all things holding me down"
ORGANIZING (This is one of the most flexible areas for how many hours.)
Clean up day
A small space or type of organizing, done very well
A full blast, go for it on the whole house, business, yard
A focused portion or the whole thing
Planning your wardrobe and related
Catch up on all paperwork
PLANNING DAY (Days where I focus on planning, completely, effectively)
Plan the wardrobe
Plan health (exercise, nutrition, etc.)
For anything, keeping the day free of any productivity or doing items, but
preparing what is needed in order to accomplish some doing.
Just get things done (having planned and prepared so that I know what needs
to be done and the order in which to do - and don't have to make any
decisions about it.
An organization day
A learning about computers or websites or some function, all day, focussing
Spa day, massage, etc.
A "do nothing" day, just being, looking, experiencing
DEVELOP AN ABILITY OR VIRTUE
Like Benjamin Franklin did with his 13 virtues, which he practiced one for each
day and then started over.
Use of the logical brain to make decisions all day, doing what is the next
logical thing to do regardless of feelings or discomforts (rewires brain) See
A "self-caring, self-compassion" day where you are sure to be very caring and
compassionate to yourself at an extraordinary level, all day!
An day of adjusting quickly back to calm balance, noting each bit of tension
and letting it go right away (not waiting until really strongly tense)
A non-ruminating day - All day you'll just not consider or give thought to mind stuff, knowing you can
resume the next day without any loss. This is a vacation from pointless thinking.
Keeping on going day - Today I operate with no concern for energy running out, though I'll relax my
body and rest, but I will not veg out. I just keep going.
SOMETHING NEW DAY
You'll do something you've never done before or wouldn't ordinarily do...