I subscribe to the free version of Stowe Boyd’s Work Futures newsletter. He’s jumped around platforms a bit when I think he’d be better off charging a smaller amount for a larger audience on Patreon.
Boyd’s latest post talks about how he approaches his work, a subject I find endlessly fascinating.
I basically employ three styles of work journaling:
- On a daily basis, I plan and track my work with the ‘1, 2, 3′ technique.
- On a weekly basis, I plan and track using the ‘must, should, might’ technique.
- On ‘agenda’ projects, I plan and track using the ‘do, do, do’ technique. I use the term ‘agenda’ to distinguish with the short-range calendar orientation of daily and weekly projects. This will make more sense, later on.
Breaking down that ‘1, 2, 3’ technique, he notes that (like me) he’s realised there’s only a certain amount you can sustainably get done in one day:
Specifically, I have learned that I can do the following:
- One major activity, such as working for a few hours on client research, or writing for a few hours. This is the ‘1′ in the ‘1, 2, 3′.
- Two medium sized activities, like a 45 minute phone call, or doing an hour-long webinar. This is the ‘2′ in the ‘1, 2, 3′.
- Three short activities, taking less than 45 minutes. This is the ‘3′ in the ‘1, 2, 3′.
I’m not sure how many hours per day Boyd works, but I bet it varies. What I like about this approach is that having a ‘major activity’ that you check off each day makes you feel like you’ve achieved something. A day full of short and medium-sized activities feels somewhat wasted.
Source: Work Futures