Productivity hack: The weekend list

I’m blogging this week about a small handful of productivity hacks that have proven to be extremely useful in my business and life.

PRODUCTIVITY HACK: THE WEEKEND LIST

As someone who runs a business from home, it’s extremely easy to get tempted into working 24/7. Early in my business, it was a necessity. And even today, though I have reached a level where I don’t have to work 24/7, it’s still sometimes necessary to put in a bit (just a bit!) of time on the weekends.

The truth is, I don’t want to toil away on my business when I could be doing something else. I recognize the importance of a break… but I also recognize that business owners are jugglers and sometimes you have to touch the knives you’re juggling in order to keep them all airborne.

For that reason — a need for time off but also a need to sometimes do a bit of work — I started creating a special weekend list of tasks. I create the list on a Friday afternoon and I try to have the following “rules” (which sometimes get broken but generally are followed)…

  • The list can only contain 10 tasks
  • Each task should be longer than 2 minutes (as per David Allen’s GTD definition of a task) no more than 15 minutes long. (On the rare occasions when I break this 15 minute max, I try never to have more than one project that is longer than 15 minutes).
  • The first items on the list need to be any procrastinated tasks that weren’t done during the week but are able to be done on the weekend

This list has turned out to be a pretty good system for my weekends. I’m able to knock out a few small projects, including projects that I skipped or avoided during the week. And better yet, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything because there are frequently 15 minute stretches during the weekend that are unfilled. So this list provides me with balance while helping me to feel like I’m keeping those knives spinning in the air!

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