My “Oldest” Productivity Strategy


I recently posted a video about one of my oldest and most successful work strategies: fixed-schedule productivity. The idea is simple to describe:

  1. Choose a schedule of work hours that you think provides the ideal balance of effort and relaxation.
  2. Do whatever it takes to avoid violating this schedule.

These simple limits, however, can lead to complex productivity innovations. In my own life, the demands of fixed-schedule productivity helped me develop what became my time blocking and shutdown ritual strategies.

In my video, which is actually a clip taken from episode 193 of my podcast, I call this my “oldest” productivity strategy. I don’t think that’s literally true, but it is old. I went back and did some digging and discovered that I first wrote about this idea here on my blog back in 2008, meaning I had probably been deploying it for at least a couple years before then. In 2009, I wrote a more epic post on the topic for my friend Ramit Sethi’s blog which was subsequently featured on Boing Boing. Which is all to say, fixed-schedule productivity has been bouncing around for a while.

Anyway, watch the video if you want a more detailed discussion of the strategy, why it works, and how I’ve used it in my own life.

The post My “Oldest” Productivity Strategy first appeared on Cal Newport.

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