Deep Work Update #2

A few weeks ago I made the decision to schedule every minute of my day, and so far so good. A few people have asked me for an update so I figured I’d share one.

While my productivity score was a bit lower than the first week, I still feel great about this setup. I’ve had a lot of disruptions to my schedule (election day, a work trip to NYC, and not one, not two, but three a surprise visit from some family last week!), so all that considered I feel pretty good about where I stand.

Here’s a few observations:

  • Having my schedule mapped out for me allows me to be more deliberate with how I handled disruptions to my routine. Unexpected family visits would have historically ruined my day and I’d spend the rest of the day flailing around trying to catch up with things. With this routine I’m able to account for my time lost and jump right back into the blocks I laid out when I finally got back to my computer.
  • This can work with travel – I’ll admit I didn’t follow my scheduled blocks of times to a T when in transit, but I tend to be really productive at airport gates and in the air.
  • I’ve been writing a lot more code – For the first time in a long time, software development was the top category of work for me. I’ve been writing React code every day which has been a big priority for me, and we put together a full-fledged e-commerce example in Pattern Lab Handlebars edition.
  • I published 3 posts, shared 3 links, and 1 screencast on my blog – I definitely want to continue the trend of regularly contributing to my blog, so having this scheduled in has been super helpful.
  • Got to Inbox Zero twice – Of course it filled back up again, but sticking to my dedicated email blocks allowed me to work through my emails in a more systematic way. Also, the tips laid out in Unsubscribe have been very helpful.
  • Deep work to start the day is the best. I’ve been waking up excited to dive into thorny work problems to kick off my day. I pour a cup of coffee and get right into it, rather than getting sidetracked by my inbox.
  • I don’t feel pressured by this schedule. A lot of people said that they thought a schedule like this would produce a ton of anxiety for me, and thankfully that just hasn’t come true. I use my schedule as a general guideline, and it’s actually been comforting to have my work chunked out ahead of time. It takes a lot of the thinking out of it.
  • Continue to increase family timeĀ – This continues to be the best outcome of this effort. I’ve been spending a lot more time with my family and feel like I’m able to be more present since I’m not giving sideways glances to my inbox or Slack.

So yep. I continue to be really pleased with this setup and plan on continuing it for as long as I can.