Challenge: Design YOUR ideal working week!

by Peter Crocker

Each year or so I embark on a lifestyle or productivity challenge. This time I’ll attempt to combine several life hacks into one golden week. I invite you to join me.

In the past, I’ve attempted to go from night owl to early bird in seven days, battled email addiction, road-tested new week and new year’s resolutions, whipped up deadlines and eaten frogs – all with varying degrees of success and longevity.

So, regardless of past setbacks, it’s time to up the ante and combine some of the best lifestyle andproductivity tips into one perfect storm of a week, starting next Sunday 7 September!

For me, I’m setting seven goals around my priorities of health, family, friends and work.

My daily steps for an ideal week:

  1. Exercise – 45-minutes intensive exercise per day
  2. Nutrition – no alcohol, no junk food and a maximum of two coffees a day
  3. Sleep – tucked in by 11pm, feet on the floor by 6am
  4. Organisation – write my to-do list and plan my work day the night before
  5. Productivity – turn off email for at least three hours per day to ‘eat that frog
  6. Focus – stop multitasking and work in blocks using the pomodoro technique
  7. Family/friends – shut down the computer from 6pm to socialise, schedule three lunch/coffee dates with Fel

I’m going to report back on these goals each day (in the article comments and in the forums) with a tick or a cross for each.

Can I tempt you to join in?

If so, based on your own priorities, work and lifestyle, the first step is to map out YOUR ideal week as best you can. That might simply be a list of one or two daily goals, or a fully-fledged timetable. Everyone’s ideal week will look different.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Add a comment below now to let us know you’re up for the challenge!
  2. Report back on your progress next week in the comments or forums

If you commit to reporting back online, I guarantee you’ll find there’s nothing like public accountability to get you moving at 6am! Of course, you don’t need to share your specific goals if you prefer not to.

Whether this exercise leads to seven days of zen-like calm, brutal discipline and unbridled productivity, or a week of failure, fatigue and humiliation, time will tell.

I hope to ‘see’ some brave souls back here next week!

Until then, there’s still time to shovel down final chips and beer!

 

Update Day 1: So far so good (almost) 

Was up at 6 sharp and went for an hour bike ride. My to-do list is now written and ready for the start of a productive and focused work week. I confess I did have a moment of weakness and had light beer with Alan, my 80+ year old neighbour across the road, but it really did seem rude to refuse the kind offer :) Strictly zero tolerance from here on though on that front. Lucinda, Matt, Shan, Brian, Grace~Shanti, Denise, Burgo and others taking the challenge, I look forward to hearing how you go during the week. For others, It’s not too late to jump in!

Update Day 2: Holding strong 

Managed to obey the 6am alarm clock again and head to the gym this morning and all clear on the food/alcohol/coffee front. Had the pomodoro timer out this afternoon for a few hours of offline work too. About to clock off as it’s 6pm-ish. Not sure if a co-incidence, but it was a very productive day today.

Scarlett, I hope you got your 10 minutes strategy in. And Burgo I hope you did no work at all. Surprised to see Lucinda is still standing! Hope everyone else hit their goals and had a good start to the week.

Update Day 3: Feeling good! 

Hi Virginia,Lucinda, Matt, Shan, Brian, Grace~Shanti, Natasha, Denise, Burgo and others taking the ideal week challenge! It’s been a mixed week overall for some, but overall pretty successful I reckon.

Pleased to report almost full marks for day 3. I actually found that I woke up before my alarm this morning which is most unusual. Food, sleep and exercise all ticked off, along with a coffee date with my wife this morning. A looming project deadline had me stuck in the inbox a bit more than I’d like and I didn’t quite make the 6pm knock off… but, overall a really productive day and feeling energetic with all the exercise. Hump day tomorrow so stick to your guns and report back on progress if you dare!

Update Day 4: Productive but a little tired 

Scored about five out of seven today – including the big ones of sleep, exercise nutrition and organisation. Got somewhat distracted during the day with a lot going on and had to jump back online later in the evening to catch up on some work (including this update!). I’m finding the early morning starts + exercise really do make me feel energised and ahead for most of the day – that’s probably the biggest benefit of all the goals. Will have to find a way to maintain this beyond the week! Although as I’ve been getting to bed a little later than I wanted I do fade in the evenings a little. Good luck for the rest of the week.

Update Day 5: Full swing 

Short and sweet update today. Happy to say I hit 6 out of 7 goals, only failing on one by reaching for the third coffee during the mid arvo fade. One day of the working week to go and it’s been one of the more productive ones in recent times – no co-incidence I don’t think. If you’re still at it, keep going, just two days to go. Thx, Peter

Update Day 6: Almost there… 

I will stop hounding you with updates soon I promise :) Strong finish to the working week today pretty much on track with all goals – getting up was tough this morning. To be honest I think the early mornings and exercise make the biggest difference to having a productive day and week, so I’m going to continue those next week (will see if I can do it without the motivation of public accountability!). Got my Dad’s 70th party tomorrow night to break the drought. Have a great weekend all!

 

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