After you've broken down your goal and committed to it, and as an alternative to scheduling, my favourite way of getting stuff done is to decide to commit a certain amount of time per week to devote to a task. At the point that you commit to the work, you decide something like:
“Until the task is completely done, I’m going to spend 3 hours (180 minutes) per week, every week, tackling just this problem.”
Some observations and rules come from this:
- You can make up this time any time you like. Before school, after work, on the weekend, staying up late one night etc. Within one week you have flexibility, you can front load or back load your week depending on how you’re feeling and your schedule.
- Remember that the first few weeks will be easier to complete the time, as the task is new and interesting. Don’t go too high with the time commitment or it will become too hard to stick to.
- When you’ve met your quota for the week, it’s nice to force yourself to take a break from it for the rest of the week. This means you’re ready to start the next week without being burnt out on the task.
- Decide when your week is going to run from, to avoid you trying to cheat yourself by shifting it when you don’t want to work. For example, your week might start on Monday morning, with all the minutes needing to be done by the following Sunday night.