Make a list:
The first step in tackling different things at once is to make a list of everything that you want or need to learn in the next year. This could be different subjects completely or it could be categories and sub tasks within a certain area of focus. For example, let’s say you really want to focus on mastering marketing over the next 12 months, then you would make a list of all the different things you’d need to learn about this, such as blogging, social media, webinars, and anything else you’d feel like should be included in that.
Create a 12-month learning calendar:
Once you’ve got your list together, it might seem pretty overwhelming at first, but when you spread everything out over 12 months you’ll see that it’s really not as crazy as you think. To put together your 12-month learning calendar, you can either use a physical calendar or a digital one such as Google calendar. We recommend having this calendar separate from your main one if using Google, and then linking the events for each thing you’re learning through to your main calendar.
Here’s exactly how to do this:
Step 1: Open Google calendar and set it to a monthly view. Look at your list you’ve already created and then choose one topic or subject to add in to each month based on the order you think you should they should go in.
Step 2: Now that you have your topics allocated to a month within your calendar, you’re going to add in some sub-tasks that will enhance your learning of these topics. That could be things like attending a webinar, studying a course, reading a book or blog.
Step 3: Once you have your what and how added to your calendar, you’re going to decide how much time you have available each day to allocate to your learning and then schedule this in to your calendar.
Batch & Block:
Task batching and time blocking are amazing time management and productivity hacks that will really change your life if you start implementing them. This is especially true you need to switch your focus between multiple areas with a limited amount of time, so here we’re going to show you how it works.
Batching works by taking a list of tasks that are similar that you have to do on a regular basis and grouping them together into a selected time slot. For example, for your learning calendar will incorporate different areas that bring your learning together such as research, writing, and editing. Based on what you feel works for you and when you’re able to be most focused and most productive you’ll design your time schedule accordingly. Maybe you feel more alert first thing in the morning, so this could be a good time to schedule all your reading or research because this is when you tend to retain information best.
Batching allows you to be more productive because you can be fully focused on one area for this batched time slot and then work through it before moving on to the next things.
Time blocking works alongside batching and also keeps you focused by allocating a specific amount of time to each batched group. So, you could set aside 1 hour in the morning to work on your writing or reading and then an extra 30 minutes in the evening to work on another group of tasks such as research or editing.
Set a timer:
Once you have all your tasks laid out in your calendar and everything is batched and blocked out, then it’s time to get to work and stay focused. One of the best ways to do this is by using a timer to work against. You’ll be surprised by how much you can get done in as little as 20-30 minutes simply because you’re staying focused on the task at hand and not allowing anything to distract you.
Once your timer is up, then it’s a good idea to take a 5-10 minute break before moving on to the next task. This is not only good for helping you stay productive and focused, but it gives your brain some time to recoup from the focused work time and come up with new energy and ideas.
Also it’s good to take some time away from the computer because of things like headaches and migraines which can come from too much screen time and not enough breaks, and if you do feel like this is something that’s starting to affect you, then you can find out more about how to take the steps to prevent this from happening or how it can be treated if you’re already suffering from strain-induced headaches or any other issues that may come from using the computer too much and not scheduling yourself enough breaks.
Hopefully this post has shown you how simple it can be to get a lot of stuff done within a year so that you don’t burn out or overwhelm yourself too much.