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How to ‘Unschedule’ your day to beat procrastination?

Our daily office routine holds many distractions in meetings, last-minute urgencies, breaks, helping others, etc. Sometimes, personal stuff, such as paying off bills, a call from home to pick up groceries, etc., also distracts us. They not only disturb our planning & focus but also leads us to procrastinate our work. Why? Because we can’t find time for ourselves & that makes us lose interest in doing the work. An ‘Unschedule’ can help us manage time for work & non-work-related activities and beat procrastination.

Image credit: ©

Devised by Neil Fiore and detailed in the book “The Now Habit,” Unschedule is a powerful time management technique.

Plan for the work that you have to do, to manage time for the work that you want to do

The Now Habit, Neil Fiore

Why do we need this technique?

Being a procrastinator, I find this technique useful to help me start with the work instead of pushing it. We have at least 1,000 different thoughts running in our minds when we begin our day. It involves office work, personal time, health, kids, family time, home stuff, and many more. Every day we struggle to balance them all. Mostly, one of the two things happens:

  1. Either we can focus on personal/home stuff & the day at the office is distracted or
  2. We push all other things to the weekend to focus on work only for the day

Result? We pile up so much work for those 48 hours on the weekend that we feel anxious & overwhelmed. In the end, we procrastinate all the stuff & end up doing completely different things

What is Unschedule?

It is a drastic shift in thinking from how we generally schedule & plan our work. Rather than filling the calendar with the activities you want to do, you add only the pre-planned or commitment-related tasks.

  1. Schedule only fixed commitments & play.
    1. Previously committed tasks such as meetings, lunch plans, etc.
    2. Time for all leisure and personal activities 
    3. Health-related tasks such as swimming, exercise, yoga, etc.
    4. Routine tasks such as commute time to work or medical appointments
    5. Socializing plan with family & friends
  2. Fill in your Unschedule only when you finish 30-minutes of uninterrupted work.
  3. Reward yourself with a break or more exciting work after each period you work.

How to begin?

The Unschedule Template by ©theblogrelay

I have a template that I use in my training to help clients beat procrastination issues. You can download the template & start using it directly, or you can create your copy & make changes or rename the file.

Here is a quick walk-through of the template:

As you progress with the day, fill in the ‘blanks’ after finishing any task without interruption for at least 30 minutes. Also, reward yourself with free time or any other preferred work before you begin your next focused work because you earned it!
At the end of each day, count the total no. of hours you spent working to sharpen your perspective of time & the pattern of work distribution.

Special tips

What will you get?

This technique requires a complete change in the way we are used to scheduling our work. But, it is an excellent change to opt for. It might seem difficult to follow at the start, but as they say, Rome was not built in a day!

Try the Unschedule way to drive yourself towards success. It’s motivating, fun, & simple!

I originally published this article on Medium.

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