Ever since I started doing research on multi-tasking (and why it’s one of the forces working against your productivity), I have been looking for tips on how to stay focused on a single task instead of bouncing around from one thing to another.
One of the easiest ways I have found is day theming.
It isn’t a new concept, but it’s pretty simple – each day is dedicated to a specific theme with specific tasks that fall under that theme.
This helps you stay focused on that task or set of tasks without being pulled in a million different directions.
To get started:
- Decide on the broader categories of your work (see the ideas below)
- Assign those categories to a day of the week
- Write tasks for each theme (this breaks down the theme into smaller chunks making it more manageable)
- Add the themes and tasks to your calendar
Day Theme Ideas for Nonprofit Communicators
- Content Creation Day
- Meeting Day
- Measurement/Metrics Day
- Email List Management Day
- Brainstorming Day
- Specific Project Day
- Working with Development Staff Day
- Plan/Strategy Day
- Big Picture Thinking Day
- Editorial Calendar/Scheduling Day
- Internal Affairs Day
- Technology Day
- Administrative Day
- Research/Reading Day
- Professional Development Day
While this is a great idea for a lot of people, you may need to adapt if you find it’s not working. You may need some of these themes every week while others only need to be looked at every month. You may need to save a couple of hours for miscellaneous things, etc.
But even if you can’t allot an entire day to one thing, you should still try to block out large chunks of time where you focus on one category and tasks related to that category.
The goal is to change our mindset around multi-tasking to prevent the burnout, inefficiency and all the other bad things that come with it. Day theming can help with that.